Thursday, May 3, 2012

Study 6, Proactive Boundaries

Proactive boundaires go beyond problem identification to problem solving.
Consider a common cause of your child's tantrums.  What can you say to empathize and still enforce the limits?  What more appropriate expression of her feelings could you suggest if she doesn't come up with any ideas of her own?  What can you do to move your child past protesting to solving the problem?

Proactive boundaries encompass both what the child is for and against.
What does your child feel safe protesting?  What can you do to move your child towards positive values, toward taking stands for certain things?  What is she learning about what she is for?  What is helping that learning happen?

Proactive boundaries mean others can't control the child.
In what situation, if any, can you help your reactive child see that as long as he is giving up time and energy reacting, the person to whom he is reacting is in control of his precious time?  What can you encourage your child to do to stop being controlled by others?  What skills does he need to learn?  What requirements to do that learning might you have to enforce?  Also, in what ways, if any, might you be inviting your child to be dependent on you rather than learning to take responsibility for her own emotions?

Proactive boundaries are not about revenge and fairness but about responsibilty.
When has the issue of fairness arisen in your home?  In what situations do you realize you have given in to cries for fairness?  Why did you do that?  What is helpful about the response, "You're right 0 lots of things aren't fair"?  Who can offer you support as you help your kids learn to cope with the fact that life isn't fair?

Monday, April 30, 2012


We are off this Wednesday and will resume on May 9th with Study 7. We are nearing the end of our current study. Typically we take the summer off from the study. We could either do a monthly outing throughout the summer OR take the summer off completely. Please let me know your preference!
I have been thinking and praying a lot about our group and what we will do over the summer and in the fall. I am inspired by the womens ministry and how they have a team that works together. If you are interested in helping out with Little Lambs, please let me know! Everyone has different gifts to contribute. This can be anything from planning outings, writing for the blog, helping with planning the studies, being in charge of the snacks etc. Please think and pray about whether you would like to help. "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Women's study will start up again this week. The study is offered on two days, times and locations:
Wednesday evenings at 6:45 PM at Mesa View Middle School (where we meet on Sunday mornings) in the Youth Room or Thursday mornings at 10:00 AM at LifeSpring Church, 240 Maple Ave., Beaumont. Free childcare for pre-school age children (0-5 years) is offered at both studies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Study 5 Kid Kare "Your Kids Motives"

1.  Where is your child on the spectrum of obeying to avoid punishment and obeying because it's the right thing to do?  Let "1" be behavior dictated by the outside, external restraints, and you the parent and "10" be owning behavior and doing the right things for the right reasons.

2.  Detachment is one of the enemies of the kid of contact that enables your child to grow.  Consider how detached a parent you are.  Do you express your feelings of love for your child?  Do you let yourself get close?  If you answer no to these questions, where will you go to find supportive relationships in which you can learn to be vulnerable and accessible- and when will you go?

3.  Conditional love is another enemy of the kid of parent-child contact that enables a child to grow.  Are you connecting to your child only when he is doing?  Are you withdrawing when his behavior is bad?  If your answer is yes, what will you do to break this pattern?

4.  As a parent, you can express your awareness of the pain of consequences for your own irresponsibility, model right behavior, and acknowledge what pain your actions may cause for your friends and God. Even as all that is happening, create many experiences for your children to internalize these realities and own them for themselves.  What opportunity for that internalization can you anticipate having this week? Be ready!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Study 4 Kid Care, Power Over Myself

Stop Denying Dependency
1.  What are you doing to discourage functional dependency?  What consequences are you allowing your child to deal with so that he learns the importance of taking responsibility for himself?  Who is supporting you as you enforce these consequences?
2.What are you doing to encourage relational dependency?  Start by noting which of the following are already a part of your parenting reportoire. 
  • Confronting isolation
  • Waiting until you are invited to help
  • Encouraging him to express his wants, needs and opinions
  • Recognizing and respecting his own rhythm of when he needs to be close and when he needs distance from you
  • Not being intrusive and affectionate when he clearly needs to be more seperate
  • Not abandoning him when he needs more intimacy
Stop Demanding Power Over All Choices
1. Has your child overcommitted himself, trying to put too many activities in too little time?  What evidence of this do you see?
2.  What system have you or could you set up that will break down if she does too much?  Consider factoring in such age appropriate requirements as an acceptable grade point average in school, four nights at home with the family each week, an established bedtime, and no signs of fatigue or stress.

Stop Avoiding Consequences
1.  When have you recently seen evidence of your little angels criminal mind at work?  How did you respond?
2.  What are the consequences for dishonesty?  What do you do to reward honesty and to encourage dishonesty in your home?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Study 3 Kid Kare, What Kids Need to Take Responsibility For

Kids need to take responsibility for their emotions, their attitudes, and their behavior, and we as parents need to take responsibility for doing the parenting rather than letting our kids parent us.  The following exercise will help you get a sense of how well your kids and you are doing. 

Like all of us adults, children benefit by learning to use feelings in the ways for which God created them:  as signals about the state of our soul.

1.  Which emotions, if any, do you personally have trouble taking ownership of and/or controlling in a healthy way?  What will you do to resolve this and thereby improve what you are modeling for your children?

2.  Which emotions do your kids seem to have particular difficulty managing?  What might you do to help them?

We can help our children see the consequences of their attitudes and how they need to take responsibility for them.

1.  What attitudes do you see each of your children taking toward the following?
  • Self (strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes?)
  • Role in the family
  • Friends
  • God (who he is and how to relate to him)
  • School (their interests and duties)
  • Work
  • Moral Issues
2.  What red flags, if any, do you see in your answers?  What will you do about those attitudes?

3.  When kids have a problem, they (like adults) benefit from learning to examine what they may have done to contribute to the problem.  What will you do this week to teach or reinforce this principle in your home?

Children learn to conduct themselves in private and in public through love, teaching, modeling, and experiences.  They need to learn how they act is their responsibility.

1.  Children link their emotions to their actions with no intervening agents such as thoughts, values, or empathy for others.  They have no sense of, "What might happen if I act on my feelings?"  What behaviors have you seen in your children that support this assertion? 

2.  As a parent, make it more painful for your child to be impulsive than to restrain behaviors.  Also, build intervening agents into children by utilizing the concepts of validation, instruction and experience.  In what current situation in your home can you apply these three steps? 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Study 3 Kid Kare

Making Good the Law of Sowing and Reaping
The list of reality consequences is endless.  The only limit is your own creativity.

DIRECTIONS:  Consider again the following principles for determining reality consequences.  Working alone or with your spouse, complete the following exercise.

Making the consequences a natural outflow of the crime.
In what recent or recurring parenting situation will you incorporate natural consequences to teach teh Law of Sowing and Reaping?  Be specific about the consequences and how you will present them.  Who will support you as you stand behind the consequences you establish?

Save consequences for serious offenses where the behavior may become a bad character pattern.
What serious offenses may be on their way to becoming a bad character pattern and therefore qualify for consequences to your home?

Give immediate consequences.
Why is immediacy important - and what keeps you from responding immediately?  What will you do to remove that barrier so you're ready next time?

Stay away from emotional consequences and effect reality consequences.
What benefits - long-term as well as short-term - come with reality consequences?

Use relational consequences only if they concern your own feelings.
In what kind of situation in your home would relational consequences be logical or neutral?  Be specific.

Think of consequences as protecting yourself as well as the rest of the family from the behavior of the child.
In what current or ongoing parenting situation would letting consequences happen benefit your family as well as help the guilty party learn the Law of Sowing and Reaping?

Preserve choice as much as possible.
What is preserving choice so important?  Why is it difficult to do so?

Make sure there is not a good reason your child is misbehaving before invoking consequences.
What are some "good reasons" for misbehavior that parents should be alert to?

Talk to the child about the misbehavior when the child is not misbehaving.
When have you learned something important by talking to your child about her misbehavior when she is not misbehaving?  Why do you tend to talk more in the heat of the moment than when it might be helpful?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Learning Lessons from Reality Consequences

Here are some additional questions for reflection that we did not have time to cover in our discussion this week:

  • What did Susan do effectively that Sally didn't?
  • How do Susan's kids benefit from her willingness and ability to both identify and enforce consequences?  What do they learn?
  • Think for a moment about whether you are more like Sally or Susan in your follow through.  What do you think keeps parents from being more like Susan?