"Which is why it's important for adults to
learn to practice affirmations later in life."
"Practicing the 'Art of Affirmation' begins with everyday
conversations so that it becomes most affective when applied
deliberately in the lives of those we love and would minister to."
Learning to Parent Children by Speaking
Support and Affirmation
by R.E. Slater
August 1, 2012
Some children are the products of overzealous and unjust spankings (some quite extreme and frightening). Many of us might feel that we were once one of those children. And if true, than it is all the more important to practice the respectful correction of children by minimizing a spanking (in my case, I would apply a small, but firmly applied, swat to my child's rear) while taking care to not correct in anger, emotional frustration, verbal abuse, or from personal control issues. In my view, it was better to positively instruct a child in the ways of life than to negatively correct from one instance to the next. Mostly because I did not wish to create a child who could become overly aggressive towards fellow siblings, friends, his/her parents, and/or a future spouse later in life. It creates harm and resentment, fear and distrust, of others when growing up, and studies have shown time-and-again that affective, positive reinforcement works nearly 100% better than harming, negative reinforcement.
Further, as my children grew up I was careful to not publicly embarrass them, threaten them with careless words, speak out of anger, or in rash judgement. And when I failed in these areas would apologize to the injured child and try to not repeat these hurtful actions. I nearly always tried to provide positive guidance and counsel while remembering my own limitations, feelings, and misperceptions (as we know, parents are not always right!). Certainly I failed. More times than I care to remember. But day-after-day I prayed for strength, patience, wisdom, and importantly, renewing and effective ways to be loving, kind and generous. This was the burden that I carried within. And where it came to correction I tried to error on the side of misunderstanding to be sure that I wasn't overreacting to my child's perceived actions of disobedience. Oftentimes it was simply one of better explanation and communication. Sometimes it was because I had set the rules too high, too selfishly, too one-sidedly, rather than allowing my child to make innocent mistakes and the freedom to learn from them. To not expect perfection but imperfection that could be molded and lovingly shaped. To allow a child's individualization to emerge and not mine own. To form his/her little personality into discoveries of strength and passion. To patiently teach character traits that would reflect Jesus' love and compassion to others.
Now I realize that each parent has their own methods of correction and accountability that works for them, but for me, this was the parental burden and counsel that I carried within me. Where it came to physical correction some psychologists will say to use a wooden spoon to apply a small spanking. Thus avoiding connecting the parental hand with violence and harm. For myself I preferred my hand because I could feel just how hard I had spanked my small child (my rule was only once, mind you) along with a time-out chair, or some other corrective form of learning (perhaps the removal of a reward; but not unduly, nor prolonged; and always in the spirit of benevolence, forgiveness, and reconciliation). Most importantly I wanted to speak love and not verbal abuse to my children. To avoid labeling them. To not speak unkind words to them. Harsh words from an angry heart. But rather, learn to speak my love, care and affection into their hearts and ears. Holding and hugging my little ones. Developing their trust and cooperation. Diligence and respect. And with every failure (whether mine or theirs) seek God for more wisdom, patience, and understanding. To not give in to despair and disappointment. But to see small spiritual victories that could grow and take root. Because one day our children will grow up. And I suspect that one day our children will need the strength of our communications and nurture to surmount life's unending temptations and hardships. The teen years can be hard. And life after schooling is no less. What we do now may perhaps provide guidance and counsel to our children later in life (or even, they to us!).
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. - Eccl. 4 (ESV)
Most upon my mind and heart was how to show benevolence, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We're not perfect people. Nor should we expect our kids to be perfect either. God doesn't expect us to be perfect but uses our flaws and our passions to lead and guide us. So that not all parental punishment needs to be prolonged if the child's heart is remorseful or repentant. I think parent's many times have to use a great deal of wisdom in the matters of correction (and mostly self-restraint if we're honest with ourselves!) and we try to take the best from our upbringing, while abandoning those childhood experiences which had hurt us the most, and were the most ineffective. I can only speak to my own experiences, but I knew that I was loved even as I also felt that my correction was at times too severe, or sometimes too harsh.
But worse than the physical correction was the verbal abuse and labeling I received later as a teen from parents whom I later discovered to be overwhelmed by life, though I did not understand it then. And yet, God had my heart even at that early age to forgive my parents and try to understand how my behavior was unhelpful to the family. They were good people who had my best interests at heart and were learning themselves the art of parenting as very young parents. So that, to all parents everywhere, please remember, that our words are venomous as poison and poison can rot the soul. Take heed then and learn to speak words full of the anointing oils of myrrh and frankincense as salves (healing ointment) to the soul and as balm to the broken heart. Children can recover but will carry personal baggage and scars from our actions. So then, as both a one-time child, and now as a parent, let us try to limit our responses to our children learning to live in love with one another. Let it begin today. Let us not wait any longer to love, apologize, forgive, and work hard at being at peace with our family. Our children. Our parents.
And as our children grow up eventually a parent must abandon all spanking. I did this when my children probably began to emerge into years 4 and 5. We went from some spankings occasionally to none at all, although I will admit that even as late as 7 or 8 years of age the occasional spanking did occur despite my own policy to eliminate all spanking in the very early years of childhood. Certainly the pre-teen years are off-limits from spanking and better done through other methods of skilled reasoning and administration.
Thankfully, kids have that inner awareness to know when you have their best at heart for them and oftentimes parents simply need daily reminders to be patient, to remain loving, and to pray for God's wisdom in these matters. And again, expect failure. On your part and on theirs. We will fail. Too many times actually. But it is in our failure where we will find our greatest strength and ability to show love and mercy. Forgiveness and compassion. Reconciliation and peace. Each broken trust. Each broken heart. Each broken communication can be repaired and made stronger. Learn to trust God and grow into these experiences of lost and heartache to discover the beauty of love's strength and resilience. No matter how difficult. How prolonged. How impossible. God's love can, and will, conquer all our fears and failures.
Most importantly, know that parenting is a difficult, timeful, job when done correctly. It takes the combined community of a parent's friends and support system to seek out wisdom and counsel in raising one's kids. Reading good parenting books, paying attention to your child's needs and frustrations, knowing their personality and what works or doesn't work, and making time for your kids is extremely important. Too many times I heard from parents that they were spending "quality time" with their children... but what they meant was that they were spending a "quantity of time" with their children by "doing something together while hoping for something more."
Too oftentimes it is a misnomer to believe that quality time can be spent with someone without first, and foremost, spending a quantity of time with that same person, when we really don't have it to give in the first place. Why? Because our priorities are out of whack. Children need time with their parents. Lots of it. Time we don't have but must somehow find. Hence, "Spending quality time cannot occur without first spending a quantity time with your child"... no matter what the books (or your friends) tell you. You deceive yourself if you believe this is true. Without play time there can be no relational construction. Its a fact of life.
As a result, I played with my children constantly. And they loved it. We learned to communicate to each other through the reading of books and playing games together; going out on field trips, the playground, or picnics; visiting family and friends; or visiting farms, orchards, zoos and museums. Each event gave me valuable input in understanding my child and helping him/her to grow up responsibly, emotionally and spiritually. As parents we must remind ourselves that all our hard work, our patience, our prayers, will someday pay off when we see our children become blessings to those around them. A child will never realize the pains of parenting until they become one themselves. But God knows and will reward your efforts. Perhaps even into our later years when our own children will need guidance and counsel in raising their own kids. These can be wonderful years. But they begin all the way back at childhood. So be wise. Be loving. Be constant in your affections and sacrificial sufferings (the bible calls this l-o-n-g-sufferings).
And remember that Life is going to be hard enough for our children. They will encounter soon enough mean teachers, unloving behaviors by family and friends, unjust circumstances in their lives, hurtful betrayal, misunderstanding, discouragement, disappointment, even harm or worse. As parents, take each-and-every day to speak love to your children. To be love to your children. To act love to your children. Learn to be kind, generative, and generous. Talk to your children and learn to listen to their needs. As example, though my son hid his heart and feelings from me I still tried to fathom his depths; though my daughter usually spoke once of something that was important to her I still had the obligation to catch that phrase/feeling in her heart and try to remember it, if even months later. Raising children is hard. It is not an easy task. We fail and try and fail again. But overall remember, it is God who will lead and guide, love and protect our children, knowing that we are weak and frail and wanting the best for our children. And yet, through all the trials and turmoil, God's greatest of gifts to any parent is our children. They are our legacy. And our blessing. As we are to them.
Learn to trust your children. Learn to speak affectionately to them. To speak in affirmation to their interests, their concerns, their insights and accomplishments. Don't be cynical. Or patronizing. Or overly judgemental. For many young parents just simply behaving themselves and learning to grow up is a difficult enough task let alone learning to raise children, loving one's wife, and maintaining some kind of job to provide food and shelter. To help you, seek out a loving church that will provide support, guidance and counsel to you, the parent. This cannot be emphasized enough. Within our community there are many wonderful churches that have inspirational children's programs spring, summer, fall and winter. Become a part of that ministry and let your children find new challenges and growing experiences. If you are abandoned by your family, or if your folks have passed away, know that God's people are there to become your new family. Let your needs be known and do not hide them. And where there is no help resist giving up. Stay to the course and become to others what you never had. Or wished you had. God is faithful and knows your needs. Don't stop believing this truth regardless of how hard life is today. It can, and will, change through your perseverance and longsuffering. Be at peace and know God's strength will be your sufficiency.
August 1, 2012
Lightpainting with Love
Rebecca's Basic Rules for Parenting
by Rebecca Trotter
July 15, 2016
My basic rules for parenting:
- Your child should see your face light up when they walk in the room.
- Always assume that your child has the best intentions, even when you know they don't.
- Treat your child the way you want them to treat other people.
- Touch your child often. Reach out and rub their arm or hold them when they talk to you. Rub their head as they walk by. Sit close while watching a movie or reading together.
- Leave them alone for long stretches of time. Let them be bored.
- Help them laugh at themselves.
- Let them have their own opinions and be wrong.
- Remember that your goal is to raise good adults, not good kids. Two different things.
- Don't be controlling.
- Deescalate, deescalate, deescalate.
- Responding harshly to kids' misbehavior gets less effective over time, responding gently to kids' misbehavior gets more effective over time. Use the lightest touch possible.
- Not every battle must be won and rising above the battle altogether gives you more power over time.
- When you have to lower the boom and hold the line, be unruffled, speak in short sentences and repeat yourself continuously without responding to their objections or protests, move your body into close proximity without being threatening, do not leave until compliance has started, praise and thank them for compliance, return frequently to verify that compliance is ongoing.
- What you respond most strongly to is what you will get more of.
- As early and often as is possible and safe repeat these words: "they'll figure it out eventually."
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15 Inspirational Christian Quotes
About Raising Children
March 29, 2011
Inspirational Christian quotes about raising children are helpful and needed for all parents. The best source of these parenting quotes and direction comes from the Bible. God’s word is sharp and penetrating and us parents need it to guide us in raising a family. I have four kids at home and know the challenges of day to day life. Parenting is difficult and I often feel like I am failing but I know if I trust in God and call out to Him for help and guidance that He will show Himself strong. Parents need to pray. Christian parents need to get others also to be active in prayer for their children. My prayer is that these Bible verses and Christian quotes on raising kids will spark some thought and action in your life today!
Inspirational Christian Quotes on Raising Kids from The Bible
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Genesis 18:19 For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
Matthew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Inspirational Parenting Christian Quotes for Raising Children
“The family should be a closely knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security; a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught; and a kind of church where God is honored; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed.”
“A child needs both to be hugged and unhugged. The hug lets her know she is valuable. The unhug lets her know that she is viable. If you’re always shoving your child away, they will cling to you for love. If you’re always holding them closer, they will cling to you for fear.”
Polly Berrien Berends
A wise person truly said, “It ought to be as impossible to forget that there is a Christian in the house as it is to forget that there is a ten-year-old boy in it.”
Roger J. Squire
I believe that if an angel were to wing his way from earth up to Heaven, and were to say that there was one poor, ragged boy, without father or mother, with no one to care for him and teach him the way of life; and if God were to ask who among them were willing to come down to this earth and live here for fifty years and lead that one to Jesus Christ, every angel in Heaven would volunteer to go. Even Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Almighty, would say, “Let me leave my high and lofty position, and let me have the luxury of leading one soul to Jesus Christ.” There is no greater honour than to be the instrument in God’s hands of leading one person out of the kingdom of Satan into the glorious light of Heaven.
Dwight L. Moody
Ask your children two questions this Christmas. First: “What do you want to give to others for Christmas?” Second: “What do you want for Christmas?” The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus. The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first.
We do not develop habits of genuine love automatically. We learn by watching effective role models – most specifically by observing how our parents express love for each other day in and day out.
You want to mess up the minds of your children? Here’s how – guaranteed! Rear them in a legalistic, tight context of external religion, where performance is more important than reality. Fake your faith. Sneak around and pretend your spirituality. Train your children to do the same. Embrace a long list of do’s and don’ts publicly but hypocritically practice them privately… yet never own up to the fact that its hypocrisy. Act one way but live another. And you can count on it – emotional and spiritual damage will occur.
Charles (Chuck) Swindoll
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
Charles (Chuck) Swindoll
Parents, you will teach your children more by scheduling regular times to nurture the relationship between husband and wife than you would ever teach them through a lecture on commitment. Although it is important for you pray to for your child, seeking the Lord for that perfect spouse for them, it is equally important that you teach them through your example how to cherish the future gift of a companion that the Lord has in store for them.
Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion that Sunday School is intended to ease them of their personal duties. The first and most natural condition of things is for Christian parents to train up their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I pray these Christian quotes and Bible Verses about raising children will inspire you to become a more biblical role model and parent to your child. I know I need to read through these often to be reminded of this!
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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More Bible Verses on Loving Your Children
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Colossians 3:20 ESV
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Psalm 127:3-5 ESV
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
1 John 5:14 ESV
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Matthew 5:48 ESV
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Proverbs 13:24 ESV
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Titus 2:4 ESV
And so train the young women to love their husbands and children...
Titus 2:3-5 ESV
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
John 15:13 ESV
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 14:6 ESV
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Matthew 6:25-34 ESV
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these....
Matthew 5:39 ESV
But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Proverbs 21:9 ESV
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
Psalm 113:9 ESV
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!
Exodus 20:1-26 ESV
And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me...
Genesis 3:16 ESV
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
2 John 1:9-11 ESV
Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
1 Timothy 5:8 ESV
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Ephesians 6:2 ESV
“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise)...
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...
Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Matthew 10:37 ESV
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 5:44 ESV
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you...
Matthew 5:28 ESV
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Proverbs 31:1-31 ESV
The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted...
Proverbs 29:15 ESV
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.
Proverbs 15:1-33 ESV
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent....
Psalm 78:5-7 ESV
He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments...
Psalm 78:1-72 ESV
A Maskil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children....
Psalm 51:1-19 ESV
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me....
Deuteronomy 6:6 ESV
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
Genesis 2:18 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Luke 6:35 ESV
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
Isaiah 55:11 ESV
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
Proverbs 22:15 ESV
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Ephesians 5:1-33 ESV
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God....