The Dragon Slayer

March 29, 2011

Yesterday I had a good old fashioned Bible study with my kids! I must've read half the book of Proverbs to them before they started asking "off topic" questions and fidgeting around like a man with ants in his pants and totally checked out on me. I have been telling them that they are instructed to "obey your parents" by God. I have come to the conclusion that they don't believe me. They just think that I enjoy the power trip and that I want to control them by having them NOT punch each other in the face and kick each other in the stomach as hard as they can. GASP! The nerve of me.

Lately, their disobedience has risen to new heights. They are so dense brave that they actually tell me "No!" when I tell them to do something. Now, back in the 70's, that would have earned you a fun game of "Hurry, Go Chase After Your Head Before It Rolls Away!"  I don't know what happened with the turn of the century to give these kids authority to run the house. I mean really.

I've been gaining confidence in my parenting authority lately. I have, in the past, been known to engage in loud discussions as a form of discipline. But, I've really been growing in this area and, for me, it has been so liberating and empowering. Although my kids might tell you differently. If I correct them at a normal decibel, they will say, "Stop yelling at me." In their minds, they equate correction for yelling. Hmmm. Looks like I've got some work to do to help them discern the difference. Anyway,  I don't know how things have gotten so out of hand lately, but it is RI-DON-CU-LOUS! Time to take my home back from those little bandits.

I find it necessary to change things up at my house every so often. They get comfortable with the same old - same old and punishment tends to lose it's effectiveness. (Don't tell Dr. Phil.) I still use the "card pulling" method. I just adjust the consequences. The 1st card is a warning.  The 2nd card they pull results in a loss of phone, iPod, and video games for the rest of the day. The 3rd card results in that child spending the remainder of the day in his/her bed with no toys or TV. (Books only.) The 4th card is the kicker. That results in the child losing TV time from 9:00pm - 10:00pm. Call me a bad parent, but, they've gotten used to watching TV as a way to unwind before falling asleep. This is the absolute WORST punishment I could dish out and it almost always results in a banshee-style full blown FIT!
The left is their "Chore Chart". They can earn a prize from the "Prize Box" by completing chores. On the right is their "Cards". This is where the magic happens. Below the card pockets is a list of House Rules for reference.

We all struggle as parents to get our kids to follow rules that they don't understand. My kids have no idea WHY in the world would I want them to keep their rooms clean. They really believe that my only goal is to torture them and make them as miserable as I possibly can. I have tried to explain it to them more times than I can count. They just don't get it. But, I've got to focus on getting them to trust my judgement. I remind them that it is their job to obey their parents. It is my job to teach, lead, guide, and correct them. Unfortunately, discipline is also part of that equation. If I make a mistake, then I have to answer to God. I try to explain that it is not their job to decide if I'm right or wrong. That doesn't matter. The only thing they need to be concerned about is whether or not they listen to their Dad and me.

Eventually, I'd like to get them to do all things without complaining. But, I can only slay one dragon at a time!

"Listen, my child, to what your father teaches you. Don't neglect your mother's teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor." Proverbs 1:8-9

"In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing so that no one can speak a work of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them." Philippians 2:14-15

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Awesome job there Dragon Slayer! I'ma just call you Duh'Slayah'. Has a nice ring to it. When your done slaying yours...I have a few you can slay over here! :)