Friday, January 11, 2013

Coach Mom

I find great truth in the adage that the way we speak to our children becomes their inner voice, (while cringing with conviction at some of what I may have contributed in my yuckier moments of motherhood.) Recently, God has laid it on my heart to get serious about the messages that are being programmed into the hearts, minds and spirits of my offspring.

Practically speaking, it has resulted in sentence writing becoming my preferred form of discipline. It has helped my own reactionary nature because I can walk away from a situation, contemplate the real issue at hand and write sentences, tailored specifically to the issue(s), laced with Scripture, encouragement and admonition. The child then copies the sentences a predetermined number of times.

I love this strategy because it allows for the observance of another parenting pearl I adore: Rules without relationship always lead to rebellion. -Josh McDowell Our sentences generally start with a promise of God's love & their parents' love and wrap up with the same.

Because my strongest willed child seems to have inherited his Mama's mouth and hard headedness, we experience our fair share of run ins.  Being somewhat secluded with none of our usual distractions and 'breaks' from one another this week in Honduras brought a lot of our issues to the surface. (i.e., there were some sentences being written.)

It was a gift to my heart yesterday when he chose to copy (and add to) my closing remarks.

I am choosing to believe it was precious rather than that he simply wanted to have the last word. :)

Tonight as I was tucking in said child, I acknowledged that I knew this had been an intense week of 'coaching' from me. Attempting to tap into his love of sports and competitive nature I said, "You know how coaches treat champions, right? They keep working them because they know what they are capable of. That's how I feel about your heart & character. I know God has big plans for you, we just need to work on your self control muscles. What do you think about that?"

His very serious reply was, "I think sometimes, Mama, the coaches give their champs a break too--just to see what would happen."

If his tone hadn't been so pensive, I might have been offended. It was a humbling, big gulp moment for me, but one I plan to swallow with an even bigger dose of prayer.

Don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. 
Ephesians 6:4 The Message

I knew so much more about parenting before I was one.


Bill and Jenn said...

I love this! We have recently started using this same discipline with our girls (ages 5 & 7), but I never thought to use varying sentences that speak to God's promises and purpose for their lives! LOVE. Thank you for sharing this!

P.s.- love the last line of your post!! Me too :)

JMom said...

Jenn- I primarily shifted to this approach because I was wrestling with using Bible verses as 'punishment.' This manages to work truth in without making the Word be directly associated with being disciplined.
(And it lets me preach a little lecture without the emotion...hahaha)

Margaret Feinberg said...

Love that quote you posted at the beginning of the blog!

Wife Goes On said...

Precious words from your little man. At 17, my little man isn't so little, but I'm still trying to help him see that God's plans for him are amazing and God can use a man with self control. Thank you for the post.