• Don’t Make Me Count To Three!

    Date: 2011.06.13 | Category: book review, parenting | Tags: ,,,,,

    I’ve been struggling lately with knowing HOW to implement the type of parenting that I want to practice.  I’m a huge fan of Love and Logic, and we use a lot of those principles in our home, but I feel like that’s not quite enough.  How do I teach my kids about faith in God?  I do I obtain first time obedience with a respectful attitude from them?  What’s normal toddler behavior, what’s disobedience, and what’s normal toddler disobedience?  How do I intentionally train my children spiritually at THIS stage- ages 15 months and 33 months?  How can I maintain a spirit of peace and unity and joy in our family when I am “getting after” my kids all day long?  How do I prepare their tender hearts now so that they will have a lifelong relationship with our Savior?

    Knowing what I’ve been thinking about, my sister in law lent me a book by Ginger Plowman called Don’t Make me Count to Three. I actually think this book should have a different name, as it was not at all what I was expecting based on the title.  Ginger’s premise is that many parents try to change the behavior and hope that the heart will follow; but she proposes that if we work on the attitudes of the heart, the behavior will follow.  I love her strategy of biblical correction- when little Timmy misbehaves she shows him how his actions are contrary to God’s Word and what he can do to make amends.  She reveals how when our children are misbehaving they are actually sinning and it is our job to show them their sin and to model repentance and God’s way to them.  She encourages parents to use God’s words to reveal the sin of the heart and to teach our children what God has to say about those who sin and the consequences they will face, both in the short term and in the long term.  She teaches that we must not only tell our children what not to do, but more importantly we must show them what they ought to do and help them practice it before they misbehave and after they misbehave.  It’s not just about setting expectations, but also about helping them play it out.  She strongly supports spanking as a punishment, but she tells us we can’t stop there- we must then them help them make things right.

    I just finished this book last week, and to tell the truth it weighed heavy on my heart for several days.  I love this approach, but it clearly reveals how much I am lacking in my knowledge of scripture and how much of my attitude and actions are contrary to God.  Ginger includes 2 pages of common misbehaviors and the scriptures and disciplines she recommends to go along with them, but I can see that’s only a very small beginning.  The more I know God’s Word and the easier it falls off my tongue the more I will be able to apply her approach.

    I have begun implementing some of her suggested wording when I’m correcting JT- telling him that he is not loving his sister with his actions or that he is not respecting me and that God wants him to honor his mother, etc.  It’s hard.  I feel inadequately prepared for this task.  I don’t have enough scripture at the forefront of my mind for these phrases to just fall out naturally.  John 3:16 just isn’t going to cut it here.

    I happen to own Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel- I haven’t read this book in it’s entirety, but I know she includes many Scriptures regarding sin issues. It also appears that Ginger has another book called Wise Words for Moms which contains a more comprehensive list of behavior problems and the Scriptures that address them.  Perhaps that should be my next read- I can see that I have a long way to go in this area!

    So that’s what I’m thinking about parenting lately.  Have you read any good parenting books that you think I might be interested in?  I’d love to know about them!