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Jul 8, 2012

Our Early Childhood Discipline Strategy

One of the challenges of parenting a firstborn child is not having any previous parenting experiences to draw from. At least that's the way I feel.

 Every new developmental milestone and every new behavioral stage is new to us, and I often feel like Silas is getting a lot of the "trial and error" of our parenting techniques. 

I realize that every child is different, and that parenting Silas will sometimes look different than parenting Liam, but I believe that there are certain fundamental, Biblical parenting principles that will carry through to both boys (and to any future little Celestin's that we may or may not be blessed to parent).

As Silas and Liam grow, Kevin and I realize more and more how extremely important consistency is when it comes to discipline and training. And because I'm with the boys twice as much as Kevin is, I understand how important it is that I do not lose heart when it comes to bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). 

I've read countless books on parenting and have drawn much wisdom from them, but it wasn't until this past week that I took it a step further and decided to pull together some of what I've learned to create a handy resource that I hope to use as we tread through the trenches of early childhood.

Basically, I pulled together snippets of wisdom from several trusted resources to create a discipline chart that now hangs on our refrigerator. It's a very practical guide for Kevin and I as we strive for Biblical guidance and consistency in the training of our boys.

If you're interested in viewing the entire chart, click here (for acrobat) or here (for Google Docs).
(I taped the pages together to make one long chart)

We chose the actions based on what we feel are our biggest parenting challenges are at this point. We choose to use Bible verses in our discipline strategy because we believe that our children are born sinners and need to be led into a loving relationship with Jesus Christ through consistent teaching from God's Word. It is also extremely important for them to know that we base our discipline on our most trusted source of truth- God's Word. We also believe that it is imperative that we don't just look at the outward behaviors of our children but that we address the heart issues behind every action. For more wisdom on this concept, I highly recommend Don't Make me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman. 

I really enjoyed reading through Parenting with Scripture to find guidance in choosing appropriate Bible verses for our chart. We chose the consequences largely with the help of Biblical counsel, Family Life's Right from the Start Series, and Focus on the Family's Kid's of Integrity website. 

 Although we're still very new to using this chart, Kevin and I both believe that it will be a valuable resource for us as we continue on in our parenting journey

Just to be clear, I haven't written this post or shared this resource because I'm anywhere near a parenting expert. I'm simply on a journey to becoming the woman, wife, and mom that God wants me to be, and I enjoy sharing the things that God teaches me along the way. Also, this chart was created after much prayer and study. It was created as a guide for our family, so I don't expect that everyone will agree with all of the details of our parenting strategy. I'm simply sharing it because it may be helpful as you pray through God's guidance for discipline in your own family.

I pray you are encouraged.

**Please read this follow-up post, Parenting with Grace.**

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