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.
THE SWAT CHART
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)
MURMURING OR COMPLAINING - 2 SWATS
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,