Monday, September 14, 2009

sheep catechism

one of the things i want my boys to know is WHO THEY ARE. i want them to understand their identity from a christian perspective: they are "little" men, made in God's image and the framework of their life is to love God and love people. i also want them to know that they are my sons and that i will love them no matter what.

just a quick glimpse into the way that i try to incorporate this into life with small children:

1) the sheep catechism
"is david a sheep" baaaa!!!! no!
"is david a horse" neigh! no!
"is david a dog" woof! no!
"is david a....."!!.......
"david is a little man, made is God's image!" (with hands held high)

this one is fun for the 1 year old stage when they are learning animal noises.

2) the son question

me: "why does daddy love david, (or you)? because david (or you) are daddy's....."
boy: "son!"

this one is fun at any age and seems to only get better as the kids get better. goes good with a tackle. (i have two boys! :)

3) greatest command

jesus says that the one greatest command in the ancient jewish scriptures is "to love Yahweh your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength," AND "to love your neighbor as yourself." i pray out loud for my boys often that they will center their lives around jesus and his summary of the scriptures.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Spirited" vs "Strong-willed" Child

Ok, so it's taken me a super long time to write, but I'm finally helping out here. :) Recently, (and by recently I mean a couple years ago) God has brought a few different discipline resources our way. For so long, we've felt stuck with how to best help our oldest son in different areas regarding discipline. Most Christian resources/people have basically said to spank or use other punitive forms of punishment. This was just not working for our son (or us for that matter). (Side note: for the first 3 years, I refused to call our son "strong-willed." This was mainly because just about everyone who has a 2-year old says their child is "strong-willed." So, I waited it out and sure enough after 2, battles were still tough and "more," as is typical for "spirited children.")

A book called "Raising Your Spirited Child" really put to words what Luke and I have been thinking for the last couple of years. We couldn't understand why the typical forms of discipline were not working for our child. This book describes so well the typical characteristics of a "spirited" (a better way for saying "strong-willed") child. It described how spirited children do not do well with things like time outs alone in their bedroom (because they'll tear the room apart). Another area to note with spirited children is that when left to cry-it-out as babies, they will often vomit or just escalate for hours/days.

When our son was a baby (and before I knew he was spirited), despite the norm, I really felt like we should not let him cry-it-out. Also, in the area of discipline and spanking, I've sensed that we shouldn't spank him either. Now after reading this book, I'm seeing that the God-given intuition was right. Spirited kids do not respond the way we want them to when using punitive forms of punishment.

So, as of right now, Luke and I don't have all the answers as to how each situation is played out, but I'm so grateful for this book and a few other resources that we've stumbled upon (more on those later...). May God give us the wisdom to raise kids that love God and others.