We know that parenting is the biggest responsibility we will ever have.
But we’ve been told such different things about the nature of that responsibility.
If you grew up in an evangelical church, chances are you were told that a parent’s job is to teach them to obey, because children are naturally deceitful and wicked. Their spirits need to be defeated and their will broken so that their hearts will be inclined to Christ instead.
You may have heard that you have to punish kids consistently and often for every infraction, because otherwise they will walk all over you. They will not learn to respect authority or to obey.
Children see you the way they see God; if they don’t obey you, how will they ever obey God?
You need to make them obey, so that they will recognize their need for God.
Their salvation is largely in your hands.
As we’ve been talking about on the blog recently, that’s a toxic way to approach parenting.
It ignores child development. It ignores children’s legitimate needs. And it makes children out to be the enemy.
And when our approach towards our kids is one of trying to control their behaviour or punish them for wrongdoing, we often push them away from us. We can create insecure attachment. They can grow up not being able to share themselves with us, and so they become secretive.
Outwardly they may be very compliant, but they feel far away from you. Why? Because they don’t feel as if they are safe.
What if there were a better way to parent our kids?
What if you could parent the way God parents? What if you could approach parenting not in a way to control your kids but to train them? What if instead of punishing your kids for every infraction you learned to recognize what it is they need in the moment, and use these things as teaching opportunities?
What if you could learn to be firm but kind? To set really clear boundaries, but also get your kids involved so that they feel part of the process and they don’t chafe against it?
What if you could understand WHY your kids act up, and WHY your discipline techniques don’t work–and find something that instead brings harmony?
That’s what I want to help you do.
So many of us grew up in harsh homes, and we want to break the cycle, but we have absolutely no idea how.
We’ve been told that to not spank our kids is tantamount to handing our kids over to the devil–and so we’re scared stiff to try something else, even though spanking isn’t working and makes us feel awful.
We feel like we’re always having the same conflicts with our kids, and the home is chaotic, and we just want peace. We want to enjoy our kids.
Last month on the podcast Wendy Snyder from Fresh Start Families joined us to talk about positive parenting.
So many of you loved her podcast and wrote to me asking for more information. So Wendy and I decided to get together and host a FREE workshop on what positive parenting looks like.
All you have to do is sign up!
It’ll be at June 21 at 3 pm EST, and it would be awesome if you could join us live so you can ask questions. But even if you can’t be there live, you can still watch the video afterwards if you sign up now.
If you’re tired of making empty threats; if you’re tired of the behaviour you don’t want repeating; if you’re tired of feeling disconnected from your kids–I really do want to help.
And I want to help you stop this cycle where you ask them to behave; you threaten them; they act up more, and finally in anger you yell or spank. Or just want to go lock yourself in your room. (I did that once!)
I wish I had had Wendy when Rebecca was 2, because we handled her tantrums all wrong. We honestly didn’t know any better.
But now we can now! And I see Rebecca handling her son Alex so differently, and it’s absolutely lovely to watch.
I don’t want to become a parenting blog, because even though my husband is a pediatrician–marriage is my thing.
But so many of you are here because you’re tired of bad teaching about marriage. And you know what? The same bad teaching has infiltrated into our parenting.
So while I don’t want to spend a lot of time tackling this myself, I do want to point you to people who do it well.
Wendy does. And I hope you can join us!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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