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!