DISCIPLINE MYTHS part 2

This is part 2 of a 3-part series. For part 1, click here.

2. MY CHILD IS GOOD. HE DOESN’T NEED DISCIPLINE.

That’s what I thought too. My first baby looked so angelic I didn’t think he could do anything wrong. The first few months, all he did was eat and sleep and coo and make us smile even when he was asleep. He was such an adorable baby! He was the easiest, happiest baby I’ve seen. But when he started walking and talking, he learned to assert his will and insist on what he wanted. One such incident was when i told him to stay away from the electric fan. Inspite of my warnings, he was so mesmerized by it he decided to stick his little finger inside while it was running. Until now, his finger bears the scar of his foolishness.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicI remember when Janina was 2 years old, everyday I would give her chewable vitamins. I thought she loved it because everytime I put it in her mouth, she would give me a smile and walk away happily. One day when I was cleaning her room, I looked under her bed to check for toys that were left there, and to my surprise, I found a tiny pile of moist, sticky chewable vitamins. I realized that everytime I would give her a tablet, she would rush to her room, take it out of her mouth and hide it under her bed. How could my sweet 2-year old princess do that to me? Where did she learn to deceive her own mother like that?

I could go on and on with my stories. There is no denying it. Our children have the sinful nature. Well, our kids will always be adorable to us no matter what, but even with the cuteness factor, they are still sinners.

Prov.22:15 says “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” The bad news is no one is exempt. Even your easy, good-natured, happy baby has foolishness in his heart. It’s only a matter of time that this foolishness will manifest itself. The good news is, God has given us the tool to drive that foolishness out of their hearts: discipline.  The sooner we recognize that folly, the sooner we can drive it away.

Practical tips:

1. Whenever you see foolishness, or willful disobedience, always discipline them for it. Consistency is the key. The challenge is when we are tired, because we normally just let them get away with it. At the same time, you also need to consistently praise them and reinforce obedience.

2. Be careful not to mistake immaturity for foolishness. Immaturity is not knowing any better. If both my 7-yr old and 1-yr old make a mess during dinner, surely my 7-or old will get disciplined. But my 1-yr old is still too immature to have a mess-free meal.

3. The first few years are the telling stage. This is the time when you establish most of the rules and boundaries. Be patient to remind them. “Do not touch, do not hit, do not bite, do not eat the goldfish…”

Click here for Part 3 of Discipline Myths.

DISCIPLINE MYTHS

God has given us parents the responsibility to train up our children. He also gave us the manual. It’s the Bible. If only we would look closely at what His Word tells us about discipline, we would all be more convinced that He does want us to do it.

In my next series of blogs, I will be writing about the most common reasons I hear from parents who don’t feel comfortable about disciplining their children:

1. I LOVE MY CHILD TOO MUCH TO DISCIPLINE HIM.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicAnyone who was repeatedly hit out of anger by his parents as a child, or spanked by a leather belt all over his body, or yelled at and humiliated in public, would never think that discipline can be done out of love. And I don’t blame him. Any form of discipline that doesn’t respect the the rights and dignity of the child is abuse. I want to emphasize it, hitting is not discipline. Hitting is abuse and violence. And if you don’t know how to discipline your kids properly, I would rather that you just don’t. But I am talking about biblical discipline that our very own Heavenly Father has modelled for us through His Word and through our own experiences with Him. I am talking about discipline that is done within the context of a loving relationship. This is the kind of discipline that affirms our children and gives them security.

Prov.3:12 says because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in“. God disciplines His children because He loves us, so should we discipline our own children because we love them. Love and discipline are not 2 different things. I believe that discipline is a component of love. God promises blessings to those who are obedient. Which parent wouldn’t want God’s blessings for his children? Discipline, if done the right way, teaches us to be more obedient. Because I love my kids, I want them to receive the fullness of God’s blessings in their lives but that won’t happen if they are disobedient. But more than the blessings, my end goal in disciplining my children is so that they can live lives that are pleasing and honoring to God.

Prov.13:24 also says “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Again, we see that love and discipline are interrelated. This verse is clear that God doesn’t want us to spare the rod if we love our children. One of the key words in this verse is the word CAREFUL. We need to be careful WHY we discipline, WHEN we discipline and HOW we discipline. God will hold us parents accountable for how we discipline our children. Let us not take this lightly.

Here are some practical tips:

1. Don’t discipline when you’re angry.  Let the calm parent do it.

2. Discipline in private where others cannot see.

3. Always say statements like “I love you too much not to discipline you” or “I love you too much to let you walk away from God’s blessing.”

Click here for part 2 of Discipline Myths.

A CHILD’S BOLDNESS

Oh my! Have you ever given permission to your child to do something but at the back of your mind, he really wouldn’t do it anyway?

Image and video hosting by TinyPicThis afternoon I had a meeting in Ateneo with one of Nathan’s teachers. I told my other 3 kids to just wait in the car with the driver and helper. When I came back, Janina exclaimed, “Mom, I finally did it!” So I asked, “What? What did you finally do?” She saw a man smoking and she went down the car to tell him “Hi! Please stop smoking because not only are you killing yourself, but you are actually also killing me and my brothers. If you don’t want to die of bronchitis, tuberculosis, emphysema, lung cancer and other sicknesses, please stop smoking now. And also please don’t throw your cigarette on the ground but look for a trashcan. Thank you.” And Janina said he actually stopped smoking after that.

I didn’t know how to react. Did I do the right thing? I do remember her asking me if she could tell people who smoke to stop. And I did give her permission. (But really, I didn’t think she would actually do it.) Well, for one, at least I know I could admire her boldness. Not very many kids her age would approach an adult and confront him like that. And secondly, I was impressed at her knowledge of respiratory diseases (he he).

Well Janina did have a point. Smoking is bad and it harms our children as well. If Janina is that passionate about it, should I stop her?

WAIT YOUR TURN

Years ago, when Paolo and I just had one child, we hosted an American family who had several kids. Over dinner conversations, one child would interrupt his dad and he would just raise a finger to that child and carry on with his conversation. After the dad finishes his conversation, that’s the only time he would give his attention to his child. I would always feel sorry for that child who, in my inexperienced mind, was ignored by his dad. Didn’t the dad have to drop his adult conversation to give attention to his own child?

Today, having 4 kids, I often find myself doing the same thing to my children. It is quite a challenge to carry on a decent conversation with my husband with 4 kids around who all constantly demand my attention. What I now realize is that American guest of ours was teaching their kids to wait their turn. Most children lack patience. When they want our attention, they want it right away. Our kids often interrupt us and when they do, we need to teach them to wait their turn. Interrupting also shows disrespect for the people who are conversing.

Whenever a child of ours interrupts, (or often it is 3 kids interrupting all at the same time) we tell them “I’m sorry I am in the middle of a conversation.” Or we give their arm a gentle squeeze to communicate to them that now’s not a good time but we are aware they want to tell us something. As soon as we are done, we make sure to give them our undivided attention.

If we are successful in this, our kids will develop the patience and self-control to wait their turn in other things as well like playing with a toy or using the computer. They will also learn to respect other’s needs and put them before their own.

WRITING YOUR EULOGY

This week was sobering. It made a lot of people stop and think about life. And about death. My dear friend, Maileen Hern, passed away at 38 years of age because of breast cancer. I have believed God for her complete healing since day 1 but God had another plan. And His will is always good, pleasing and perfect.

So many people had so many nice things to say about Maileen. She inspired a lot of us to hold on in faith to God’s promises, to persevere in the midst of difficulty, to always focus our eyes on God. Her last words to her daughters were “Always be grateful” and “Always trust God.” Amidst her pain, she was still able to point her kids to God.

The death of a close friend reminded me once again of the brevity of life. My time will come. (Hopefully later than sooner.) And when my time comes I wonder, “What will people say about me?” And even more important is “What will my kids say about me? What legacy will I leave behind?”

Difficult questions. But I hope we will all take time to think about it. Death is sure. Let us make our lives count.

THE POWER OF WORDS

A few days ago, one of my children had an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration (in short, a tantrum, haha) and kept on putting herself down with words like “I have no purpose… Why did God have to create me?… I’m stupid…” When she finally calmed down and apologized for her outburst, I brought her attention to this article I came across with months ago that showed the incredible power of our words.

The Power Of Words Over Water

Can water be affected by our words? Dr. Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist, believes so. And he has proof.
Dr. Emoto took water droplets, exposed them to various words, music, and environments, and froze them for three hours. He then examined the crystal formations under a dark field microscope. And he took photographs.

The results were totally mind-blowing.
Here’s a photo of ordinary water without any prayer spoken over it. The molecular structure is in disarray.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The photo below is water after the prayer was said. It’s simply breathtaking.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Next, Dr. Emoto stuck a piece of paper with these words: “You make me sick. I will kill you.” Here’s how the frozen water droplets looks like under the microscope…
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Below is how water looked like with the words “Love” over it. The difference is amazing.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Wait A Minute—
Aren’t You Made Up Of Water? Yes! 72% of your body is made up of water.
Imagine how your words affect your own body. When you say, “I’m a failure,” or “I’m hopeless,” or “I won’t get well,” imagine how these words weaken your health. Make a choice to say the best words out there. Say often, “I’m wonderful,” and “I’m beautiful,” and “I’m God’s child,” and “God has a great plan for my life!”
It’s not only water. Dr. Emoto also experimented with cooked rice.
He placed one cup of cooked rice in two airtight jars. On one jar, he wrote, “I love you,” and on the other, “You fool.” Everyday for 30 days, Dr. Emoto would say these words to each jar of rice.
After 30 days, the “I love you” rice was still white. But the “You fool” rice was so rotten, it was black. How can you explain this?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I don’t know how accurate this research is, but what I’m sure of is what the word of God says in Proverbs 18:21
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

We need to watch not only what we say to our kids, but what they say to themselves as well.

CANCER AWARENESS

This morning, I got a text from a friend asking for prayers for her dad who’s going through chemotherapy. Unfortunately, it’s almost been every week that I hear news about someone diagnosed with cancer, a relative of a friend, or a friend of a relative, here and abroad. Here’s one article that I recently read which is helpful to women like me:

Cancer Makes Me Angry: One Mom’s Fight

Below is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, which has always been a source of comfort and encouragement. Let us continually declare God’s promises over our lives!

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

PRAISE BABY STEPS

I was getting ready to give Joaquin a bath. I took his shirt off and gave him instructions to go to the bathroom and put it in the hamper. He immediately walked away to do as he was told. When he went out of the bathroom, he was clapping his hands and saying “yey”, which meant “Mom, I did what you asked me to do!” So I clapped with him and said “Yey! Thank you Joaquin for obeying mommy !”

When we went in the bathroom for his bath, this was what I saw:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Oh well… he tried. I just hope he hasn’t peed in the hamper without my knowledge. 😀

I AM THE BIBLE MY CHILDREN READ

Charles Swindoll tells the story of four scholars who were arguing over Bible translations. One said he preferred the King James Version because of its eloquent old English, another preferred the American Standard because of its literalism and a third preferred the way the Moffatt translation captured the reader’s attention. After giving the issue considerable thought, the fourth scholar admitted, “I have personally preferred my mother’s translation.” The others scholars chuckled, but as he explained, “Yes, she translated it. She translated each page of the Bible into life. It is the most convincing translation I ever saw.”

Image and video hosting by TinyPicYou have probably heard people say, “My life is an open book.” Well it certainly is with children. They are reading about life from every page. They are finding answers to many of life’s questions: “How, as a wife, am I supposed to love and honor my husband?” “How am I supposed to spend my money?” “How should a Christian act?”

Not only are children reading the pages of our lives to learn what a Christian looks like, but they also are reading us to draw conclusions about what God is like. Think back to your own childhood. How did you perceive God? In your eyes, was He a harsh taskmaster who sat in the clouds, looking down with disdain every time you made a mistake? Did He carry a big stick, ready to whip you into shape? Did He keep a big score book where He made notations when you did something bad and gave you red check marks when you did something good? Or did you see Him as a loving Father with children clamoring around His feet and climbing into His welcoming lap? Did you see Him as a Daddy who tucked His children in at night and listened to them talk about anything and everything? Did you see Him as being not mad but hurt when you made a mistake?

Children are reading the pages of our lives.

(This article was forwarded by a friend.)