Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Yes" and "No" (part 2)

Read Part 1 {here}

Quote from On Becoming Baby Wise:
“Many Parents consider discipline to be a means of controlling a child’s actions at any given moment.  It is that, but discipline is also much more.  The primary objective of early discipline is to lay down a foundation upon which the next stage of development can be built.  Young children learn from concrete experience, not abstract parental reasoning, so we train by instruction and reinforce compliance with encouragement and correction (Don’t forget that encouragement part!) Initially, you will encourage and correct your child’s actions.  In time, your focus will be his or her heart, wherein all the child’s actions originate.”

Some theorists believe that parents should assist the child in the impulsive ways they already respond never “actively direct the child’s moral conscience”. For example, they would create and control the child’s circumstances and environment in order to protect them psychologically.  As Christians, we know that our natural way of doing things can be far from what God wants from us.   When we became Christ followers, God did not bring us straight to heaven or transport us to an ideal environment with like-minded believers where we would all act perfectly.  Instead, we stay in this broken and sinful world.  He calls us to change our behavior and realign our mindset to be like His through the working of the Holy Spirit.  In the same way, Christian parents need to realize that we cannot perfect our child’s environment, but we can love and train them to have a heart like Christ that shines in any situation.

Like all parenting lessons, discipline starts with the little things and begins at home.  I may be able to rearrange furniture in our living room and put away “no touch” items, but what happens when the surroundings change and I find myself in a friend’s home.  That busy toddler will think he has free reign in all environments and will not understand my frustrated yell or frantic “no”.  

As much as we want to give our children everything they could ever want, we know as adults that certain desires will not benefit them or could be dangerous.  God is the same way.  He loves us far greater than we could ever imagine, but have you ever had an unanswered prayer or a door clearly shut by the Lord?  More than just teaching our children obedience and trust in earthly issues, we need to help them see that sometimes God says “no” to us for our own protection or because there is something far greater he has in mind.  The earlier our children learn that the world, as much as we might want it to, does not revolve around them, the greater success they will have in this world and in their walk with Christ. 

Now, let me tell you that Patrick and I are learning.  Everyday.  We thought the first years of marriage showed us just how selfish we were and now, as parents, we continue to see just how much more Christ is calling us to sanctification.  This is a whole new world for us and we definitely don't know everything... and who knows, by our next child, we may realize that we didn't know anything!  But thankfully, we are able to glean from our parents, mentors, Christian authors and most importantly Scripture as we struggle through this blessing of parenthood.  What we do know is that this is a glorious privilege not to be taken lightly.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
Psalm 127


  1. Savannah I LOVE these parenting posts! you are an AMAZING momma and I feel blessed to do mothering along side you, because I have a built in parenting expert bestie! You really have been blessed with HIS wisdom and I just want to encourage you and say how WONDERFUL you are doing :)

  2. Love this! I'm a babywise mom and love the guidance it brings. Exie Anderson