Sunday, April 25, 2010

Parenting the Heart

I've just started Ginger Plowman's Don't Make Me Count to Three, and already I'm so encouraged to aim at my daughter's heart when I speak to her. My friend Christen read this book years ago when we all lived in Illinois, and I remember the title catching my attention . . . but, not having children myself made me only pay a bit of attention to what Christen said about the content (sorry, Chris!). Fast forward about 4 years, and my friend Jenn, who is expecting her first child this summer was finishing reading it while babysitting for Sus at my house. "Hmmmm. . . " I thought "Maybe I need to start reading books like that!" I guess because my baby is only 10 months old, I wasn't thinking about discipline issues coming along for another year or two. I mean, I do believe in sin nature and that I need to begin training her now to not touch things that will hurt her, etc., but I guess I sort of thought I had that all figured out on my own, and didn't need to read any books yet!

But this book is just great -- I'd totally recommend it. The author makes the point that parental instruction does not just consist of changing behavior or telling your child what to do (even if that is done gently, using Scripture, etc). True instruction also includes listening to your children and asking questions that teach them to examine their own hearts. She gave great examples of questions to ask, and ways to resolve common arguments and family situations, so the book is full of good helpful tips.

Susie isn't really able to express to me yet the reason she wants to roll off the changing table while she's getting her jammies on, but as I'm consistently instructing her on what Mommy wants, I've begun to think through my words a bit better. I can begin now, to talk to her the way I would when she can truly understand. Why wait? Why not practice good parenting even before the child can respond?

What parenting books have you found to be particularly helpful? I'm sure I'll be ready to read more and more the older she gets!


Tina and Todd said...

The Discipline Book....Dr. Sears has been helpful for us. It is really helpful in reminding you where children are at during certain ages. We also have Dr. Dan Allenders 'How Children Raise Parents' CD ... Great!!! Peaceful Parenting website has some helpful information also.
You will do a great job ... as you are concerned about her heart and that is what really matters.
You are such a good mommy.

James and Christen said...

I am glad you were able to read it now, when it is practical for your life:)

The book we did for our family devos was Randy Alcorn's Heaven for Kids. It is excellent, written in the style of a story but presenting the New Heaven & New Earth in a wonderfully engaging way. It has 9 chapters. We have already finished it. Other things we have done: ESV Children's Bible, Jesus Story book Bible, Big Picture Storybook Bible, Big Truths for Young hearts, (just finished it and will hit it again in about a year.) We thought this was an excellent family devo book for a little bit older kids, 7 and up. We used it with all 3 and figured that some of it would sink into the younger ones.

We are getting ready to order some books off of the Westminster website. I will let you know what direction James decides to go.

James just found this article today and it seemed like really good stuff to me. Thought you might want to see it.

We are redoing the Big Picture Bible just to review stories especially for Hannah and Jer. They have missed out on Sunday school for much of their lives and Hannah seems to have a lack of basic knowledge. (Part of that could be from not really listening too:)

Thanks for keeping in touch - Talk to you more later.