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Posts tagged ‘obedience’

Lately I feel as though discipline has gotten away from me. I have been tired a lot, and exhaustion doesn’t lend itself to consistency. That, and my daughter is at the age where the simple methods I used when she was young aren’t effective anymore.

Enter the ticket system. I just read about this, and I can’t wait to try it.

I’m going to briefly outline the method, but I highly recommend that you go click on that link and read the comments, as well as the link to the source of the idea in one of the comments.

Basically, you make 3 (or more) tickets and stick them to the fridge. Then you highlight certain infractions that will result in losing a ticket. Then at each infraction, tue child must surrender a ticket. When all are gone, he gets to sit on his bed the rest of the day and go to bed early. There could he a practice day before you start, where you warn them each time they disobey, saying, “That would be a ticket.”

So I have written down the 3 most important areas for each child that I want to focus on. Here they are:


  • Tattling
  • Dissolving into tears when disappointed
  • Not obeying promptly


  • Hurting the baby
  • Not obeying promptly
  • Throwing a tantrum when things go wrong

I suppose there could be more, but those are the top 3 for me right now. Obviously, not obeying promptly covers a multitude of transgressions.

I’m not sure if I will implement this the same for Manny as I will for his sister. He is pretty young, and I may have him sit in a chair an arm’s length from wherever I am. I will also confiscate all toys if they are in their rooms. I may also try setting the timer for 2 hours initially and starting the tickets over when it goes off, but I’ll wait and see how it goes.

I’ll do my best to keep you all posted!

This post is linked to the Works for Me Wednesday and the Modest Monday blog carnival.

When it comes to child training, what should I consider as obedience? I found this definition on Revive Our Hearts yesterday, and I just had to share it.

Obedience is doing exactly what I’m told to do, when I’m told to do it, with the right heart attitude.

Can you think of a better definition? I sure can’t. It’s all-inclusive. I’d encourage you to go and listen to the radio broadcast in the link above, or read the transcript. It takes this definition apart and applies it to our Christian walk.

But how much we parents need to remember this definition when we are training! Is my son obeying when he says “No” as he comes to me, or as he picks up the spilled Rice Chex? Obeying under protest is not obedience. It’s rebellion. Is my daughter obeying me when I tell her to drink her water and 15 minutes later, after many promptings, she finally finishes it?

I need to call my children to a higher standard. And for so long I haven’t. I have let my selfishness get in the way of real child training.

Lord, help me to redeem the time!

I was listening to Revive our Hearts yesterday, and the speaker quoted from the book The Life of Helen Keller. After describing the scene where Anne Sullivan taught Helen to eat like a civilized creature (if you’ve seen either of the “Miracle Worker” movies, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about; if not, either watch one or read the book!), Anne goes on to say something very profound:

I saw clearly that it was useless to try to teach Helen language or anything else until she learned to obey me. I thought about it a great deal, and the more I think, the more certain I am that obedience is the gateway through which knowledge, yes, and love, too, enter the mind of the child.

I don’t know how to improve on that, so I’ll just recommend that you read it again, 2 or 3 times, and let its meaning really sink in.

Yesterday I had a battle with Manny. Not near as big as Anne had with Helen, but it was something. Lately he has not wanted to eat any cereal except the chocolate-covered “Koala Crisps” (which are gluten-free and actually have nothing he is allergic to in them, which is why I buy them and give them to him occasionally). Trying to get him to eat anything else for supper is a battle. So last night I decided to try something different.

When I offered him the food, I told him clearly that he had a choice to make. He could either choose to eat cheerfully, or he could stand in the corner. He hates standing in the corner, by the way. But he chose not to eat, so by default he chose the corner. I put him there and worked nearby, watching him closely. If he turned around and looked at me, I would remind him to put his nose in the corner. Of course this made him cry again, but I persisted. I started him out at 2 minutes, then offered to let him eat. When he said no, I went 2 1/2 minutes. Then 3 minutes. Then 3 1/2. Each time I offered him the food, showing it to him, and letting him choose between eating and the corner. He tried to interject other options, like “nigh nigh” (going to bed), but I would not allow those options.

I am not sure how long it took, but we were up to 5 minutes between choices, and finally he chose to eat. He said, “Eat, eat,” so I put him in his chair, poured hemp milk on the puffed millet that I had coated with carob powder, and offered him the spoon. He ate the whole thing cheerfully, and was delighted to get some grapes afterwards!

Not only was this a great victory, but Daddy noticed later that evening that he was more compliant and less demanding. I think I have hit on something here.

The truth is, I have been very neglecting of my child training lately. But I have also neglected my walk with the Lord. In the past few weeks, I have been going through a period of revival, which always results in reformation if it is genuine. And this week the Lord convicted me that it was time to start working on my child training. I have been praying for wisdom, because Manny has some serious issues, and he’s too young to reason with, and I let some things get too far. But thanks to this victory yesterday, I am beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

But it’s a very long tunnel! At least, it feels like it! But God is my guide, and I know I will win as long as I remain with Him.

I know it has almost nothing to do with this post, but it's just too cute!

By douglasleemiller on Flickr

It’s the end of the year, and time to think about New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t been one to make a lot of resolutions; some year I don’t even bother to make any at all. But this week I read a couple of blogs that made me think about setting goals for next year. Caroline at The Modest Mom blog talked about several goals she has for the new year. Sarah at Sarah’s Hearts Home reviewed the goals she made last year and shared how she had had succeeded–or not. So I have been inspired to make a list of things I would like to accomplish this next year, and I want to share it with you. (Note about the picture: I wanted a picture, and I just couldn’t resist this one! You should click on it and read the caption under it!)

First Month’s Goals

These are things I would like to focus on during the first month of the year–my top priorities:

Work on obedience with the kids. This will mean keeping them with me more and following through when I issue commands to be sure that they are executed. Gislaine specifically needs to learn to deal with disappointments and to willingly obey the first time, quickly and cheerfully. To accomplish this, I plan on helping her by practicing proper responses to problematic situations, to help her learn how to react instead of just letting her react however she wants.

Make and keep the home more organized. I have gotten a good start on it–I promise to update the office decluttering project soon, but so far it’s coming along.

Go to the gym or walk at least 4 days a week. Just basically more exercise, and that’s how I plan to make it happen.

Spend more time in personal devotions. The next goal is the key to this one; when I can’t get up early, I want to learn how to take time during the day to connect to God.

Go to bed before 10:00 every night.

Have more consistent morning worship. I guess I always thought of this as the husband’s job, and it is so hard to stop my day once it is started… But my husband leaves home just as the kids are waking up most days, so having him lead out in morning worship most days is not practical. I’m not exactly sure how I am going to do this, but I am going to pray about it and then just do something–even if it’s just a song, a prayer, and reading a Bible story. This is very important.

Not get online until the important housework is done

Watch the seminar. This looks interesting. If I really like it, I may blog about it later.

Wow! That seems like a lot of things to do in January. But some of them are not too involves (like bedtime) and some I have already started (like being more organized), so we wlll see how it goes. I’ll have to post an update at the end of January to let you know how I’m doing–and to help myself see where I need to focus more.

Second Month’s Goals

Come February I would like to add the following items to my 2011 goals:

Structure the kids’ days more so I can keep them with me more. This means that instead of saying, “Go play,” I will try to come up with an activity they can do near me. This will require some creativity and probably some sacrifice on my part, but I know it can be done.

Spend more time playing with the kids. This is one way of binding their hearts to mine. I haven’t done it enough lately.

Get my monthly and semi-annual cleaning on track. This means all the lists of things that need to be done on a not-so-regular basis will get incorporated into my iPod’s to-do list program. That way things will come up on my daily to-do list so I can remember to do them. This will include things like washing windows, dusting baseboards, cleaning the light diffusing bowls, etc. I have lists already made up, but I need to get them where I will actually see them.

Blog more consistently, at the same time limiting my time online. I want to post 3-4 times a week at least, but I need to focus on what I am doing online and avoid surfing and wasting time. I need to plan my posts, too, so that I can be more efficient with my time online.

Eat more vegetables. I like veggies, but they get expensive and sometimes I just forget to eat them. So I’m making it a goal to try to get more of them in my diet–to just be more consistent about making sure they are on the table to eat every day.

Goals for the Rest of the Year

The rest of my list is more of a want-to-do, or else a seasonal activity that isn’t something I could start in the winter. So once I get the above under control, or when summer comes, I want to keep these things in mind:

Try at least 2 new recipes every month. I have gotten into a rut of just fixing the same ol’ stuff all the time. I need to put in some variety once in a while. But I’m not going to stress about it in January; my monthly menu is already made up.

Plant and maintain a small garden. I got gardened out as a kid (my mom once had a 1,000 square foot garden!), but I really want to have some home-grown delights. And hubby has spent so much time and effort on getting rid of the blackberries that overran the garden area…

Spend more time outside on nice days. The previous goal should help this one. And now that I have an iPod, I could go out and sit under a tree and write blogs while the children play nearby. But that won’t be happening for a few months yet!

Knit Gislaine a sweater and everyone some socks. I learned to knit before learning any other related craft. But now it seems so slow compared to crocheting or sewing. But I love homemade wool socks and found some expensive wool at the Goodwill for cheap, so I really should do it. I even found good free patterns online, and my mom gave me a whole set of needles, so I have no legitimate excuses.

Do the bulk of my sewing in the winter when it’s too cold to be outside. Last summer I spent too much time sewing and got burned out by winter, when it’s too cold to be outside. I don’t want that to be the start of a trend. Which means I need to start figuring out what I need to make for next summer soon.

So there is my list. I will review the first two items over the next two months, and then the whole thing at the end if the year.

So what are your resolutions/goals for the new year? I’d love to hear them. If you have blogged about them, be sure to post the link in your comment.