I just finished reading the book "Loving Your Kids on Purpose" By Danny Silk. SOOO GOOD!!! I really liked it a lot. Tricia is on the last chapter and then we will be discussing it and watching the DVDs. As I read, I almost always tell Siri all my favorite parts. Well, here they are. It is long, but there are some pearls here. Enjoy!
The idea that there is somebody who has all the control and somebody who has none -is the root of all evil in relationships. That is the biggest lie you could ever teach your child. And it completely misrepresents the way that Jesus functions. This is a disrespect factory. You cultivate high levels of disrespect in your family system when you teach people: there's one of us who has power, and it's not you!
Obedience and behavior control is not the primary goal! Love and relationship is. It is very easy to mistake things with a compliant child. It's easy to mistake obedience for a good relationship. As long as the child is doing what you say, your relationship seems fine. Moment obedience is threatened, the relationship is threatened. This basically makes children resent you behind your back and they will never end up carrying your values or protecting your heart when you're not around. That fear based obedience. Not honest or genuine love.
We can create freedom that flows from the inside or constraints that flow from the outside. But God's kingdom is full of freedom and we better teacher children early how to operate with loads of freedom and choice. And we must introduce freedom to our small children and allow them to practice messing it up while they still have a safety net in our home and the stakes aren't as high.
This get at the heart: Nothing will ever be more important than my connection to you, kids. Your homework will never be more important than my connection to you. Your obedience, your respect level and your success will never be more important to me than my connection to you! I am here to help cast out the anxiety in your life and to have a deep heart connection with you.
You cannot control other people, and nobody can control you but you. We can learn very young that anger and violence will help us get the results we want from other people. And then we subtly do it with our children. This is not Kingdom parenting! If you do that one more time, I'm going to pull this car over…. I swear if I hear you say that again I'm going to… these are just not appropriate parenting methods.
Fear and love are opposites, biblically. If we want to create a normal for our family relationships in which love rules our interactions, then we simply must refuse to partner with any and all fear and punishment.
Now, the cool thing is that when we believe that we are the only ones who can control us and we exercise the power of self-control toward loving God, our spouses, and our children we are partnering with the Holy Spirit and inviting his kingdom to reign in our homes. But when we partner with a spirit of fear, we invite the kingdom of intimidation, manipulation, and anger to reign. The spiritual environment in our homes really boils down to the presence of either fear or love. No matter what your intentions or goals are as a parent, the fact is that you are cultivating a loving or fearful spiritual environment in your home, and that is what is really influencing your children.
You will never care well for kids until we care well for ourselves. We have to first protect what we have and gain some things before we can give it away.
We must set boundaries. Boundaries communicate value for what is inside those boundaries. If you have several junk cars out in the field it's called an eyesore. You put a fence around those cars, then you have a wrecking yard. If you put a building around those cars you have a garage. With each increase of limits you increase the value of what's inside. When you raise the level of what you require before you will allow access, you increase the value of what you are protecting.
Some parents have absolutely no boundaries for their children and basically are communicating to their kids that their heart and their needs don't matter at all. They have let their kids know that they do not respect themselves. So why should the kids respect them? But there are also other parents who are more aggressive and teach their kids that they have an electric fence around their lives and they need to stay away or they will get zapped. My needs matter and yours don't. Both of these extremes are very unhealthy.
A key here is that we must learn to control what we can control… Ourselves! Examples: "I will speak to you when your voice is as quiet as mine. I will take you to soccer as soon as you're done the vacuuming."
As parents, we decide in each situation what we are going to do. And we decide that we will not be controlled by another human being. We will control what we can control. Ourselves! And they get this...our children realize that we are very powerful and secure and they want to grow in the same.
We do not control other people. What we do control-on a good day-is ourselves. You want to feel powerless? Try telling other people what to do. The best way to set healthy limits in our relationships is to get good at telling other people what we are going to do, and then letting them decide how they want to deal with that.
Kids will always try to put their problem back in your lap. Don't allow it. We must make sure every mess (and messy situation) has an owner. Every problem must find its owner before we can offer a solution.
Car alarm goes off in a parking lot. The only person that can solve it is the owner. Anyone else tries to solve it by breaking a window and ripping out wires is a violator. This is how it is when we try to solve other people's problems in relationships.
We cannot falsely protect our children in the name of love.
Discipline works from the inside out, and punishment tries to work from the outside in.
There are three important messages discussed throughout the book that you want your children to receive: 1. You want your child to know that you are sad for them because they have a problem. Even though you cannot force them to be sad when they make a mistake, you can let them know that YOU are sad because you know that consequences of their poor choice will probably be painful. 2. Second, you want your child to know that you believe in their ability to figure out what to do and to do it. 3. Finally you want your child to know that you are happily willing to help them figure out what to do. Once their little hearts open up, we get to work together!
Your only hope to influence your teenager is a heart connection. You cannot govern a teenager with rules. You can govern the little ones with the rules, but when kids begin to grow up, your influence will be determined by their value for their relationship with you.