By Sabrina Schlesinger
Houston, we have a problem!!! In today’s world we are faced with an epidemic of people who are entitled, offended with every little thing, and have no idea how to handle conflict. In order for us to change the way our nation is headed, we are going to have to first make changes at home. And moms…it begins with us!
We’ve all heard it said, “It takes discipline to discipline.” But when you are physically and emotionally exhausted from working, cleaning, cooking, and every other thing we have to juggle, sometimes the urge to ignore the tantrum is so inviting.
I was at a conference a number of years ago and went to a fabulous session on parenting. This one statement jumped out at me, “Discipline with 20 years in mind rather than the next 20 minutes.” This phrase changed my perspective so dramatically that I have never looked at parenting the same way.
It caused me to ask this question, ”What kind of adult do I want to produce?”
Here are the facts. Our kids are born little sinners. They are brought into this world with a bent towards selfishness. They are boundary testers, tantrum throwers, and surprisingly really good manipulators! They normally don’t like to share or be told “No!” Their sin nature is in full throttle the moment they come out of our bodies.
Here is another fact. One of our biggest roles as parents is to train our kids.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NASB)
That is actually a super scary scripture! HOWEVER we train our kids, good or bad, they will not depart from it! The ramifications here are huge.
If we are not careful, we can let these teaching moments pass by:
- When they flop on the floor in the middle of the store because they didn’t get the toy they wanted, we have an opportunity to teach them how to respond to disappointment
- When our kids grab the toy out of another child’s hand, we have the privilege to train them how to be patient.
- When our kids have a meltdown because they got the blue bowl instead of the red bowl, we have the responsibility to coach them on how to handle change.
Can I be honest? There is a school of thought that communicates we should ignore the tantrum, distract the child with another toy, and give them the red bowl. But we have to ask ourselves some questions…
- Is that helping my child or just making it easier on me?
- Am I only trying to get through the next 20 minutes?
- Am I parenting from God’s Word?
What we don’t correct, we endorse! When we ignore the issues, we are actually giving our stamp of approval on their behavior and choices. Our kids need us to fight for them and their future. They need us to do the hard work now so they can succeed when they are older.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” (NASB)
When I look at my children, I have a godly fear. I don’t just see MY kids, I see little souls that belong to God who have been entrusted to me. I will answer to God for how I stewarded them. Because of this, I have made a list of what kind of adults I want to raise so I will not cast of restraints when my mind and my body are telling me to take the easy way.
I want to raise an adult who:
- Loves the Lord and obeys His Word
- Knows how to humble themselves and ask for forgiveness
- Respects other people’s boundaries
- Has godly convictions and standards
- Can communicate effectively in conflict and crisis
- Processes anger, disappointment, and frustrations in a healthy way
- Appreciates and practices persistence and endurance
- Values hard work
- Sees the beauty in diversity
- Knows that God is their source
- Is generous with their time and assets
- Who is respectful to authority
- Can make a godly appeal
- Prefers and serves others
In order to get THOSE results, I must be deliberate and strategic. I will have to use every opportunity as a teaching moment, starting at the youngest of ages.
What about you? What kind of adult do you want to raise? If you haven’t made your vision list, it’s not too late to start.
It is our job to prepare our kids for the path that is before them. When difficulties, the unexpected, and hardships come, they will be ready for it because of you. And if we are lucky, they will thank us for it someday.
Sabrina is a mother to three biological girls and one adopted boy. She is also a pastor’s wife, freelance graphic designer, and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables, and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!