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?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Study 3 Recap, Chapters 4 & 5

Our study this week focused primarily on boundary principles one and two; The Law of Sowing and Reaping and The Law of Responsibility. 

The main points were as follows:
  • Consider that true change comes only when someone's behavior causes him to encounter reality consequences such as pain, or losses of time, money, possessions, things he enjoys, or people he values.  
  • Learn the formula for sowing and reaping:  Give children freedom, allow choices and then manage the consequences accordingly.  The recipe for a growing person is grace plus truth over time.
  • See that the Law of Responsibility teaches children that they are responsible for themselves and their struggles as well as for their emotions, attitude and behavior.  
  • Identify two key principles the child needs to understand:  first that being unable differs from being uncomfortable and second, that he responsible for himself and responsible to others (that is the difference between help and rescue.) 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Study 2 (Chapters 2 and 3) "Kids Need Parents With Boundaries"

We mostly focused on Chapter 2 for this study, "Kids Need Parents With Boundaries."  The main points covered were:

  • Consider how your kids' behavior is a response to their environment, of which parents are a big part.
  • Think about the face that boundaries are more caught than taught.
  • Look at three ways that parents can influence their kids to develop boundaries by teaching, by modeling, and by helping kids internalize healthy boundaries.
  • Acknowledge that part of the challenge of teaching kids boundaries is tolerating and enduring your child's hatred of your boundaires.
  • Recognize five obstacles to teaching kids boundaries:  depending on the child, overidentifying with the child, thinking that love and seperateness are enemies, ignoring and zapping and being worn down.
Our questions and discussion focused on the five obstacles too boundary training: 
  • Depending on the Child:  As your child's major source of love, you provide the closeness, intimacy and nurture that sustains her.  Yet this closeness can become confused with a parent's need for the child.  This is called dependency. (p46)  
  • Overidentifying With the Child: Children need their parents to empathize with their pain, fear and loneliness.  But some parent's confuse their own painful feelings with the child's and project their problems onto the child. (p48)
  • Thinking Love and Seperateness are Enemies:  Disagreeing, confronting, or simply being different from your children does not indicate a break in the connection.  Structuring and being seperate from the child are not the same as a loss of love. (p49)
  • Ignoring and Zapping: Ignoring and zapping teaches a child that he can persist in doing whatever he wants.  By ignoring inappropriate behavior and not addressing things as they happen, he learns he can get away with murder nine times out of ten.  (p50)
  • Being Worn Down: Kids work us and work us and work us.  It is scary how they sense when we are weak and ready to give in to them.  Take a moment to consider why your child may be wearing you down.   (p51) 
The thing we all seemed to relate to the most was "ignoring and zapping."  This is where you are patient and tolerate your child over and over until you reach your limit, snap and "zap" them!  What really stuck out to me about this is when it said the child knows that nine times out of ten they will get away with the behavior so the risk is worth it to them!  How many times do our kids outsmart us?  We just have to be stronger then them one time and they will eventually learn not to take the risk because they know the outcome will be consistent.

This was a brief recap of our last discussion.  Now that we are caught up, I'll provide more of the dicussion questions and activities during the week that we are off!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Study 1 (Chapter 1) "The Future is Now"

Our first study was on Chapter 1 "The Future is Now" (p13). 

The key points discussed in this chapter were:
  • Consider that parenting is best done with an eye to the future.
  • Look at three aspects of a parents role:  guardian, manager and source.
  • Be introduced to the concept of boundaries.
  • Begin to see the role boundaries can play in giving kids the motivations, the skills, and a plan for living a loving, responsible, righteous, and successful life until God and others.
One thing that seemed to be a common theme among us is that we go into "survival mode" and parent just to get through the current trying moment, instead of thinking about how it will affect their future.  How many times do we find ourselves thinking, we'll deal with it later or the next time?  Are we using the opportunity for correction of a single offense or for character training?

One of our jobs in parenting is to raise our children to be responsible adults.  We can't do that if we're just trying to survive.  Another great point was this:  "Is what you are doing being done on purpose?  Or are you doing it for reasons that you do not think about, such as your own personality, childhood, need of the moment or fears?"  (p14) Once I read this and became conscious of it, I realized that I am guilty of over indulging my children in certain areas that I felt my mother neglected me.  Here's what we need to remember:  we are not our mothers and our children are not us!

Children are Not Born With Boundaries
"A boundary is a 'property line'  that defines a person; it defines where one person ends and someone else begins." (p17)

The Three Roles of a Parent
1.  Guardian:  "A guardian is legally responsible for a child, and in that capacity, protects and preserves the child." (p19)
2.  Manager:  "A manager makes sure things get done-goals are reached, demands and expectations are met." (p20)
3.  Source:  "Children come into the world without resources.  They don't know where the food is, how to get shelter, or how to obtain the money they need for basic supplies.  Parents are the source of all good things for the child." (p20)

This is just a short recap of Chapter 1.  After recapping the next two chapters, I will start to include the extra questions and exercises for those that want to dig even deeper! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring Schedule

Little Lambs Goes Viral!

We are now linked on the Sanctuary website!  If you want to invite your friends and give them an idea of what we're about, send them to our wesbite for a tour.

Go to:

Click on the Ministries Tab

Click on Little Lambs and it takes you to our blog!

I'm going to add our current schedule and all updates so that people who are looking for a church home with a moms group can find us.  Tell a friend!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Introduction to "Boundaries With Kids"

As I shared with you at our first study, my reason for choosing this book is deeply personal.  As an adult I've realized that many of my issues stem from my childhood.  Through counseling, prayer and reading the Bible I've come to understand how to deal with these issues as well as avoid them in the futre.  Reading the book "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend literally changed my life and how I deal with people and my relationships. However, what I realized is that I was missing a key component:  how do I BREAK the cycle so that my kids aren't in counseling twenty years from now because of what I did wrong? 

As parents we often feel lost without a map.  The Bible should be our guide to everything in life but we don't always know how to apply the principles specifically to parenting today.  How many times do we wish someone would just TELL us what to do?  While "Boundaries With Kids" isn't a magical answer, it is a great resource to use WITH our Bible and is based on Biblical principles.  Someone just did the work for us!

Some key things mentioned in the introduction are great at summing up what this book is all about.
  • This book is not "problem centered" but "principle centered." (p9)
  • This book is geared much more toward how you, the parent will behave with your child than toward you educating your child. (p10)
  • Learning boundaries has a lot to do with going through experiences such as receiving consequences for behavior, learning to take ownership, and dealing with the boundaries of others. (p10)
  • "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces are harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."  Hebrews 12:11
  • The boundary building process begins with you!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bringin' Bloggin' Back!

I stopped doing the blog for a while because on my last post I did a "survey" to see if anyone read it and got zero responses - not one!  I thought maybe the information was too redundant since I'm emailing AND posting on FB AND doing the blog.  Now, however things are a little different!  First of all, there are lots of new moms!  Maybe some of them are bloggers and NOT on Facebook!  I want to use every avenue available to get information out to everyone.  I also figure this is a great way to expand on our study and give NEW information - not just what's already available to you elsewhere.

This book is amazing and has SO much to offer!  I am never able to cram everything in to one study session but realistically, lengthening the study with all our kids in the next room isn't feasible.  Like clockwork, the noise gets louder and the crying begins right around an hour in! 

SO I will use the blog to go more in depth with the study for those of you who want to!  There are a lot of exercises and thought provoking questions available in the guide that we don't even have time to touch on!  I love reading blogs and find so much encouragement from my fellow moms and from Pastor Rod and Ridge's blogs.  I want to offer the same encouragement and information to my fellow mommies!

I'll backtrack a bit and start with study 1.  This will also be a good way for people to get caught up who weren't able to join us from the beginning! 

Blog on!