Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Chapter 4

 

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“Yes, children really are people. And if we fail to honor the truth that the only person who can control you is you when we interact with our children, we are inviting them to prove it to us. If you say, ‘Get over here right now,’ even a compliant child can demonstrate to you that you don’t control her. She simply dictates the speed at which she complies. That’s when we start reaching for hammers, for ways to intimidate our kids in order to convince them that we do control them. But it’s a lie, and as long as it guides your actions, you will keep manufacturing ways to convince people to give their self-control to you. When you do, you effectively train your children to be controlled by andy, aggressive people or whiny, manipulative people, and try to control others in the same way.” from Chapter 4 of Loving Our Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk

Oh this truth that has been a theme in this book has been so convicting for me. I can’t control my children. I can’t make them do anything. I learned this especially when I had a particularly strong willed child around the age 3-4years old. I learned quickly that I actually could not make her do anything. Sometimes consequences just don’t work.

What I wish I had learned then is that had I worked on building a loving relationship with this child instead of getting angry that she wasn’t compliant and doling out discipline and consequence time after time, often in anger, things might have been a little different and improved with time.

Another aspect of this is something we really need to work on. Not letting others control us by making us angry, frustrated, etc. This goes back to chapter 3, “can I control myself even when my children are misbehaving?” Am I going to GIVE AWAY my self-control?? I don’t want to do that.

I have tried and tried to tell my kids that if you will ignore it when someone is bugging you they will stop. But for some reason my kids have trouble with this. And we have lots and lots of annoying sibling behavior toward each other. I’m convinced if they all acted like it didn’t bother them all the annoying behavior would stop. LOL!! I need to help my kids understand that regardless of what their sibling is doing to them, they still have control of their own reaction and attitude!

Facebook Live Video on Chapter 4

Loving Our Kids on Purpose Book Discussion

Let’s Discuss

Have you ever believed that your feelings control you and you’re incapable of changing them? I have. It’s been a difficult paradigm to shift.

How can we help our children understand their own FREEDOM to make WISE choices?

Find all the posts on this book here.

Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Chapter 3

 

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“Taking good care of our children begins with learning to take care of ourselves.” Danny Silk from Loving Our Kids on Purpose

Oh this has been hard for me. I will admit, it’s still hard for me. I am one of those people that needs margin in my life. Maybe even more margin than the average person. Highly sensitive, introverted, highly creative and over-thinker of all things. HA!!

So, when I take time for myself I usually end up feeling guilty.

I know in my head that I should feel no guilt. I need to care for my body physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I know that I feel better when I’m exercising and in God’s Word regularly. When I feel better, I parent better. And when I feel badly, I parent terribly. I mean really badly. So, it should be a given that I take time to make sure my body and soul are well fed and nurtured. But, it’s just not always that easy is it.

The other portion of this chapter that really struck me was this quote:

“Your children are learning right in front of you, and you must understand that you cannot take their learning personally.” Loving Our Kids on Purpose chapter 3

OUCH. In years past I could have been labeled the queen of taking things personally. I hate to admit that to you.  I have come a long way, baby, but still have a ways to go. I do tend to take things my children do personally. I find myself thinking, “if I had done xyz as a mom my kids would not be acting like this.”

Ugh. That is a miserable place to be. Thankfully, God’s grace is bigger than all my parenting mistakes. Secondly, my kids are all old enough to be making bad choices all by themselves. HA!

 

Loving Our Kids on Purpose Book Discussion

Facebook Live Video

Here is a short video discussing this chapter:

Let’s Discuss

How do you care for yourself so that you can better care for your family?

What ways do you feel responsible (possibly over-responsible) for your kids actions? When do you begin to see them as their own person capable of making good or bad choices that are not necessarily your fault as the parent? It’s so hard for me to begin to see my kids that way. 🙂 But I know God created them to be their own person and I need to view them as such. I can’t take too much credit for the good (God’s grace!) so I shouldn’t take too much credit for the bad?!? Thoughts??

Find all the posts on this book here.

4 Ways I’m Choosing Joy This Summer {& A Prayer}

4 Ways I'm Choosing Joy This Summer

The last day of school!! Everyone jump for joy! I think!? 🙂

Summer is such a fun time of year for families, but it can also be stressful. I will admit, that as a mom, my children do better with a routine. Often during the summer our routines and structure go out the window. This can cause stress on all fronts! When the children are running around wild, the mom starts to get stressed. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything. {grin}

Dear fellow mamas, let’s make a choice this summer to choose joy over stressed out frantic! Are you with me?

What does that mean exactly? How can we choose joy over being stressed out?

Well, every family is unique, but I’m going to tell you what I am working toward for our family this summer! A plan is a must. Let’s be intentional, moms.

Our children deserve a well-earned break! And for those homeschool moms out there, like myself, we need a break, too! But, 24 hours of freedom might be a tad too much for our kiddos to handle.

So, this summer let’s be intentional about spending time with our kids and making happy memories together. Let’s be intentional about including Jesus in our days. Let’s be intentional about choosing to look and find joy in the long blazing days of summer.

4 Ways I’m Planning to Choose Joy This Summer

Make a plan. Instead of trying to fly by the seat of my pants, I do better if I have a plan ahead of time. This doesn’t mean I have a down-to-the-minute plan, but that I have a general idea of what our days will look like. For you, this may be looking at the week ahead and saying, “Ok, Tuesday and Thursday will be at the pool, Wednesday we will go the library and Friday we will get together with friends to play.” Make a plan that works for you!

Offer incentives. Not everyone agrees that incentives are good, so you do what is best for your family! For us, offering electronics as rewards or incentives helps us to be productive the rest of the day! My children will be given a list that requires certain things to be done each day this summer BEFORE getting on their electronics. Read for 30 minutes, clean your room, brush your teeth, do something outside for 30 minutes, etc. Things like this help our kids to know that there is a world outside of their device and that they may even have fun doing other things if they will give it a try! Honestly, we spend lots of days at the pool, so on the days we are home, I’m ok with more electronic time.

Let the messy kitchen go. This one is hard for me. But, I’m going to try my hardest to choose the pool over cleaning the kitchen, playdates with friends over vacuuming the carpet, and heading to the zoo instead of cleaning the toilet. I like a clean house. In fact, often a messy house can stress me out. But, making happy summer memories with my children definitely needs to come first!

Start your summer days with God. During the rush of the school year we don’t always get to start our days together. This summer is a great time to do a short devotional or Bible study with your kids! Turn on worship music in the mornings as you’re preparing breakfast. Find something created for the ages of your children and go for it! It can be simple! I also like reading through one of the shorter books of the New Testament with my kids over a month’s time. Choose a book like James or Philippians, read a few verses each day and discuss! By the end of summer you will have studied a book of the Bible with your children!

A Summer Prayer for Moms

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of this summer. Thank You for the days You’ve ordained for us to spend with our families. Thank You for the gift of these children. Thank You in advance for how You are going to draw our families closer together in our relationships this summer.

God, we confess to You that sometimes summer stresses us out. I ask that You gently remind us of the gift of summer. I ask that You convict my heart when I see my children as an annoyance and not a blessing. I ask that You remind me to cherish each moment, even the hard ones, because You are making us more like yourself.

Lord, even on the hard days, remind us that love is patient and kind. Love doesn’t envy or boast, it isn’t arrogant or proud. Love doesn’t insist on its own way. Love isn’t irritable or resentful. Love doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing. Remind us of Your perfect love. And then, by the power of Your Holy Spirit living in us, help us to love our families in that same way. Convict us when we aren’t patient and kind with our children. Help us to choose better next time.

God, this summer we want to choose joy. We are asking You to help us to make the better choice. Help us daily to put aside our own desires and choose to put our children and our relationships first. With Your help we can be the mothers You have called us to be.

Thank You in advance for how You are going to work in our families this summer. Thank You for for the joyful moments and the days we have with our children. Thank You for being the perfect example of unconditional love. We ask You all these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Summer Checklist

One thing that helps me to be intentional and not allow the kids to just sit around on their devices all day is to use a checklist!

Feel free to print as many copies as you need for your children. Laminate and use dry erase markers each day if your child needs to actually check it off.

Summer Check List PDF

Summer Check List

 

Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Chapter 2

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“The lie that we can control others is the biggest lie in human relationships. If we can be delivered from this one, deeply rooted lie, then there is hope that we can change the dynamics that cause so much anxiety between people.” Danny Silk from Loving Our Kids on Purpose chapter 2

I am going to be honest here and just admit that the first several years of parenting I felt like a failure when I couldn’t get my children to do what I wanted them to do.

An older, wiser parent said to me at one point, “Candace, you are not the Holy Spirit for your child. YOU cannot save your child. Only Jesus can do that.” 

And it’s like a lightbulb went off. Not only am I not the Savior for my children, but I also am not inside their little heads and hearts coercing them to do things. There comes a point where I cannot physically make my children do anything. And especially when you have a strong willed child, you are going to learn that very quickly. 🙂

For me, this lesson has been huge. I need to focus on building a relationship with my children, not be so focused on making sure they obey the first time that I miss what is inside their little hearts.

Can You Manage YOU?

This was the next eye opening lesson in chapter 2 for me! When my kids are pitching a fit, angry, arguing – with me or a sibling – can I control my own reaction? Can we, as parents, say “I will be a loving respectful parent no matter what you do?”

I am sad to say that I have not always been this parent. I still struggle. But I”m trying and at least now I am AWARE of my own reactions and how I cannot let my children’s mistakes or bad behavior determine my actions.

“But so often we give our self-control away to the mistake of our child – or our spouse, our parents, our friends, or others. When we give our self-control away, our thinking turns off and our emotions kick up. And when our emotions get flailing around, it’s a little like being intoxicated – filled with poison.

When we allow the mistakes of others to manage us, to dislodge us from our goal of being loving and respectful, what we are actually submitting to is a spirit of fear. Fear is the primary thing that reigns in the life of a victim, in the life of a person who is motivated by an external system of controls. Remember…fear has to do with punishment. Fear and intimidation cannot help but rule the household of those who believe they can and must control each other when they make mistakes, and use anger and violence to do it.” Danny Silk from Loving Our Kids on Purpose chapter 2

Tell me I’m not alone! How many of you have given our self-control away to our kids? They get riled up, I get riled up. Ugh. Awareness is the first step and I’m so thankful for this book and how God is using it to open my eyes so that I can work toward building better relationships with my kids!

Loving Our Kids on Purpose Book Discussion

Facebook Live Video

Here is a short video discussing chapters 2 & 3.

Let’s Discuss

Why is it important to be able to tell yourself what to do and to do it? (Telling yourself you will not lose your cool over your kids mistakes. Keeping your self-control.) Where do you need more of the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT of self-control in your life?

Do you allow the mistakes of others to get you off track from your goals?

Take it a step further back, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS for your family and in your parenting?

Find all the posts on this book here.

Loving Our Kids on Purpose: Chapter 1

 

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“Do your family relationships manifest the fruit of peace?” 

“Does the motivating factor in your parenting match up with what drives the Father’s heart toward His children?” 

“This book will show you that the goal of obedience and compliance is an inferior goal…” Danny Silk from Loving Our Kids on Purpose

When my children were younger, I read a lot of books and had parenting discussions about “first time obedience.” I thought it was the only way to parent as a Christian. I’m not saying this is wrong, I think there are SO many factors. But, for me, it took love out of the equation. I wish someone had told me to first seek a RELATIONSHIP with my children instead of seeking obedience first.

I was harsh with my children and it probably is one of my greatest regrets. I also was deep in the throes of depression, which made me more irritable. If I dwell on those few years when my children were small for long, I fall into discouragement feeling like I’ve ruined my children.

So, I can’t stay there. I can focus on today. I can praise God that His mercies are new every morning.

So, for today, how can I build my relationship with each of my children? How can I pursue the fruit of peace? What does that look like TODAY?

I love how chapter 1 discusses the Pharisees and the greatest commandment. The greatest commandment is to love God and then to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus was encouraging the Pharisees to pursue relationship above the rules. “Love and relationship are the bottom line of the Kingdom, and they must be ours if we wish to establish a Kingdom culture in our homes.” Danny Silk

Loving Our Kids on Purpose Book Discussion

Let’s Discuss

I would love to hear your practical tips and suggestions for pursuing PEACE in your home TODAY. How do you work to build relationships with your kids?

One thing I have felt convicted about but seems hard for us to follow through on is special “date time” with each child. I need to get back to that.

Find all the posts on this book here!

 

Facebook Live Video About Chapter 1