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Consequences don't Always Work - Issue 360
October 18, 2014
|Hi there! ....
This week we are still in part-study-part-holiday mode as my brother and family are still with us. Last weekend we played the tourist, showing our family Zebra Rock and how Sandalwood grows. Peter had Monday off so we went for a drive to a local spot to see butterflies – I think we saw more snakes than butterflies, but it was a great morning. We also did a farm tour with Peter being able to explain various crops and farming practices. During the week we went to a local swimming hole, set up an outdoor movie theatre on our lawn, and cooked dinner on an open fire with a camp oven. It has been a fun week. Naomi and Daniel have done a little study, we reviewed (again) their study schedule, and confirmed that everyone was on the same page. Daniel did a few hands on, around the house projects, as well as observing his uncle fixing a remote control drone – this has enthused Daniel to pick up a circuitry kit he has. We also looked into some TAFE options for further study for both Naomi and Daniel. Naomi started to take photos of her art in order to build a digital portfolio of various projects she has completed.
Live life with your Kids!
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I didn't blog this week but did you catch up with last week's newsletter? Check it out on my blog: The Crossroads of Obedience
Consequences don't Always Work
One reason parents often give up and hold onto the belief that ‘it’s just a phase’ and ‘they’ll grow out of it’ is because the things they are doing aren’t working. Instead of asking why it isn’t working, they give up and just hope for the best.
Our training efforts don’t work for a few reasons:
One other reason I have seen, and it comes to the fore as our children grow older, is that the child/teen does not understand that his/her behaviour is their responsibility. They become so accustomed to a parent giving a consequence, that they live out the consequence and move on. They think that this is a part of childhood, a part of their family life that they need to endure. Even if the consequence truly does bring about pain (inconvenience, lost privileges, extra work etc) they seem to think that dishing out consequences is the parents’ job, dealing with it is the child’s job and life goes on.
In order to promote the idea that the kids are responsible for their actions we need to help them see that their actions are a result of their choice, and that their choices are a result of what is in their heart. A dark angry heart will drive a person to do dark angry things. Our children need to see that they are the only ones that can change their heart – it is their choice.
Unless a child wants to change all the consequences in the world won’t bring change, in fact consequences given to a child who does not want to change, will be seen as punishments. Punishments just deal with external behaviour, and do not touch the heart – they are a short term solution.
So if consequences are not working, some other things to consider are:
If so, then I’d suggest that you ask them a question like one of these – don’t play 20 questions with them, firing questions from the hip but rather involve them in a conversation about their choices:
I can guarantee you will be surprised at their answers. Mind you, they may be surprised at you asking, and they may not have an answer – this may be because they are simply expecting you to dish out a consequence and move on. If that is the case talk to them about their choices being their responsibility, and your responsibility is to help them make wise choices. Tell them that you are in this together and that you are there for them. It may just change things around.
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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.
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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!
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