Parenting by grace….

(writhing!!) There is very little that has left me human hamburger more than learning this. I feel sososososososososososososososo inadequate for helping others with this. I feel like I’m still learning. BUT, I’m game to go at it. Here’s my question for you – would it best serve you to all get a book to read “together” and go through it as a group? If not, how can I do this to be the most assistance?

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Comments
48 Responses to “Parenting by grace….”
  1. Melanie says:

    I’d be curious what book has helped you.

    I’m reading [among other things!] Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp. ouch, it’s good. Also highly recommend Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.
    … now for the application part ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    (and dealing w/my own heart first) …

  2. javadawn says:

    Melanie, I found both of those books VERY hard to understand how to take and apply them. I loved what they were saying, but “putting feet to it” as I am wont to say, was VERY hard for me. Are you faring well with that??

  3. Melanie says:

    Well, I’m only thru ch. 5 of Age/opportunity… but again (as when I read Shepherding) — A.G.A.I.N. — I am just a WEE bit stubborn (pride?), can you see? but I am convicted of my OWN idols and selfish desires.

    Mostly I am trying to deal with myself — am I loving my children (&dh) as I ought? am I willing to serve them as I ought? that takes time and being inconvenienced… with patience. And that all requires being Christ-like through the power of the Holy Spirit — which requires relationship with Him, which takes time…

    And for our DC, we are trying to help them see their own heart-attitudes/desires.

    Our focus (when we have 20/20 vision): Love the Lord with all your heart… and your neighbor as yourself.

    Soooo, what book is it that you did find helpful?? I’ve thought Clay Clarkson’s Heartfelt Discipline looked interesting, but I don’t have it…

  4. mamashortcake says:

    Okay, I will *very* humbly chime in here :D, as I have read a LOT of parenting books :D…way too many, and it messed me up good! Shepherding a “Child’s Heart was hard for me too..all I “heard” when I read that was “spank all the time”….now I realize that’s not all he was saying, but that’s how it came across to me, and it did the same thing to me as MOTH…always on edge (and cranky) and stressed out to be sure I am keeping up. There is another book written by Ginger Plowman called “Don’t make me count to three” that is a more practical look at the SACH info as well as th info in “The Heart of Anger” by Lou Priolo. She wrote it with some help/input from both Tripp and Priolo. However, I still have a very hard time getting the practicality of all this worked out. I have, but haven’t read much yet, of “Good & Angry” and “Say Goodbye to Complaining, Whining & Arguing, etc. (sorry I don’t have time to go look up the title ๐Ÿ˜€ ) – both by Turansky and Miller. They look good, I just haven’t gotten them read yet. I have read part of “Heartfelt Discipline” by Clarkson and honestly, I took issue with some of his Biblical interpretation on some things. I just think he was stretching things a little too much to fit what he believed. He is totally non-spanking, which as much as I don’t enjoy that part of parenting, I simply don’t think you can justify a totally non-spanking stance from Scripture. I *DO* think it is way over-relied on in many circles though!!!! I guess that’s where my struggle lies..where’s the balance? We are mostly attachment parenting style parents – extended, breastfeeding, cosleeping, etc. I find it very difficult to “marry” those principles with the idea of the hyper-schedule/hyper training stuff. They just don’t become “one flesh” to me – sorry for the bad analogy! I am just one big confused mess on the issue honestly. We DO have good relationships with our boys despite our mistakes, but it is purely b/c of 1) God’s grace ๐Ÿ™‚ , and 2) we spend ALL our time with them and invest in them, we always do EVERYTHING together as a family..okay enough rambling from me, they need me now anyway…. I would love to do a book study and/or just hear about your journey, Dawn. Also, a list of what books have helped you would be great.

  5. mamashortcake says:

    Okay, one more thing I thought of that describes my struggle between the two extremes…it seems like we either have peace at home and the house falls apart b/c I spend all my time doing what the children want, OR I keep the house running decently and all relational order/obedience goes out the window.

    Now, a lot of this is due to my own lack of self-discipline – I am pretty , um “free-spirited” (read: lazy and inconsistent). I am working on some things to deal with these issues though. Dawn, your post about (order, obedience, etc. ) was SOOOO helpful. This is essentially the exact same problems we have here. I have known it, but not been sure how to tackle them. I usually try to fix it all at once, which lasts approximiately one week ๐Ÿ˜€ . So after reading about your journey, the Lord really showed me the value of taking things slowly…one area at a time. I am currently on a MAJOR decluttering/simplifying spree. I have a very LOW threshhold for dealing with clutter – even useful things. So we are making progress there, BUT the obedience issue…I feel pretty clueless about getting a hold of that one without turning into the wicked witch of the west. Okay, I hope some of this makes sense! Off to rock the toddler ๐Ÿ™‚ .

  6. Melanie says:

    ahhh, thank you, MamaShortcake, for the ‘book review’ of Clarkson’s Heartfelt Discipline. That will relieve my wanter a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I agree there’s still biblical need for the rod, albeit in greater moderation than I practiced years back…
    Yes, balance!

    A competition for the most parenting books would be stiff, I’m a-thinkin’! I still feel about as clueless — my best advice is usually, “Don’t….” Hmmm, they’re planning to pass a cloning law here — I don’t suppose their agenda includes enough Titus 2 women for us to each have a live-in mentor? bummer. (I’ve always thought I could use someone to follow ME with a switch!)

    okay, enough of my babble…
    Tell us more of what you know, Dawn.

  7. Susan says:

    I have been wanting to get Graced Based Parenting by Kimmel. I also heard good things about “Say goodbye to complaining arguing and whining.” I have read many books and frankly I don’t have it down either. My kids are always fighting and being mean to each other and we have lots of yelling going on. Yes, I know the work needs to be done in ME and I am working on it but frankly we need healing and I don’t know how to get there.
    Susan

  8. Javadawn says:

    Books on parenting?!! I WIN!! (I don’t even have to take a count, I know how many BAZILLION I bought trying to make grace-based parenting make sense to me.) ๐Ÿ™„

    You know my brains in a blender thing? THIS area was one that left my brains in a blender for over a year. It took me FOREVER to start to get this. I still don’t feel like I have a full grasp on this, ESPECIALLY because we’ve never trained a Little using these methods. (I think that is why I quake in my boots at the thought of trying to train other people…and why I asked about a book, so if it falls apart, I can blame someone else.) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€

    After all the books I went through, I would say that Turansky/Miller have the best books I found, with the Priolo book coming in second along with Benny and Sheree Phillips book, “Raising Kids Who Hunger for God.”

    So, here’s the big question – do we want to just jump in and do q&a and discuss, discuss, discuss….or do we want to tackle a book. I’m game either way. (As long as no one will hold me accountable.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. mamashortcake says:

    I promise not to hold you accountable…do you want me to sign something legal ๐Ÿ˜€ ? Really, I am game either way too. I have to admit it’s the training littles thing that gets me too, which is HARD since that’s all I have!!!! I’ll start thinking of some questions though in case we go that route and because I know I have them anyway..they are always swirling in my head. I’ll write them down before they get lost. I know that I have some regarding obedience especially “first time obedience” – you know right away with a cheerful attitude and all that ๐Ÿ˜€ – what does this look like with GBP? Do you consider SACH/ Ted Tripp’s spanking info to be GBP? I’ll try to think of more ?s and be back later.

  10. Melanie says:

    Not to beat a dead horse (no analagy intended to your dc, or to you either, Dawn ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) …. but I’m still curious what the gracious mama was to do when the teenager ignored your call??

  11. Melanie says:

    I think I have Priolo’s and T.Tripp’s books mingled in my brain… It must have been Priolo that gave me the offensive (guilty!) list of things parents do to provoke their children to anger… (ouch… my poor guinea pigs!)
    It is just amazing to me, however, how our Very
    Gracious God can overcome such blatantly naughty and ignorant parenting! I guess that shows how much more He loves our dc than we do…

    I think the key to Tripp (biblical use of rod) and the Pearls as well … is the parent’s heart attitude… do I respect my child as God’s creation and acknowledge my stewardship responsibility? If **I** am just offended at their disobedience to Me, my disciplining of the child will likely be way wrong.
    For MANY years of reading Pearls’ stuff I seemed to totally miss the JOY aspect… [duct tape, etc. always just struck me as a bit Bwaaaaaahahaha – ish]

    okay, it must be Official Parenting Hours here by now?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ..better move on…

  12. javadawn says:

    Melanie,
    What I should have done was simply to address the child again and then, when the situation was abated, address their lack of honor and obedience.

    Parenting by grace, especially with older children, seems to require that I wait (not something I’m good at) to address their sin. I always want to jump into the center of the issue and go after it snarling and snapping. There are times for that – well, not the snarling and snapping part – but there are other times when it is needful for me to shet mah mowth and wait for…for the opportune moment.

    There are many times that Father waits to address my sin until it’s just He and I….rather than in a crowded format. Now, were the child to respond is a dishonoring tone, then it would have required an immediate response, but since it was simply something between said child and myself, it did not. (Please note, afterwards in a discussion about the whole situation, the offending child stated that they had not heard me call and thought I was just glaring at them because I was angry. You see, I have a good history of that and they recall it well. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Furthermore, I was already angry when I called them, I had just jumped their case about something else…so I was totally bombing Parenting by Grace 101 that day.)

    Does that help? Or are you asking for more details…such as what should I have said to that child when addressing them later?

  13. Either way is fine by me, but I can’t wait to get started! I just started Raising Kids Who Hunger for God last night. Hope it’s good:)

  14. javadawn says:

    Shannon, I loved it. I felt beat up by it, but I loved it. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. MamaKayB says:

    Do you have a recommended source for Benny and Sheree Phillips book, โ€œRaising Kids Who Hunger for God.โ€? It’s not at Amazon (well its there for $30 but I can’t pay that much.) or Christianbook. Thanks

  16. Wait a minute here. I’m not trying to be a fuddy-duddy here, but Phillips????

    We went to a sister church of theirs when he was “de-frocked” because of their daughter. I’m OK with someone who messed up, then tells you what they did wrong, but if the book was his original plan that didn’t work out so well…I dunno.

    I know, I know, it sounds judgemental. But I’m really not trying to be that way…just checking fruit.

    Don’t beat me up! I haven’t heard how all that played out anyway.

  17. javadawn says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Julie, No beating up here!! I was only “around” for all that de-frocking. Here’s what I saw, from where we stood – he submitted himself to the church leadership, for correction. He didn’t wait for them, he simply stepped up and submitted himself. Then he moved his family and underwent a whole new measure of correction and training for over a year. (Quite a ways from home, having sold his home, etc)

    I can’t speak into all of the situation, because, we didn’t have a whole picture of the all that happened with the daughter. What we saw was the immediate after “effects” of his humbly submitting to leadership, agreeing to do all whatever they felt was needful. Perhaps being in a sister church allowed you to see a great deal more.

    That aside, the things that we learned from their book (and I can’t say we do all things “their way” ) but the general heart attitude of not responding to my child’s behavior for the sake of looking good (OH SO GUILTY HERE) was life changing.

    There were far too many times I trained/ disciplined my children for the “sake” of how they looked to other people. In other words, wanting to impress other people with what great parents we were. ๐Ÿ™„ Like they wouldn’t figure it out (both good and bad) after spending…what??? 10 minutes with us?!! (Talk about my being deluded)

  18. javadawn says:

    MamaK~ Sorry – didn’t blow you off – I’m on a mission to see what I can find.

  19. Melanie says:

    Dawn~
    Yes, that makes ‘sense’ — thank you.
    {i’m so BTDT with your honest scenarios… except I’m not so good at the repair business}

  20. Violet says:

    MamaK, Abebooks.com has several books at only $1.00 each. Hope that helps.

  21. molleth says:

    Do Turansky/Miller, do Turansky/Miller, do Turansky/Miller…

    *not that I have an opinion or anything, of course…*

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I’d like to join. I would humbly vote against Shepherding a Child’s Heart.

    Other than that – it wouldn’t matter to me. I’ve not read any of the others.

  23. javadawn says:

    Well, my preference would be to do a Turansky/Miller book – of all of them, their books were the most helpful to me – but that was partially because of where I was in the process – so I’m totally open to the requests of the group.

    Anyone?

  24. Tiffany says:

    Jumping in late here (been out of town….) I would love more q&a time, but a book sounds great too. And I especially especially especially want to hear how your are implementing some of your littles theory as your baby is just two months older than ours.

    I haven’t read any of the parenting books mentioned on here, so no opinions that way. They have some great titles though. I have some friends who love SACH and although we dont’ live close to them to get a good view, their kids seem pretty great. But the moment by moment interaction in their house isn’t what I want (not that I’d say it is bad at all, just not us) but I am curious how much of what they do is Tripp and how much is them. Holly, why would you recommend not doing that one?

  25. mamashortcake says:

    Well, I have to throw my vote in for T/M as well. I have started reading “Say Goodbye to Whining, etc.” ๐Ÿ™‚ and am REALLY enjoying it. I would love some discussion on it too though.

    Holly, I would like to know too why you don’t recommend SACH? I don’t ask that to be controversial at all! I just respect what I’ve seen you write on various topics and would like your opinion on the book. It is “all the rage” here and I’d be labeled a “heretic” if I said I didn’t like it all that much…so I just keep my mouth shut…not that there wasn’t anything in it that I didn’t learn from, it just was very hard for me to understand/put into practice. I mean I get the point of it, but not in a practical way. It seems whenever we talk about our parenting struggles we just hear “Just be consistent and keep disciplining”, but what we *need* to hear is, “how is YOUR walk”…know what I mean? A lot of our problem is self-inflicted, honestly. Can we really expect our children to be more sanctified than we are???? Okay sorry for the mini-rant ๐Ÿ˜€ . I have just stopped asking for parenting advice, at least from anyone I know IRL, not that they don’t have great kids and many of them are grown/nearly grown…..but they aren’t our family and don’t have some of the same sin struggles our family does. I am just coming to the point where I am beginning to trust the Lord to show me what to do rather than just relying on “experts” (I know, I know I should have figured that out long ago, what can I say, I’m DENSE and I struggle with fear!) Well, this is long enough, so I am off to work on decluttering…my favorite hobby ๐Ÿ˜€ .

    Dawn, I am so loving your new blog “format” and I don’t mean the html stuff, I mean the letting your readers let you know what we want to talk/read about!

  26. Melanie says:

    Hey Dawn,

    Here’s another idea for reading/discussing:

    Charles Bridges’ commentary on Proverbs

    ๐Ÿ˜‰ >

    — but we are finding it RICH reading here. DH is now using it for family devos… and we’re already on page 21 of 600+ … I think this might take us until graduation of the now 13yo?! well, maybe at least until Christmas… We’re looking up all his cross-references and using the dictionary a bit also as we expand our vocabulary! (first published in 1846… no radio, tv, i-net, etc to distract…)

    Mostly a reminder to myself that thorough study of God’s Word with prayer could go a long way in improving my parenting! {tho I do love the shelves fuuuull of “good” books and like practical “do’s” and “don’ts”… I don’t think I really remembered what was even in SACH to know if I’m “using” it …}

  27. Michelle says:

    Ladies,

    We have done “Growing Kids God’s Way” and SACH Bible/parenting studies. My dh and I have learned (the hard way) that if you implement ANY of these programs as a recipe to be followed exactly the same way in all families, you will be frustrated and disappointed. Rather, we are trying to ask “Lord how would you have us use this in OUR family?” For example, we first learned of first-time obedience in GKGW. Spanking a child for first-time disobedience who is bipolar and struggles with anger wasn’t such a good thing in his (or our) life. That doesn’t mean the program was a total waste of our time. We have kept the best (for our family)–like insisting on addressing adults by Mr./Mrs. and placing their hands on our arm when they want to speak rather than interrupting. The same way with SACH. We took the best from it, and left the rest behind us. Only the Lord knows the hearts of the parents and children and can design the perfect parenting program. I am not against any book study–the titles sound really intriguing and have been on my wish list for some time; just wanted to caution any of the younger moms not to be expecting ANY of these books to be “the book” that turns you into the perfect parent.

    I hope you can hear my heart and I don’t sound like a killjoy.

  28. javadawn says:

    And then we have THIS mom, who threw herself into the bathroom, weeping and gnashing her teeth, “Lord, what is wrong with these children?!!!” And His quiet answer….”Their mother.” (gentle smile)

  29. Tiffany says:

    Mamashortcake said “Can we really expect our children to be more sanctified than we are????”

    EXACTLY!

    (sorry, I’ll dial back the enthusiasm)

    But this has really hit me lately. Not that I need to be excuse my children’s sin, but understanding when they are weak, helping them to avoid/leave situations that are likely to cause problems, and offering grace to them when the fall- all things I would like done for me and my struggles with sin. Not to say that I think there is a good place for the law so to speak (like Dawn has brought up before) but just that being consistent with training I don’t think necessarily means that how you handle discipline isn’t going to look exactly the same all the time.

    Ok, I’m done now. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Violet says:

    Melanie, I would like to second your recommendation! Now that all of my children are pretty much grown, I know that the greatest help to me has been from His Word and guidance for each child individually. Unfortunately, I’m just now getting it.

    A passage that has helped me a lot is I Sam. 12:20-25. The way Samuel dealt with Israel was to exhort them, pray for them, teach them, and warn them. The key is found in verse 23 – “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you…” At this point in my life, that is the major thing I can do. I only wish I had done more of it early on.

  31. Melanie says:

    Yes, Violet, and thank you for reminding me of that verse/passage. It used to be a ‘favorite’ but has gotten forgotten in the ‘busyness’ of life… a large part of the problem in the daily walk ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    dh and I were discussing a child yesterday briefly… what can we do to change this/encourage that???? Continue to teach/guide, but mostly P.R.A.Y.

    Now to DO what we know is right!!!

  32. reneegrace says:

    by the time I got to the end of the comments I think I figured out what all the acronyms were… ๐Ÿ™‚

    SACH ๐Ÿ™‚ – I disagreed with them calling consequences a form of bribery… and I didn’t like so much spanking. It was a long time ago when I read it, and it didn’t work for Keenan or me.

    I am not a very good GLEANER… which turns most books into a recipe for disaster and miserable home, miserable mama, and close to emotionally abused children!!

    I really enjoyed Grace Based Parenting… my biggest struggle is not parenting for others and pushing my pride aside in favor of discernment and discipling the poor kiddo!!

    Dawn, I appreciate your candor. I recognize ME in your fleshy moments… it gives me hope for more Spirit-filled ones!

    the Turansky / Miller one sounds great. ๐Ÿ™‚ as does the “raising kids who hunger for God” – just the title makes me want it! Its time for an Amazon order anyway, I think… says who? I don’t know… it is… almost March!! ๐Ÿ™‚ which says celebration about SOMETHING!!

  33. javadawn says:

    Renee,
    “Dawn, I appreciate your candor. I recognize ME in your fleshy momentsโ€ฆ it gives me hope for more Spirit-filled ones!”
    Number one, my fleshly moments give me hope for more Spirit-filled ones, too!!
    Number two, wow, you must be very encouraged then that there is hope for you, eh? (I’m QUITE certain my fleshly-moments are plenty of fodder to the fire of encouragement.) ๐Ÿ™„

  34. molleth says:

    I wanted to vote against Shepherding a Child’s Heart too…but I wasn’t brave enough! ๐Ÿ˜† (Go, Holly, Go, Holly)…

    I think Tripp is seriously well-intentioned, but I’m admittedly confused about parts of his book. Often, it seems like he equates shepherding a child’s heart with spanking them. I feel like he takes Scripture out of context in order to do that.

    When I look at how God has parented me, for example, there’s no doubt He’s pulled out the rod a few times…but I have to say, it’s rarely. Most of the time, my heart is changed through gentle words, encouragement, moments where I expect an angry rod but recieve an embrace instead…

    I used to parent via TTUAC, which is basically Sheperding a Child’s Heart, but with a country bumpkin twist (Pearl even says so-lol)… I wish I could go back and redo those early years of thinking my child’s heart had everything to do with whether or not they obeyed instantly, where my first reaction was to swat, thinking that was God’s way.

    Turansky/Miller grab a concept that, for me, has been beyond important: RESPECT. Mutual respect.

    Jesus calls us to that, you know…to respecting all persons, regardless of position or status or…age. I am learning to treat my children with respect.

    This does NOT mean that I no longer discipline. But it means it is a lot different from how I used to look at things.

    Actually, my almost-2 is on the recieving end of a swat now and then… But spanking, on the older ones, is a humiliating thing…and I question it’s effectiveness.

    I was spanked regularly and often as a child…not the little “a few swats” thing that we do in our home, but the kind where it goes on and on until you can’t cry anymore…my mom believed it was God’s way…she honestly meant well…and I would NEVER want to talk to her about it, because of how much it would hurt her…meaning, she was full of good intentions…but I’d say it messed me up…things I’d rather not talk about as it’s pretty private, but, yes, messed me up.

    And I think it messed up my brothers too. At least, it didn’t help them. They got in just as much trouble as otherwise…we all just learned to hide it better. Spanking (and she did it textbook style—no yelling, threatening, etc)–did not change our hearts, with apologies to Ted Tripp. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The other thing that has really made me question Tripp and Pearl and all the others is the verses about the rod in the Bible (thanks in great part to Clarkson’s book about the subject, title is eluding me). Taking them literally, they are speaking about beating (the back, not the rear end) of a teenage boy (na’ar does not mean child, it means young lion sprouting his mane, the Hebrew word for teenage boy). And rod (shebet) does NOT mean a little flexible switch, but a big old walking stick…

    So we pride ourselves on “taking the Bible literally,” yet most of the books about spanking are FAR from literal… *shrugs*

    In a culture where beating was a common punishment for wrong-doers, it seems that the proverbs were primarily speaking about a father beating his teenage boy before the law got to him, hopefully saving him from public humiliation, etc…

    …This was a culture that could understand that, where a teenage boy might be saved through that. But in our culture, severely beating your teenage boy on the back would likely not convince him to see things your way. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t, but I’m convinced that the proverbs were meant to be understood, not necessarily taken literally as commands. But if they ARE to be taken literally as commands, then we need to stop spanking our young children, saw off a big tree limb and start taking it to the backs of our teenage boys.

    I’m writing all of this now because it’s probably way too controversial and this way, now that this post is way down on the list, only two people will read it, instead of getting the lovely javadawn in trouble by creating controversy on her nice blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do NOT mean to create controversy, to be perfectly honest…I realize that these thoughts are controversial, that’s all, but the intention to cause a fight is NOT my heart. I’m just voicing thoughts from a once-convinced spanker who is seriously reconsidering a LOT of her parenting (mostly thanks to a fourth child who God used to make me revisit all my formulas, pointing out just how much He was missing from so many of them)…

  35. Violet says:

    What has been most helpful to me in my parenting, has been looking to the ultimate Parent, and seeing how He does it. Many times in the heat of battle, I’ve heard the Lord say to me, “Is this how I parent you?” The answer is always, “No”. He disciplines (sometimes painfully so), but it is always for my benefit, never in a fit of anger or exasperation, etc. Many times He lets the sin itself be its own punishment. When I come to Him in repentance and humility, He encourages me and helps me go forward, never bringing up my infraction against me again.

    Molly, you said something that many people don’t realize. The Proverbs are NOT commands or promises. They are wise sayings from which general principles can be drawn. They are meant to make you think below the surface. Prov. 1:5, 6 – “Let the wise listen and he will learn yet more, and the man of discernment will acquire the art of guidance for perceiving the meaning of proverbs and obscure sayings, the sayings of the sages and their riddles.” (Jerusalem Bible)

    One last comment. I tend to take responsibility on myself for the results (i.e. behaviors) of my parenting – taking credit for good results, and feeling great guilt for bad results. I finally realize that I am responsible for my own behavior alone! I know all of you moms reading here desire the best for your children. It is so amazing what God can do with even our worst blunders when our hearts are one with His in this parenting business. Then He gets the credit for the “good” and deals with the “bad” results in a way that only He can, since He alone knows the heart. I no longer have to ensure that all the results are picture perfect. How freeing!

  36. April says:

    Jeesh, I’m glad to read these comments and see that others are struggling with how to discipline. Sometimes I just feel so inept!

    I am pretty committed to not spanking, mainly because I seem to be unable to divorce my own angst from this form of discipline. And an irrationally angry parent spanking is a sinful one, in my opinion.

    Anyway, I will really look forward to this discussion!

  37. javadawn says:

    Molls, sounds like our moms were rawther similar. My mom’s idea of a spanking tool was a Hot Wheels track piece with holes, her red leather belt with grommets through out it or her hair brush….or whatever else was within reach. We were never shown that what we had done was wrong in GOD’S eyes – it was only in her eyes. I find grace in the fact that she simply didn’t know any better. There is much comfort in that, for me. Thank you for sharing your heart, my friend.

    April – In my opinion an irrationally angry parent NOT spanking is equally a sinful one. The spanking at that point, is almost irrelevant, as I think perhaps, the memory of the spanking disappears faster than the likely angry, hurtful words that were spoken by said irrationally angry parent. (Haven’t known too many who hit that point that don’t say stupid things – this one included!!!)

    Violet – isn’t that knowledge FREEING?!!! Now, if we could just free one another from that stigma? I still find myself looking at people whose kids are just totally out of control and thinking, “If they would just DO something with them.” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Sad confession, but a true one. Maybe it will hide down here and no one else will read it?? If Molly can hope that, can’t I?!!

  38. javadawn says:

    Busted, huh? ๐Ÿ˜€

  39. Tiffany says:

    Totally busted ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have so many questions for you all….basically I have two sets of friends who are parents- one set who is of the SACH/TTUAC model and one set who is the spanking is wrong in all circumstances, ineffective, if used at all only should be as a last resort, etc….

    Now I’m not in either of these groups but think they both have some good ideas and some not so good ideas and some things they do that are probably fine for their family (ie-not sin) but not what we want to do with our family. And really I’d just like to avoid discussion about the whole topic with either group. But how does one politely manuever in conversation? I generally just focus the topic to the aspects that we all have common ground and just smile and nod if it turns to something different- but is that too misleading?

    And here is my bigger, broader application question for Molly and Violet (and whoever else). Why aren’t proverbs promises? I mean, I read that and think “yeah, that makes sense” but at the same time think “hmm…not so sure that does make sense”. What I’m trying to say is that if the Bible says train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will no depart from it, isn’t that a promise no matter what book it is written in? I love, love, love reading the proverbs and am wondering if maybe I’ve been approaching them wrong. I’d love more imput from people on this.

    You gals are all so great!

  40. Violet says:

    Tiffany, I don’t have much time (we’re going out of town for the weekend) but wanted to at least give a little input on your question of why the proverbs aren’t considered promises.

    Using the example you gave (“Train up a child…”), I would ask what you think is being promised here. The meaning I was taught for this verse was, if you train your child according to the Word, when he is grown he will be a godly person. But that, obviously is not the promise. How many people do you know that have been raised and trained in godly homes, and have turned out totally ungodly? What recourse do you have in that case but to think that they weren’t “trained” properly. It’s the parents fault. That is the impression I have gotten from so many books on parenting. It’s not clearly stated, but rather implied that if things don’t work out, it’s most probably because you didn’t follow that book’s formula consistently enough. And the converse of that has you taking credit when they do turn out well. Why do you have two totally opposite outcomes from the same training? It puts all the responsibility on the parents shoulders – to take the credit or the blame. I’m not saying parents aren’t responsible for how they train their children, but rather they are not responsible for the results in their children’s lives.

    As I mentioned above, I have come to the place where I realize I am responsible to obey God for myself, and let Him deal with my children individually. This verse in Proverbs tells me my responsibility is to train up my children in the way they should go (i.e. pointing them to Him), and no matter how old they get, those things they learned as children will be a part of them, they can’t get away from it. It will always be an influence in their lives, and we do have the promise that God’s Word never returns unto Him void. I can trust Him to deal with the results.

    I think another thing to remember is that the Proverbs are written in Hebrew poetry. It is explicitly stated that they are “wise sayings” and in some cases riddles to be mulled over – not blanket promises or commands.

    Anyway, got to run. I’ll be thinking more about this through the weekend.

  41. Hey – Sorry to take so long to come back. I, too, was away for a few days.

    Bottom line: Tripps book sounds so good and *is* good, at the beginning – the part about capturing your child’s heart. But when you get to the second half – last third – it seems to advocate spanking for every little thing. We do spank – but it is more of a rarity, reserved for when we really see defiance.

    I’ve seen this book used as SS material, and yes – it is too easy for parents to take this as a formula…a promise of sorts. If I raise my children THIS way, they will turn out good. If I don’t spank them every single time for every single infraction, they WON’T turn out good.

    It doesn’t allow for the individuality of the child nor does the parent need to seek God’s face for wisdom on behalf of raising/disciplining *this* particular child. There is NOT one way to raise a child. There is NO SINGLE formula for churning out good kids. It is about knowing each child, about knowing what works for each child – and when you don’t know…it is about asking God for wisdom for each child.

    I wish there were one book, one formula, one set of rules. I really, really, really wish there were. It would be so much easier!!!!

    But that’s not what parenting is about. It is about hard work – walking alongside EACH child, wrestling thru, disciplining individually, lifting them up, encouraging them, etc.

    Sorry you asked? ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Tiffany says:

    Not sorry I asked at all! Ever since we went and visited family this summer and had a chance to see different styles of parenting I’ve been thinking about all of this A LOT (a lot, a lot ,a lot). And I’ve really been coming to the conclusion that different families are lead in different directions and that it is completely ok. It is nice to hear though that I’m not alone in this thought and as such can think that maybe I’m not completely off of my rocker.

    It is also soooooooo nice (can’t emphaisze this enough) to talk to women who not only are raising small children, but have some who are in their teens and beyond. For most of my in real life friends we’re all still in this thick of all all littles (age 4 is the oldest amoungst all of us at church) So although I think we all have some good thoughts on the matter, it is nice to talk to women who have been through all this already and yet are still there as well. Did that make any sense? *lol*

    Violet- thanks for more thoughts. And yes I totally see what you are saying. I have some more questions, but need to think about it more.

  43. mamashortcake says:

    I got busy and forgot all about this thread, but I am SOOOO glad I remembered and came back! I LOVE all this discussion. I can’t have it anywhere else. I am one of the youngest (and was the youngest until recently) mommy in our church. SACH (and other similar books) are basically the main idea for how to parent. I have so many questions that I have no one to ask. It feels freeing just to see others discussing this topic openly. When I did ask our pastor’s wife about it, she told me not to read those other books – now that sounds bad, and she did NOT mean it in a controlling way at all, but the idea was “it’s wrong info so don’t waste your time and just read the *good* books”, but that answer didn’t answer my questions. She and our pastor actually used to go to church with the Clarkson’s (it was his book “Heartfelt Discipline” I was mentioning along with other GBP stuff). Well, this was all just to say how much I appreciate this discussion and the specific answers to my questions about SACH. I have had those EXACT same feelings about it, but I always get blown off about it IRL. Some of the stuff in that book along with what is taught along those same lines just really bothers my conscience, but I was afraid I was just being “weak”….you know that “weak” mother heart Debi Pearl always talks about.
    I am not a good “gleaner” either and struggle with getting angry due to my own fear. I have tried so many formulas and switched around so many times and caused such a mess that I just kind of gave up on all of it. I don’t mean parenting ๐Ÿ˜€ I just mean all the “rules” in the books. That’s where I am now I guess…thinking, rethinking. Okay enough babbling. I have to get to bed! Thanks again everyone for this discussion and for listening!

  44. javadawn says:

    Tiffany and msc (sorry no coffee, can’t type too many letters) ๐Ÿ˜‰ ~
    I’m so glad you’re finding help here re: GBP. There are many wise women who comment here and I know that their words are life giving. (They sure are to me.)

    msc, I read ALL the “big” parenting books. (Pearls, Clarkson, Plow, Priolo, Turansky/Miller, Phillips) I read them all – repeatedly. I think T/M did the best at putting feet to what I wanted and what I wanted answered. I think you will find as we discuss it, that there are many aspects that as we read, you’re going to go “WAIT! THAT is exactly how I wanted to handle it.” And we’ll all nod and smile.

    You see, I believe most sincerely that Father really directs our heart as we seek Him. I think you will see evidence of that as we talk through some of this. (Other parts may be totally foreign to you – like when I end up having to confess another way I totally screwed up in parenting.) ๐Ÿ™„ (I don’t currently have one in mind, but I’m certain this discussion will reveal one….groan)

  45. Holly says:

    Yes Dawn, me too. I just had this conversation with God a few days ago. “Why did you think I could “mother” this many children? You see how much I mess up…consistently mess up.”

    I didn’t hear any big booming voice reassuring me in response…I already know the answer.

    He didn’t lead my husband and me to have *this* many children because we are so good at it.

    THEY are part of our growth process, and we are part of theirs.

    It’s lovely, it’s messy. It’s hard, but it’s good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’d do it again, and ask for more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Holly says:

    Oh, and…I wanted to come back and say specifically (in order to not be misunderstood) that I don’t stand vehemently against ANY of these books that have been mentioned.(Pearls, Tripp, Ezzo…although I don’t remember if Ezzo was even mentioned.) I’ve read most of them, at one point or another over the years…and they just haven’t clicked with me for one reason or another. I have seen families raise their children using all of these methods…and they have done so successfully. They CAN work.

    They just weren’t methods that my husband and I felt we were supposed to adopt for our family. In retrospect, I’m glad for that…because I think it has caused less problems in the long run. (We make our own problems just fine, thank you very much. We don’t need the experts to help US mess up.)

    Hope that helps clarify “me” a little bit more. I DO offer plenty of love and understanding for families who abide by these books – if they work for them, then I am thankful for them. I get a little frustrated when individuals seem to think that EVERYONE should raise their children according to *fill in the blank author* or else they are not using *THE BIBLICAL MODEL,*…but that is okay as well. I can walk right on past those strong opinions – knowing that I don’t have to answer to other people, but to God for how I raise the kids He has loaned us.

  47. Rena says:

    Thanks for the dialog. I came acrossed this website. It has really helped. Maybe I can be part of the ongoing dialog?

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