Gaining a Child’s Respect

dsc00336A few years back I asked Mom what she remembers of the hard parts of raising my 3 brothers and me. She didn’t hesitate and said, “Y’all are wonderful. I couldn’t be prouder. I only have good memories of each one of you.”

It wasn’t the answer I expected. Her memories of me are better than my memories of me. When I expressed surprise, her response gave clarity, “Besides, you were children.”

Besides, you were children. Without a doubt, my brothers and I wore Mom out some days. She remembers VICTORIES, not the draining skirmishes.

dsc00337Our first experience with disrespect from a child throws us off. It’s like a switch got flipped:  I don’t know what’s happened. . .  He used to just do what I said. . .  I know she hears me when I call her. . .  Now he uses this tone with me. . .

When we’re in the thick of it—teaching our child to listen, follow rules, obey a direction—it is discouraging and disappointing to receive disrespect. It hurts. However, I don’t think hurt registers first in our heart. We feel frustration; we didn’t get what we want. Or, if we’re really honest, we didn’t get what we think we deserve–respect.

Our child needs us to help him learn what respect is—what it looks like, how it feels to receive it, and what it says to the person he respects. Our home is the primary training ground.

Respect is built. We have to gain our child’s respect. Today, I’ve released the 11th video in “The Will” series. It’s less than 10 minutes, so listen or watch and pass it along to your friends!

Here’s Video #11 Six Practical Ways to Gain a Child’s Respect.

Here’s Audio #11.

Character Counts

ScanLast week our church held Vacation Bible Camp. I had a blast co-leading the Games Station outside. It was tremendously fun being a child with the children. I think all the adult volunteers had fun playing those four days. We were pirates…aargh!

It was most fascinating to witness character growth among the children from one morning to the next. The first day everyone wants to be first, but by the second day children made effort to work as a team. They shared,encouraged, and helped each other. Across our small campus sweet character moments inspired all the leaders throughout the short week.

Character. Traits or qualities unique to us and influenced by the state of our heart. Our child experiences ours. We experience each child’s. That is, we experience each other’s current character.

Thankfully, our character is a work in progress, and the same is true for each of our children.  Do you believe this? It’s true! God molds our character all our life. God is our Maker and Molder.

Scan (1)All sorts of settings influence our child and us and contribute to our development. The primary setting God desires to use to shape our child’s character is our home. Home is headquarters for love and learning, stretching and growing. It’s the child’s beginning place, his safe place to be himself, her place to return to after being somewhere that’s hard or confusing, and it’s the place that he knows that no-matter-what he is loved. 

It’s hard to be mom and provide that setting every day. We need God. We need his love. We need him to mold our character. We need him to teach us how to participate with him as he molds our child’s character.

The videos that I’ve been posting here center on the theme of the will – which impacts our character development and the child’s character development. So far, I’ve posted nine. Here is Video #10! I hope it’s helpful and encouraging to you. On the website, go to Audio or Video to catch the other ones. I’d love to hear your impressions and please pass on to your friends.

Passionate Pursuit {day 20}: Becoming Better

IMG_0381“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”

Becoming a mom exposed HOW weak I am in all these traits. The first time I read this verse depressed me. I couldn’t pick even one that I felt I was doing fairly well.

Failing miserably, often hurting those I love most, I’ve wondered how many times I’ll say ‘God, I’m sorry. Help me be more…’

We want these traits. Not just because we’re moms.

One day a tiny two-letter word splashed hope on my heart.
…the fruit OF the Spirit.

These traits are God’s. Perfect only in Him.
He GIVES them to us. If Christ is in you, the seeds for His character traits are in you.
God’s plan is that our character reflects His.

Becoming gentle, self-controlled, patient, kind, faithful, loving … the source is God. As we draw near to know Him, God gives growth to His seeds. Fruit manifests.

It’s not a produce-it thing. It’s a receive-it thing.