Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Creative Corrections

I know in my previous blog when I talked about the "Swat Chart", I said it went up to age eight, but you really should stop spanking your child by age five or six, because after that age it can become a point of shame. 

The number one way that you punish or correct teenagers is MONEY. Give them ten dollars a week allowance. Fifty percent of everything they make goes into savings for a car when they are 16. One dollar goes to tithes. Four dollars they get to keep. WHEN THEY FORGET TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY HAVE BEEN TOLD TO DO, I SAY, "THAT WILL COST YOU A DOLLAR." IF THEY DO SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARILY ABOVE AND BEYOND, THEY GET A DOLLAR.

Remember, “Fathers (or mothers) do not embitter your children."  Remember in my earlier blog I stated that the way you "embitter" your teenagers is by requiring higher standards of them than you require of yourself.  The solution is mutual accountability.  SOOOOO.....

 IF I AS THE PARENT HAVE A BAD ATTITUDE (tone of voice), THEN IT COSTS MOM OR DAD A DOLLAR.  So what happens if I as the parent don't think I had a bad tone of voice, but the teenager does?

 If I don’t think it was a bad tone of voice, any other member of the family can break the tie.

If there are only two people present the tie goes to the parent.

Because they have the majority of the responsibility on them and they are the covering.

If someone refuses to tithe or if they don’t take the responsibility to tithe, they are a child.  We should not have to remind the kids to tithe.


1. Listen to tapes: "Tongue Binding" and "Secrets of a Hard Worker" from "Job and Career Series" by Pastor John Fichtner

2. Make them identify what area they are being a child: Hygiene, Work, Graciousness, Money, Attitude

3. Write Chapters of the Bible

4. Write 100 times: "I will not be a “Beamer.” based on Matthew 7:1-5.

5. Write Matthew 7:1-5

6. Memorize Matthew 7:1-5

7. Memorize Proverbs 3

8. Write Essay on Punishments

9. Read a book: “How to Win Friends and Influence people”, "Five Love Languages"or "Preparing for Adolescence". Amanda read the books, TJ preferred the tape series' and doing the workbook.

10. Do a course: TJ and Tyler had to do the entire "Fruit of the Spirit" series before they could do anything else like play computer, watch TV, have friends over, ride bikes, talk on the phone etc. I told them that they were grounded for however long it took them to complete the course. (Note: This gives them more power to decide how long their grounding was going to be.)  They did the whole course (eight sermons) complete with workbook in one day.

11. Spend time in prayer: Pray prayer of repentance when anyone has a bad tone of voice or bad body language.

This was on our Punishment board and often times I would let them choose what punishment they wanted to do.  Giving them a choice shows respect, which is the number one thing that teenagers want.

REMEMBER:  A good punishment is hard on them easy on you.

Pleasure & Pain

Hebrews 12:11 - No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but PAINFUL. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and Peace for those who have been TRAINED by it.

Acts of Service:

For when your children have wronged each other or you as a parent have wronged them.

Forgiveness is automatic. TRUST has to be re-earned.

1. Make breakfast for each other

2. Make Lunch for each other

3. Make your sibling's Bed

4. WRITE LOVE NOTES TO YOUR BROTHER/SISTER: (Note: I still have all the love notes the kids have written to each other, they are precious to go back and read.)   

5. Clean your brother/sister's room

6. Load hockey stuff

7. Do chores

8. Wash and fold each others' clothes.

9. For TJ or Tyler: Fix Mom or Amanda a cup of tea.

Ephesians 6:1

"Children obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do."
Tomorrow I will share the importance of knowing your child's love language and personality type.  These are crucial when it comes to discipline and love.

As always, cheering you on!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why the Name: "Professional Parenting"

A few months ago, my middle son TJ came home from work, handed me a set of motivational CDs that he had been listening to and said,

TJ: "You should listen to these you would like them."

Mom: "Really, why is that?"

TJ: "Because he talks about a bunch of stuff that you are always telling us."

Mom: "Really, like what?"

TJ: "Like you know how you are always telling us to live in the moment and don't be texting all the time and how you are always taking pictures and how you are always setting goals. You do what he tells us to do in business, except you just do it in parenting."

Mom: "That's really funny that you would say that TJ, because I have been thinking about writing a book called "Professional Parenting" with the subtitle: "The Business Man's Guide to Parenting."

TJ: "I think you should write it."  

So that is how the name of this blog came to be.  I have it on my list to co-author a book by that title with John Maxwell.  I'm not naive to the fact that most of the parenting books that are purchased are purchased by wives who then try to coerce their husbands into reading them. The "following" on this blog confirms that it's the women who are doing the reading on parenting.  As far as I know, I don't have any men following my blog.  However, if a book was written about parenting that the man could use the principals in his business as well as in his parenting, then perhaps more men would be more interested in reading that book. 

OK enough about the title. Today I would like to talk to you about the importance of setting goals in your parenting.  It is my belief that the days of passive parenting are a thing of the past.  I don't believe you can be passive in your training and have your kids survive this sin-filled culture.  My personality type "D" enables me to keep my eye on a goal for a very long time. 

I had 3 goals in mind as my kids were growing up:

1.  The importance of the power of the tongue.

2. How to resolve conflict.

3.  The importance of guarding their innocence.

The power of the tongue.

The Bible is very clear about the power of speech to do great good or evil. Here, words are described as having the power of life and death--the power to build somebody up or tear them down. The power of the tongue should not be underestimated. Proverbs 18:21 -  "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. "Eat" what? You will either eat the fruit of life or you will eat the fruit of death, depending on how you speak.  Each day you are given a choice as to whether you are going to float your tongue in the river of life or the river of death. CHOOSE LIFE!  

This is a lesson that all 3 of my kids have learned well.  Very rarely will you ever hear them speak negatively about themselves or others.  They understand the power to speak verbal blessings.  Another reason I know that my kids "got this one" is because now that my kids are grown, I will sometimes relax my "guard". Just the other day I said something that was not positive in nature and my son said, "I can't believe you spoke that curse over my life." So yeah, I think all three of my kids got that one. 

How to Resolve Conflict:

This is probably the one that I put the most effort into helping them learn, because I feel that if someone has good conflict resolution skills they will be successful in every area of their life.  They will be successful in their marriage, they will be successful in their jobs.  Since many times the reason someone gets fired is not because they can't do the work, but rather because they can't get a long with people.  The training tool that I used to teach them how to be good at Conflict Resolution is Pastor John Fichtner's teaching series: "Conflict Resolution". You can listen to this series online if you would like by going to http://www.libertychurch.org/. Tim and I also tried to lead by example, by allowing our kids to observe how Tim and I worked to come to agreement when making decisions.  Being good at conflict resolution requires people to be teachable and humble.  Remember a humble person "WANTS TRUTH MORE THAN THEY WANT TO BE RIGHT."   I have seen my kids resolve conflict over the years in a healthy manner, so I know that they got this principal as well. My youngest son was in a band when he was 15 - 16. Being in a band and working with 5 other families provided him with many opportunities for implementing his conflict resolution skills.  Now whether they choose to apply what they know is another matter all together, but at least they have the knowledge of HOW to resolve conflict properly.

The importance of guarding your innocence:

In today's sin-filled culture you are looked at as weird if you even attempt to guard your innocence.  What I tried to communicate to  my kids is you are not weird for trying to guard your innocence, but you are rare and valuable.

 For our 25th wedding anniversary, my wonderful husband bought me a beautiful diamond ring.  I would hold up that ring and ask my kids, "Why is this diamond so valuable?"  After many guesses we would come to the conclusion that what makes things valuable is how rare they are. One way we decided to protect their innocence was by purchasing a Clearplay DVD player.  Its a DVD player that filters out the sex, cussing, and excessive violence.  That way we can enjoy a movie without having to lay aside Biblical principals for the sake of "entertainment". During the teen years they did not feel like they were current and up on movies, so our compromise was Clearplay.  Good leadership is being able to come up with options that everyone is pleased with.  Now that my kids are adults, I don't always agree with their media choices but its their lives and they will have to live with the choices they make.  It's my hope that the filth of this world will be distasteful to them and they will return to guarding their innocence once again.  Don't get me wrong, their media choices are probably much like the average Christian Joe's media choices and my standards are looked at by others as "weird", but to me I find them very valuable. 

So in conclusion, I would like to challenge you to start thinking about what goals you would like to achieve as parents.  What would you like for your children to leave your home with when they move out, and what tools are you going to implement in order for you to reach those goals? 

One other side note: It's vital that you understand that you can make goals all you want, but unless your son or daughter sees the benefit of that goal, they will be YOUR goals, NOT THEIR GOALS.  One thing about generation X-ers and the Millennium generation is they don't do anything unless you show them how it will BENEFIT them. So not only is it important to come up with the goals, but even more important is communicating to your teens how adopting these goals for themselves will BENEFIT THEM. 

Tomorrow I promise to write about creative punishments for teenagers and I will also share the number one thing that teens want.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Tribute to Our Beloved Rascal

Life comes at ya fast sometimes.  A lot can happen in a 24 hour period.  I once read a saying: "I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes they all gang up on me".   That's how I feel about today.  Yesterday it was my intention to encourage you to think about the kind of goals you would like to see your kids reach before they move out of your house.  However that topic seems a bit irrelevant right now. 

Today is  also the day that I am launching my youngest son off to Bible College, so I could write about him and all the mixed emotions I have about that. 

However, our beloved family pet Rascal went to dog heaven this morning, so if you wouldn't mind I would like to dedicate this blog to Rascal.

Dear Sweet Rascal,

Born: July 8, 1993

Died: Aug 27, 2010.

Age: 17 years old in human years or 119 in dog years.

I had already tried to prepare myself for the day that you would be gone, but now that it’s here I know that I was not prepared. Life will not be the same without you. Thank you for your constant happy wagging tail, your big kisses, and your daily companionship.

You are 17 years old and your body is laden with arthritis. You are unable to walk, you can barely see, you can't really hear us, and your latest ailments include not being able to control your bowel movements.

Our family would not be the same had God not seen fit to bring you into our lives. I will never forget the day you came to live with us. I remember it like yesterday even though it was 17 years ago. It was December 11, 1995. You were so full of spunk and energy. I first spotted you darting in and out of cars at the Kroger parking lot. I panicked because I was afraid that you were going to get hit by a car. My kids and I were on our way to “Play it Again Sports”. I called you and you came right up to us. As I lifted you into our van, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “This is the one.” I had been praying about getting a dog.

We contacted local animal shelters just to make sure that no one else was missing a beloved dog, but to no avail. Two weeks later the animal shelter called and informed us that after two weeks, if no one calls about a dog, whoever finds the dog is the legal owner of the dog. They asked if we would like for them to help us with the cost of getting you spayed, which we did. The vet told us that you were about one and a half years old. This put you being born: July 8, 1993.

I will never forget how timid and scared you were the first time we allowed you to come inside the house. You crawled on your stomach and Amanda, TJ and Tyler had to teach you how to walk down the stairs.

You became “TJ’s dog” immediately. He named you Rascal, 'cause it was his life–long dream (at the ripe age of 6) to own a dog. He said that if he ever did get a dog he would name it Rascal.

TJ even threw you a doggy birthday party on July 8, 1998. You turned five years old with a bang.
Boy did you live up to your name. You were so fast, when we opened the garage door you would dart out like a bullet, running too fast for any mere human to catch you. We were at your mercy and had to wait 'til YOU decided YOU wanted to come home.

Thank you for helping me keep “our” kids safe while they played at the farm. I always felt better about them going down to the creek to play if you went with them. I somehow figured all your commotion you brought with you would cause any snakes or other harmful critters to flee in terror.

Thank you for not getting angry with the kids when they would put you up on the trampoline and wanted you to jump with them.

Thank you for enduring all the many horses that would come down and share the yard with you.

Thank You for putting up with a cranky old cat named “Socks” that would swat you on your nose if you happened to walk too close to her.

Thank you for not eating our kittens.

Thank you for being so gentle and patient with Gemma when she came over and helping her get over her fear of dogs.

Thank you for greeting all the numerous teenagers that would come through our front door with a wagging tail and a kiss.

Thank You for always being friendly to the other dogs in the neighborhood, like Buddy. However, you hated poodles for some reason. You would see them as snack food.

Thank You for being my running partner at Red Top Mountain all those wonderful happy years. I loved your excitement in the mornings as we got ready to get in the van to go run Red Top Mountain. You used to get so excited whenever I would put on my running shoes. You would run to the garage, stand by the van and bark with excitement, waiting for me to open the back so you could jump up inside. You would perch yourself in the back of the van so joyously and you would make eyes with the other commuters. We often got smiles from those commuters.

You would run 15 miles to Krista's and my 5 miles. You would chase squirrels to no avail, but there was that one time you caught a poor, helpless, injured squirrel, which turned into a bloody mess. You were so proud of yourself.

Then the day finally came when I had to leave for the mountain without you due to the arthritis you had developed in your hips. Running the mountain would cause you to not be able to walk for the rest of the day. You used to look so sad when I had to tell you “No”. For the first time in your life, I saw your cheerful heart look sad and poutty.

Sometimes you got really excited when you were dreaming, and your cute paws started moving all over the place like you were running. I always thought you were dreaming about being on the mountain again.

As you aged, our fearless puppy turned into a coward whenever a thunder storm rolled in. We used to have to turn on the window A.C. units and turn up the music really loud so you could not hear the thundering. You would go crazy with fear, closing doors with your nose. You even locked yourself in TJ’s room one time when poor Camille was babysitting you. You were not good when your family left you. You were so happy when we returned from Utah, wagging your tail and giving us kisses.

You had so much personality and energy. That is what made you so special and so much fun. You brought joy to so many people and you were a great stress reliever. You have so many friends that I can’t remember them all: Gemma, Adam, John, Gabe, Jaclyn, Camille (I think she still likes you) and most recently Madge.

Anyone who knows the DISC personality traits would recognize you as an “I” dog, the “party” dog, the “people” dog. You brought such joy to our home. You had to be with people. You would scratch on TJ’s door till he would let you in. You did not like to sleep by yourself. You had to sleep in TJ’s room.

I think you had some “S” in you too, 'cause you had a stubborn streak. Even an electric fence could not deter you. If you set your mind to it and you decided that you wanted to go to James' house, you took your shock and went on your way. That’s when Tim and I realized we probably should have gotten the collar made for “stubborn” dogs. But over time you eventually complied with the “rules” and stayed in our yard.

You confirmed the old saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. I purchased a five gallon water dispenser for you before we went to Utah, 'cause I was afraid that Camille might not be able to keep up with your drinking demands. You tend to drink an excessive amount of water. Well, you would have nothing to do with the gurgling water dispenser; you would die of thirst before you would drink from that monster. Once again your stubbornness won, and I returned the gurgling monster and got my forty dollars back.

You also got picky about your food in your old age, it was Purina or nothing. I tried to buy you some fancy food boasting of their superior health benefits, hoping it might bring healing to your aching joints. Well, you refused to eat it and once again your stubbornness paid off, 'cause I returned to the store the next day and got your beloved Purina Dog Chow and you ate it voraciously.

I’m glad we have some video of you “growing up” with the family. You fit right in with this crazy Shedd family. One of my favorite videos of you is when TJ decided that he wanted to give you a birthday party. We even took you to PetSmart and let you pick out your own presents. You also loved the apple pie with whipped cream we gave you.

It was always a blessing whenever I would say your name. Even in old age you would wag your tail, then you would get up even when it pained you. You never failed to get up, come over to me and lay your tired head on my hand so I could pet you.

Since you could not back up, you would often get trapped between the coffee table and the couch. Whenever this happened, everyone had to move their feet and put the recliner down so you could continue your trek through to the other side. This was a nightly ritual for you lately. I think you knew your days were numbered and this was your way of staying close to the family that you loved.

We were so blessed to have you in our family.

I hope we picked the right time, and I’m sorry if we waited too long. We really didn’t want you to suffer, and it was hard to say goodbye. You looked so peaceful leaving this earth. I look forward to the day that we meet again in heaven and both of us can run together again, play together, work together and praise God together.

There will never be another Rascal.

Your loving mom & family


One of your many adoring fans.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Being An Adult Has Nothing to do With Age

I have seen 40 year old men act like children and 14 year old children act like adults.  Being an adult has NOTHING to do with age. 

A child is FORCED responsibility, an adult TAKES responsibility.  The secret to success throughout the teenage years,  or life for that matter, is for you as parents to remain TEACHABLE and HUMBLE.

A humble mom/dad is someone who desires TRUTH more than they desire to BE RIGHT.

If you remain humble and teachable with your kids in the teen years, you will go from SURVIVING the teen years to THRIVING in the teen years.

 When our middle son was 12, we each signed an agreement that we were going to be people of TRUTH. 


Being an adult means that the NUMBER ONE area that you take responsibility for is in the area of your ACTIONS and ATTITUDES.  That means that you do not blame others for your bad attitude, you do not make excuses for your bad attitude and you do not deny that you had a bad attitude. 

I want to park it right here because this might very well be the most important thing I ever say in my blog - ever.



BAD ATTITUDE = TONE OF VOICE and Body Language. 

THE DAY YOU BECOME AN ADULT IS THE DAY YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE BEFORE GOD FOR YOUR ATTITUDE AND THERE IS NEVER AN EXCUSE FOR A BAD ATTITUDE. If you are an adult, you finish the sentence with, "The reason I’m grumpy is because I have a bad attitude, and I need someone to punish me, because I am serious about wanting to change my childish behavior."

In week 7 of my "Daughter of the King" class, I teach the girls "The Rewards of Obedience"  and I teach them the acronym B.E.D.  (Blame, Excuse, Deny). If you make your BED you will lie in it.  If you BLAME others for your bad attitude you are a CHILD.  If you make EXCUSES for your bad attitude you are a CHILD.  If you DENY that you have a bad attitude you are a CHILD.   If you take responsibility for your bad attitude and accept your punishment, that will help you change your anger issues. Then you are acting like an adult and you are humble. AKA: Someone who wants truth more than you want to be right.

This is a concept I worked very hard at instilling into my kids when they were between the ages of 8 - 12.  During this season of their lives they are very motivated to grow up.  I think it's important that we are specific so our children know what it means to "grow up".  Tomorrow I will talk about some specific goals to help your kids know what they are trying to reach.

From 12 – 17 is when we as parents get to drink the fruit of our own attitudes. Up to 12 years old we are pouring our attitudes into the cups of our children. At 12 – 17  they tell you to drink that cup. If you are apathetic your teenager will be apathetic. If you have a temper your teenager will have a temper. 

Paul listed 15 adult attitudes in I Corinthians 13. These "Fruits of the Spirit" are: Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Patience, Kindness, Does not envy, is not proud, is not RUDE, IS NOT SELF SEEKING,  IS NOT EASILY ANGERED,  KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS, NEVER DELIGHTS IN EVIL, ALWAYS HOPES AND ALWAYS PERSEVERES. THIS IS ADULTHOOD!

The teenage years are a second chance for Mom and Dad to grow up!! Yay!!  I think God smiles at this opportunity. 

Cheering you on.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Open Communication = Eating Crow

Everyone knows that communication is key to any relationship, but we especially know it's important when raising teenagers.  In my opinion, communication shuts down NOT because the teen quits talking as much, but because the parents don't like what the teen has to say.  For 13 years our kids have had to listen to us point out their weaknesses, and punish them when those weaknesses are exposed.   By the time that kid hits age 14, he's about had it and is screaming for equal time.  At about age 14 is when he has decided that it's his turn to point out Mom and Dad's weaknesses.  We as parents don't like it.  The teen years are ALL ABOUT EATING CROW:

How to eat crow well. 

The best way I know to eat crow is to put a huge plate in front of you and grab the biggest fork and spoon you can find (in my case I preferred to use a shovel). Then ENCOURAGE YOUR TEEN SON OR DAUGHTER TO PILE IT ON.  Crow never tastes good going down. In fact, at times it can scratch your throat, but if you swallow hard you can get it down. 

Once when our son was age 14 we were really at odds with each other, so we developed a tool that enabled him to be more effective at piling crow onto our plates.  Tim and I were determined to keep the communication lines open during the teen years. The way you do that is by asking the right questions. The right questions are the kind of questions that allow the teen to vent how they are feeling even if the parent does not like what the teen is saying. Like I said in my last blog, Tim and I allowed our teen to say ANYTHING to us as long as it was done in a respectful tone of voice. When our son was 14, we once logged 40 hours of dialogue over a two week period. I know because I kept track of it. The last question we asked our son was, "What have you learned from all this?" His answer was like gold to our souls. He said, "I have learned that my parents really do want to hear what I have to say."

 Over the years I have had several parents ask about how to communicate with their teenagers, so I have changed the work sheet to be generic in form so any teen grievances can be filled in the blank. I hope this helps someone.  Feel free to cut and paste it to your own document and use with your own teens.  Below are the questions we used.

Tools for helping your teen "pile on the crow"
(AKA: Questions to Improve Communication)

(Name of Son/Daughter)_________________________________________
Please take some time to think and pray over the following questions. We are deeply concerned that you are hurting and want to make sure that we hear and understand your heart concerning this issue. Take as much time as you need, we want to be sure that you are comfortable with your answers. These questions are our way of letting you know that the door of dialogue is always open. If at any time you would like to discuss these questions we are available. We have seen that our response concerning  __________________________________  (issue you are dialoguing about) has put a wedge between our relationship and we will do anything to remove that wedge. We miss you!

1. Do you think we are being over protective by not allowing you to: _____________________________________________________

2. Do you think that we are being paranoid? _________________________________

3. Do you think we are over-reacting due to the pain we have experienced?
 Note: Many times parents react to their teenagers misbehavior out of fear from their own past. If the parents have sinned in the same area as their teenager, it is vital for them to confess their sins to their teenagers. When we confess our sins it will break the power of the generational curse. When we try to hide our past from our teenagers it increases the power of the generational curse.

4. Our goal is to teach you the relational skills you need so that you can be a successful husband/father someday. Do you feel like we have properly equipped you in this area? ______________________If not, how can we improve? _____________________________________________________

5. Do you feel that by not allowing you to (Name behavior) _________________________________________________
 that we do not think that God is committed to your well being? _________________________________________________

6. Has our uneasiness planted fear in your heart?_____________________________________

7. How do you feel about (behavior)? ____________________________
If you would like more information, we would be happy to provide you with any books YOU choose and if you would like to discuss them with us over tacos we would be honored. _______________________________________________________________

8. We celebrate the amazing young man/woman that you are and we are confident that you will find the right path for your life.

9. We deeply appreciate you and trust your walk with God.

10. How can we give you responsibilities for your life in increments so you can feel successful? ______________________________________________________________
You have an amazing track record and we have the utmost confidence that you will handle this like the champ that you are.

11. Would it help if we developed a signal or code so we could alert each other when we are getting on each other’s nerves? _____________________
Perhaps a hooking signal? Note: My kids play hockey so they know what this means. So if I start to nag you or not trust you, you can throw me the hooking signal and I will back off and say, “Okay, thanks for handling that Tyler.” If I throw the signal then you will respond, “Sorry mom, I’m listening, what are you wanting to tell me?” I will do my best to use as few words as possible.

12. Would you be willing to work to come up with an option that everyone is pleased with so that we can build trust and turn our fear into faith? ______________________________________________________________

13. What can we do that will allow both of us to be thrilled? ______________________________________________________________

14. Can you please describe to us the difference between lust and love?______________________________________________________

15. How can we do a better job at making you feel that you are in control of your world, however still remain confident that you will not think and act like you are above the rules? _______________________________________________________________

16. Do you feel like we are not respecting you, by not allowing you to _______________________________________________________?
Is there anything else that you would like to add that will help us gain a better understanding of how you feel? ____________________________________________________________

17. Do you think we are stupid for not allowing you to ____________________________________________________________?

18. What are some constant daily tensions you will be faced with by (behavior issue) _____________________________________________________________?

19. Would you be willing to talk with Pastor _________  or Pastor ________ about this issue? ________________________________________________

20. Would you be willing to ask their advice concerning this issue? _____________________________________________________

21. How would you feel about me working to come up with options that everyone is thrilled with? ___________________________________________________

(Name of teenager)__________________________ Do you think....

1. That (Behavior Issue) _________________________________________is:

• No Big Deal - EVERYONE does it

• Not Smart but Not a Bad thing either

• A Bad thing but not a terrible thing

• A Sign of a person who is insecure and they need understanding

• A warning from the Lord

2. That our reaction to (Behavior Issue)___________________________
• Has made the situation worse? ___________
• Has made the situation better? ___________

• Makes you (Name) ______________________________ act worse because we believe the worst about you?

• Is ignoring your opinion?______________________________

• Has some points of wisdom and some points that are not smart? ___________________________________________________

3. In your opinion, is there a better way to handle this? ___________________________________________

(Name of wise friend, pastor or brother)_________________________________
spoke very wisely when they shared with you that (nugget of truth) _________________________________ is a SMALL TEST for (Name of teenager) __________________________ and if you do not pass this test, then the Lord will permit you to go through larger tests.

• Do you feel like we have really heard your heart or do you feel that you have been dominated by Dad and me? ___________________________________________

• Do you feel that we trust you or do you feel like we are treating you like a foolish child? ______________________________________________________________

Our youngest son is 19 now and just yesterday I had to eat crow. After three teens I'm pretty good at it now, and since my teens are older I have to eat less and less crow. But after he pointed out a weakness of mine, I just said, "Ya know, I hate that I do that.  I really need to change that, would you pray that God will help me change that about myself?" 

Tomorrow we will talk about the difference between an adult and a child.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Punishments for Parents

For a parent, the ages from birth to twelve are physically exhausting years, however, the teen years bring emotional exhaustion.  The teen years are when YOU get to grow up. How you handle the teen years will determine if you are going to remain friends with your kids as adults.  The Bible says in Ephesians 6:4: "Father's do not exasperate your children." The way that you exasperate your children is by requiring higher standards of them, than you require of yourself.  What I mean by that is that you are allowed to raise your voice and yell at your kid, but if your kid raises his voice and yells at you, he gets grounded or gets in trouble.  No, that is not right. If you mess up you need to be held accountable and your kids should be allowed to correct you as well.  Tim and I used to have to get on our knees (there's something very humbling about getting on your knees) and pray after we have lost our temper or used a wrong tone of voice with our teenagers. 

During the teen years this prayer became part of our "Punishment Wall" and both teenager and/or parent would have to go to the wall, take it down and pray it.  Even Dad. 

Tell the Lord that you are turning today. From this day forward you have set my heart that I am an adult and there is no excuse when I have a smart mouth. It was because I HAD A BAD ATTITUDE. When I am irritated IT IS BECAUSE I HAVE A BAD ATTITUDE. I WILL LIVE THIS WAY OF HUMILITY.



Other punishments the kids gave me:

1. I had to make TJ's bed for a week for him, due to loosing my temper with him.

2. I had to pay the kids money on several occasions for a bad tone of voice.

We have a policy that you can talk about anything and everything in our home as long as you do it calmly and humbly.  We paid the price, but our home is a home of peace and it was so worth it. 


Humbly yours,

I have quite a bit to say regarding the teen years, so we are going to park it right here for the next few days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

TRAIN Up a Child

Window: Ages 2 - 5 = Discipline

My favorite season of parenting was ages 8 - 12.  In parenting you are given definite "windows" to instill into your kids.  Age 1 - 5 is the "window" of establishing discipline.  A disciplined child = a child with a good self-esteem.  If you do that job well, life is much easier than if you miss that window. 

Window: Ages 8 - 12 = Training

At age 8 - 9 a child's brain develops to the point of being able to think abstractly.  What that means is that they are able to comprehend spiritual concepts.  It is this "window" of time that your majority of training will take place.  It's after the baby stage and before the teen stage.  It was this season of life that I drilled wisdom into my kids.  This is how I did that.  Again, it takes being intentional. 

1.  Video Games = sound effects turned OFF, and teaching tape on LOUDLY!!

I hate wasting anything.  I hate wasting, money, I hate wasting food, but I especially hate wasting TIME.  My time and energy are my most valued commodities.  When the kids were ages 8 - 12, they started getting interested in video games.  The only way I could justify them playing video games was if they played with the sound effects turned OFF and a teaching tape playing in the background.  I'm fully convinced that this policy is a key factor to the success they are experiencing today.  They listened to so many tape series they had them memorized.  They listened to Pastor John's sermons any time they played video games. 

2.  Family Devotions: AKA "Nugget Night"

Every Friday night we had "Nugget Night" which was family devotions.  We named it "Nugget Night" because of the nuggets of truth we would discover in God's Word.  We would all gather in the living room, everyone with their workbooks and pens and we would listen to series on "The Armor of God", " The Holy Spirit", or "Teenagers". We would fill out our discussion questions and do a round table discussion on what we learned.  The kids loved "Nugget Night", because we always ordered pizza and ate ice cream after our Bible study time.  They would also invite their friends in the neighborhood to come to "Nugget Night", so it was a great evangelism outreach. 

3.  Discipline = Training

Another thing that changes dramatically during this stage of life is your style of discipline.  You use misbehavior as an opportunity for training.  By this time your child is too big to spank, so you need to change your parenting strategy when it comes to how you correct your child's behavior. This strategy replaced the "Swat Chart" on my punishment board when my kids got older. Though it was a new strategy, it still enabled Tim and I to "always have a punishment in our back pocket."

Negative Reinforcements for ages 9-12:

1. Wash Dog

2. Sweep Porch

3. Don’t go to CHAT (Our home school support group)

4. Clean Mirrors

5. Do dishes

6. Write Chapters of the Bible

7. Write 100 times: "I will not be a “Beamer” based on Matthew 7:1-5. ("Beamer" = Focusing on the faults of others.)

8. Write Matthew 7:1-5

9. Memorize Matthew 7:1-5

10. Write: “I will be kind to my brother” 100 times.

11. Write: “I will be kind to my kids.” Note: This was for me, if I did not hold up our family's "kindness" policy. (Yes they could punish me as well. More on this later.)

12. Memorize Proverbs 3

13. Write an essay on punishments

14. Write: “I will not stir up strife or anger."

15. Vacuum

16. Pay money

17. No Telephone

18. No TV

19. No Computer

20. Raking pine straw up into the pine islands

I know when you are struggling just to keep your head above water, get dinner on the table and the kids to hockey practice, it might be hard to keep in mind the big picture.  But it is vital to keep in mind what you are aiming for. 

Tomorrow I will cover my parenting strategies for the teen years. 

Cheering you on!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Always Have a Punishment in Your Back Pocket

I would like to dedicate my first blog to Candra Ryan Georgi who provided the words of encouragement and the inspiration to start this blog.  I truly admire this new generation of mothers.  So this one's for you Candra.

Unlike us Baby Boomer parents, this generation is much more humble and teachable than we were.  The Boomers were really messed up in many ways. They had a lot against them, and it’s no wonder many of their lives turned out so poorly. Boomers acted like they had it all together, whereas the Generation X-ers and Millennium's are quick to admit,  "Hey, we don't have it all together and we would really appreciate some help and input."  That is why I believe they are going to be much more successful than the Baby Boomers were when it comes to their marriages and parenting.  They also understand the painful effects of  divorce, so they will be more apt to fight for their marriages than the Boomers were.  In many ways they have a greater ambition of making it work, because they have seen it fail so many times. We know more about how to make marriage work today than we ever have in human history. I believe the tide is changing with the Generation X and Millennium generation now being part of the largest divorce generation. They are now saying, “WE don’t want that to happen to us, so what will it take?  I don’t want to make divorce an option, so what do I have to do?"  Divorce, doesn’t come upon you suddenly, it usually happens to people growing apart from each other. But you have to be INTENTIONAL about your marriage, and your parenting.

More about marriage later,  this blog is on parenting.

Parenting Strategy 101

Tim and I have a saying:  “Always have a punishment in your back pocket.”  The bible tells us that the degree that we CONSISTENTLY discipline our children is the degree that we love them.  The only strategy that we know that enables us to fulfill that challenge of consistent discipline is by always being ready with a punishment.  In fact often times we will warn our children before we ask them to do something.  We will say:  “Now I’m going to ask you to do something and I want you to know that how you respond to that request will determine weather you go to hang out night. Have so and so over, or are grounded for the next week etc…” If you are cheerfully obedient then your privileges will remain in tact.  However if you choose to sigh, roll your eyes or complain then you have decided to forfeit your privilege for pain. 
"Always have a punishment in your back pocket." When it comes to discipline, consistency is the key.  With three kids all two years apart it took being intentional in order to stay one step ahead of them.  This was one of the "tools of the trade" that we used to help us remain consistent in our discipline. It was clear and concise and  allowed us to discipline calmly, quickly, easily and fairly.  I had a punishment wall that this was taped to that I could just go to and read what the designated punishment for the crime should be.  For example: If TJ hit Tyler, he would get three swats, but if Tyler "started it", he would get one swat.  So both kids would get punished for whatever crime they committed. 


CAUSING TROUBLE/DISCORD - 1 SWAT (taunting, teasing, badgering, "starting it", bullying around, etc. (Proverbs 6: 19)

ARGUING - 3 SWATS (arguing with each other, arguing with adults, verbal fighting etc. (Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 16:32)

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR - 3 SWATS (hitting, biting, kicking, pushing, elbowing, anything with the intent to hurt, etc. (Ephesians 4:31-32)

NAME CALLING - 2 SWATS (Calling a person by a name other than his or her own that is not complimentary. (James 3:1-12, Proverbs 6:12, Ephesians 4:31)

DISRESPECT OR DISOBEDIENCE - 3 SWATS (Verbal or non -verbal "back talk", not doing what you are told to do or doing it with a "BAD ATTITUDE", etc. (Ephesians 6:1-3)

LYING - 3 SWATS (Proverbs: 12:22)

No - "But mom", "No ma'am" or "Please no" comments. (Philippians 2: 14)

The TOOLS of Consistency

From ages 1-8 punishment was pretty cut and dry. I used the swat chart to correct my children. On a good day, I would read the corresponding scripture before administering the rod of correction. On an average day, I would just identify the offense, check for how many swats that offense incurred and again administer the rod of correction. On a bad day, I was too selfish and lazy to correct my children despite their misbehavior.

How much I LOVE my children is directly related to how consistently I correct them when they have done wrong. (Proverbs 13:24)

When I spanked, I chose to use a 5 gallon paint stirrer.  They were free and I had them everywhere - in my van, downstairs, upstairs.  They were easy access.  But to be honest, if you are consistent in the earlier years, you really do not have to use them much at all. 

So this was my parenting strategy for ages 1- 8. Tomorrow I will post my discipline strategy for ages 9 - 12.

Cheering you on,

Mama Shedd