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Finding Consequences - Issue 287
February 15, 2013
|Hi there! ....
This week We had a good week – what does good look like? We achieved most of what I set out to do and we spent our free time wisely, though we were flexible enough to deal with a few heart issues and then sickness in the house changes things as well. We are at the end of the week and the house is in order, we have spent time together as a family, we have encouraged other people, and we have learnt things. So all in all – a good week!
Live life with your kids!
If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
One of the most powerful learning tools we have is consequences. A consequence is the outcome of any of our choices. For many years my children thought a consequence was negative, but really the outcome of our choices can be positive or negative, joyful or painful. (I used to call the positive consequence a reward or blessing – but really it is the same – just looks different!)
Wise parents will take the consequences of their children’s choices, and use them as a teaching opportunity. For example
These are just examples, I am sure there are many ways to help our children see that kindness, diligence and thankfulness are better choices. And ultimately that is our purpose in allowing or arranging consequences – it is for them to learn from. Consequences are not a punishment – they are a training tool – so ask yourself: What could happen to my child to help them learn that there is a better option? If we just put our children in their rooms they are not learning anything. If we dish out the first thing that comes to our head, they may also not learn anything. If it is worth a consequence, it is worth learning from.
This is a pivotal question that we must ask ourselves. We may know instantly that we don’t like their behaviour – and we can make them change their behaviour but that is only working on the externals, they’ll do it again. We need to work on their beliefs, their character, their motivations ; their heart. So I would ask myself:
What is in their heart, or what is missing in their heart,
to allow them to make such a choice.
Selfishness, laziness, envy or discontent etc.
When my kids were younger there were many times that I was bamboozled as to how to help them learn that they had made a bad choice. I would ask them to sit and wait for me and I would then pray, refer to ‘the red book’ (as they remember it but it was officially called “Proverbs for Parenting”), then I would open the Bible and think about what was going on. When I had something to train them in, some clear idea, I would then go and speak to them, teach them, and talk about the consequence if one was necessary. As they got older, there have been the few times that I had to get back to them at a later time as I needed more time to think about it.
As I said in the beginning consequences can be positive too – good choices often have good consequences. If I am orderly, I know where to find my stuff. If I prioritise my time, I am punctual. If I put others first, I will share or see their need. We need to see the consequences of our children’s right choices as well. These of course aren’t in our face as much, they don’t scream at us for our attention but I am sure our children are making good choices (at least some of the time). We need to be on the lookout, we need to understand what is in their heart that drives these choices as much as what is in their heart that drives their wrong choices.
When our children make good choices, when they display good character, we need to praise them, affirm them and encourage them. There can also be specific consequences that you can arrange – like the blessings of God.
If you feel your discipline and training is going round and round in circles then maybe it is time to ask yourself two questions
And as always remember how God deals with us – unconditional love!
I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:
You may like to check out a page on my website.
Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.
Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.
Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?
This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.
Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you.
Make your comment here.
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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter
Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!
The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool
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