Monday, March 9, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three! – Ch. 8

Welcome to the eighth week of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count To Three!   If you didn’t read, no worries!  Just join along with us anytime.  It’s quick and easy to get caught up.

This chapter dealt with verbal correction during discipline.  I love that Ginger began by challenging us to look at our own motives when administering discipline.  At some time or another, I believe that every mother has used angry words towards her children when she is embarrassed or inconvenienced by sinful behavior.  I am sad to say that I certainly have.  At times like that I am called to repent and ask forgiveness for responding in the wrong way.  The most impactful quote for me from this chapter was on pg. 86:

“If our motive is sinful, we will give reproof in a sinful way and our children will view it as a personal attack or an act of vengeance.  This may result in them becoming angry rather than repentant.”

Out of all the “angry” children I have worked with over the years as a teacher and a school counselor, I can assure you that behind every angry child, there is an angry caregiver.  One of two things usually happens…these same children will grow up and continue the cycle of verbal and/or physical abuse with their own children, or their anger and feelings of worthlessness will be turned against themselves and result in eating disorders, addictions, abusive relationships, etc.  Of course the good news is that God may choose, in His infinite mercy, to save them and help them walk a new path.  However, even if that happens, they will continue to struggle with remaining anger.

Oh, how important it is for us to examine our hearts and not be a stumbling block for our children!  And if we do respond in a way that is not honoring to God, we should confess our sin and ask forgiveness of our children.  Then, they need to see us respond in the correct way with love and self-control.  While certainly not ideal, God may choose to use our sin and repentance for good in our children’s lives rather than evil. 

The example that Ginger used on pp. 87-88 to teach our children not to interrupt was golden.  It’s definitely a work in progress in our household right now, but the concept of a child respectfully touching mom’s arm to get her attention is such a great way to train our children not to rudely interrupt.  When the mom covers her child’s hand with her own it is the perfect way to communicate, “I love you.  You are important to me.  Thank you for being patient until I can talk with you.”  Teaching a young child not to interrupt goes right along with teaching self-control, patience, and empathy for others’ needs.  Believe me, your child’s future Sunday School or classroom teacher will appreciate it!

I will close by mentioning the “Wise Words for Moms and Dads” chart that Ginger introduced on the last two pages.  I own this chart and have found it very useful.  When I first got it, I spent time in my Bible, reading all the correlating passages that Ginger has paired with the specific discipline issue.  Over time, I have added a few of my own verses that I have found to speak to an issue.  I don’t refer to it every day, but studying it has helped me be more prepared to respond with biblical reproof.  And, when a particular discipline issue keeps cropping up, I go to the chart and re-read the correlating Scripture passages to refresh myself on how best to respond.

I hope that this chapter was useful for you as well.  Next week we will begin to discuss the biblical use of the rod.  Always a hot topic in both the Christian and secular community!  I invite you to comment below on this week’s chapter.  Discuss amongst yourselves!


Mimi said...

This was an excellent chapter and review. The chart is such a wonderful idea for any mom to keep on hand. I made my own when ya'll were little too.

Sarah said...

I think that this chapter was definetly written for me. The part on scolding was the particular one that really convicted me the most. I think I am going to mark the page in the book with the quote by H. Clay Trumbull about the dangers of scolding and read it several times a day.

Joanna J. said...

I was convicted, too. I'm always going to struggle with this, and I'm praying that God will allow me to grow in grace and patience as a parent. Part of my problem stems from my bossy band director days, and part of it is just sin. It helps me to re-read parts of the book and correlating scriptures as well.

Christa said...

Number 5 hit me between the eyes. Tone of voice...oh man! I was much more aware of my tone of voice this week, and noticing it in my child. This chapter helped me realize if I want him to watch his tone of voice I need to be modeling that to him. This is precisely what I love about this book. She focuses on looking at yourself and your responsibility as a parent, and then once you are under control you can discipline in a Godly way. I actually re-did a reproof with him, when I realized my tone of voice was not correct.

I also bought the Wisdom for Moms pamphlet and am going through the verses. I have been sharing so much of what I have been learning from this book, with my sister-in-law, that I finally just bought it for her.

Joanna J. said...

I'm so glad that you are finding this study beneficial. It has certainly been so for me. Yes, it is amazing how much time I have had to focus on my own heart when learning how to discipline my child. Thanks again for your participation in this study!