LIFE IN BALANCE-Raising Disciplined Children

“Train up a child in the way e should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”- The Bible

Here are a few tips on raising a well- behaved, disciplined child. Now, because my children are little and I am writing from experience, this will apply more to new parents and parents with pre-school children.

1. Take responsibility. Children are primarily taught by their parents especially in the first few years. No preschool is going to do this for you. You have to decide as a parent that there are only two choices: I will be responsible for my child’s discipline or I will be responsible for my child’s discipline.

2.Be realistic. Active disciplining of a child cannot really start before 9 months of age. Prior to that, however, routines should be created so that a child knows what to expect.

3.Be consistent. The Bible says, let your yes, be yes and your no, be no. This applies to child rearing. Something your child does cannot be right today and wrong tomorrow. Do not discipline a child depending on your mood. This creates a confused child. If she pulls the dog’s tail, don’t “time-out” her for it today and laugh about it tomorrow.

4. Be clear. If the consequence for hitting sister is a five minute time out, let your child know that. After a discipline, remind your child what he/she did and why such-and-such discipline was applied. Be concise. Children at that young age do not need a lecture on the original sin of man( 🙂 ).

5. Be disciplined.Be godly. Be disciplined yourself. Be law abiding. Be punctual. Keep your word. Keep your temper. Watch your mouth. Model the types of behavior you expect from your children. If you have a potty mouth, your child will too. If you are friendly your child will probably be too. In case you haven’t noticed, they pick up on your bad behavior more readily than the good behavior.

6. Be age appropriate in your expectations.There are certain behaviors expected from children of certain ages. Bring your child up to speed. A nine month old is expected to cry when sleepy, a five year old is not. A two year old is expected to throw tantrums a four year old is not. A one year old is expected to go “pee-pee” on himself a five year old is not. A three month old can be rocked to sleep, a nine month old should not. A three year old will get messy when they eat, that is not a discipline issue. One of my friends, Popee said to me, “We sometimes expect our children to know things that it took us twenty years to learn”. That gave me something to ponder.

7. Be verbal. Talk to your small children even when it is not an active “disciplining moment” and let them know what your expectations are. For instance while potty training my one year old, I used to tell her,”Big girls go pee-pee in the potty, not in the diaper”. Children usually understand more than we give them credit for. You have to tell them what to do! Do not assume that they know. If you want your child to sit down and not jump around screaming, please, by all means, tell them so. If you want them not to poke a hole in the frosting of the cake, tell them.

8. Be firm. You are the parent. Do not let your child wrest control from you. Do not think, they are too small, they don’t know what they are doing or- here s a favorite one of mine-if I do such-and-such, they will cry. Oh please!!! Get some backbone and do not be wishy-washy! No candy after six pm means no candy after six pm, no matter how much they cry. They will soon get the message.

9. Boundaries. Everyone has to learn at some point that there are things you can do, and there are things you cannot do. It is better for them to learn it now than learn it in a penitentiary. For example it does not matter how angry you are, you cannot hit mommy. I am astounded whenever I see two to three year old children in shopping carts hitting their mom because she said no to them picking up something. How ever did they get it into their heads that that was even an option to consider?! Once I heard a two year old boy say “shut up” to his mother. Guess what? Instead of dealing with the behavior she said, “oh he doesn’t know what he is doing”. I was shocked to my very core! If at the age of six he calls his mom the b-word should we be surprised?

10. Be loving. Do not treat your children with disdain,impatience or disrespect. Children have to know that you love them, no matter what the present situation is. It doesn’t matter if you have to give them ten time-outs in a day. Do not nag them or constantly go on and on about what they did or did not do. Relate with them on their level. Be nice and kind to them. Don’t just feed them, clothe them and send them on their way. Reach out to them, reward good behavior, treat them without partiality, be fair to them. Tell them you love them on a DAILY basis( even when they are grown). Manage your expectations.

Well, friends, hope this helps someone, have a great time with those little angels.

20130123-113603.jpg

Advertisements

LIFE IN BALANCE-New Year Resolutions or Realistic Goal Setting?

There is nothing magical, spiritually significant, or special about the first day of January except the significance that we ourselves attach to it. I like to remind myself that the Gregorian calendar is man made and was a reform of a previous calendar( the Julian calendar) which was itself a reform of the Roman calendar . There are also in use many different calendars( the lunar calendar, Igbo calendar, Hebrew calendar, the Chinese calendar etc) in use, side by side with the Gregorian. The point I am making is that you do not have to “make new year resolutions” ; you do not have to fall into despair at the end of the year; and you do not have to wait until the first of January to make the changes that you need to make in life.

The first of January is however, a convenient time to set goals, and , the span of a year is a good time to review those goals you set( depending on what those goals are).
Here are a few tips for setting goals and seeing them come to pass:

1. Set goals: This may seem obvious but you have to actually set goals for what you want to accomplish. What does it meant to set goals? This is not mere wishing. For instance saying, “I wish I could lose some weight” is not a goal. It is just that, a wish. At the end of the year, if you do not lose the weight because you never set a goal to do so, don’t be surprised. There are long term goals, eg “I want to sell 10,000 copies of my book by June”. There are short term goals eg “By next week I want to have cleaned out my garage”.

2. Set realistic goals: Only you can know what is realistic to you. For instance, a goal to save 100,000 by the end of the year may be realistic to someone who is a millionaire but not a struggling student. Goals that are too extreme set you up for failure and disappointment. It is better to “underwhelm” 🙂 yourself than overwhelm yourself.

3. Be specific: “I wanna to lose some weight” is different from “I am going to lose 10 lbs in the next 6 months.” Do not be vague. A specific goal is measurable while a nonspecific one is reduced to the level of a mere wish.

4. Make plans to achieve your goals: If you want to lose 10 pounds, join a gym, eat more healthy foods. If you want to change careers you may need to go back to school. If you want a better relationship with God you will need to spend more time in prayer and the Word. If you want to write a book you will need to pick up a pen( or laptop or iPad) and start writing……make a plan

5. Write it down: Written words definitely have more power than when they are just thoughts in your head. Write your goals and look at them everyday. It will keep you on track.

Well, Happy New Year everyone. Be blessed

20130102-184641.jpg

LIFE IN BALANCE- I have a secret

* I don’t usually do two posts in a day, but unbeknownst to me my last post didn’t post!*

So. We have all been there. You have a problem. It could be a sin. It could be a bad habit. It could be a challenge. It could be the weight of guilt and shame for things that you did or were done to you in the past. Whatever it is, it is hard to deal with. You need someone to talk to. You need help working through the issue or the bitter, hard emotions that come with it. Whom do you talk to? Should you tell anyone at all?
This will help:

1. Talk to God: For starters tell God what your problems are and trust Him for a solution. God is big enough to dissolve your issues into nothingness and give you peace over things of the past. In Christ there is no guilt and shame, no condemnation. Talk to God about your feelings and trust Him to take your pain and turn it into joy.

2 Don’t tell all to all: Do not run from person to person, rehearsing your problems, issues, failures and guilt. Where did we all get the idea that the more we talk about a problem, they better we feel? That is really not true. For starters, that is a sure way to perpetuate the problem. Secondly, you will hear all kinds of different opinions which will confuse you. Third, not everyone has your best interests at heart and some people may purposefully give you wrong advice.

3. Don’t tell nothing to no one: Do not stuff your stuff. Negative emotions buried alive only eat you up inside and come out in negative ways, affecting your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. If you are in over your head, find a trusted person, who you look up to and talk to them. Everyone needs someone to talk to at certain points in their lives. Seeking help does not mean you are weak. Talking to someone does NOT mean talk to all and sundry.

…..to be continued……

20121212-162148.jpg

LIFE IN BALANCE- Modeling

Modeling?
Just stay with me.
Modeling is the act of representing something or the representation of something. To model is to create a representation or model of.
Are you still there?
Good.
Now, modeling, when it comes to parenting is the art of presenting to your children those behaviors, habits and deeds that you want them to take up.
A good number of people do not realize how important it is to be the person you want your children to be. The Bible says everything produces after its own kind. Even your hidden traits are likely to come out in your children. Praying for your children is a must, and discipline cannot be overemphasized. As parents, however we have a duty to behave in front of our children.

Do you cuss and swear and expect your children not to do so? Do you smoke like a chimney and think they will not become a smoker just because you said so? Do you bully and beat your spouse and expect your child not to be the schoolroom terror? Do you spend all day watching TV then turn around and call your child lazy? Are you rude to everyone and wonder why your child has a “sass-mouth”?

There are enough challenges out in the world for children, they do not need to have poor examples at home too. Granted, no family is perfect and we all need work. This piece is not meant to condemn anyone but to encourage you to make the necessary changes, your child’s future may depend on it.

20120924-110908.jpg

%d bloggers like this: