Friday, April 10, 2015

Best Parenting Advice I've Heard Lately

I was recently sharing with a friend something I'd noticed in my own life.  As a mom, I feel tempted to think that if I could just be more creative about consequences, I would SEE more progress in my children.  OR, if I could just say something really profound or utilize a new strategy, I would NOTICE the changes in my children.  I realized though that this isn't true.  The parenting advice found in the Bible is straightforward and simple, so uber-creativity isn't a part of that and neither are super profound fancy strategies and slogans. 

I've also noticed that parenting is very much like "I can't see the forest, for all of the trees."  Because I am so much involved with the day to day (trudging) of parenthood and discipline, I only get brief glimpses of progress now and then.  Because we can't see (or feel) any progress, we think we've gotta change something; we need a better stategy or to be more creative.  We are somewhat deceived because what we really need instead is to just keep on, keepin' on. 

Keep on loving.

Keep on being consistent.

Keep on hammering away at that character issue.

Keep on patiently correcting.

Keep on being there. 

Keep on staying with the simple. 

Keep on, keepin' on.

I was at my in-laws house the other day and picked up a book by Phil Robertson, in which he describes his (very concise) parenting philosophy. 

- Rules are made to be broken, so make few rules.
- If they break the rules, give 'em three licks.

Honestly, while many of you are probably squirming, I appreciated his frank simplicity.  Truly, you might find that that lines up with Biblical principles more than most parenting books out there right now!  We spend so much time thinking, "Ok, she mouthed off.  What should I do now?  Maybe a talking-to.  Ok, this time, maybe a spanking.  Ok, now what?  Losing privileges...."  A few quick smacks on the hinder consistently can make all the difference in the world.  (For the record, that's what the Bible recommends.)  It's quick. It happens with surety and it is discipline that actually happens. 

I'd like to note that a lot of folks think that they have to smack the kid to high heaven to make it work. 

Spankings work because of their consistency,
not because of their intense physical pain. 

A few quick licks consistently can help more character progress to occur than the rare overly demonstrative spanking sessions can.

Maybe you need to just keep on, keepin' on or maybe you need to get back to Biblical basics with a"three licks" approach.  I know I've been challenged lately to do a little bit of both.