Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer goals!

This pic was taken in Chicago when we visited Dave's dad at the Rehab Institute.  Here's to hoping our summer will look this happy and cheerful with team cooperation : )

A few people asked me to share the behavior/discipline plan that Dave and I came up with for our kids this summer.  It really is a mixture of lots of advice and other people's ideas fit for our family.  Hope this might help anyone looking for something new or just an idea starter!

Our goals:
1. Behavior
2. Chores
3. Spiritual discipline of prayer/reading the Word
4. Begin learning concept of tithing/saving/spending

1. Charts (we found great free printable behavior/chore charts on internet -thanks Karen Beaty!)
2. Reward of $ (again found really fun printable play $ online.. even found a site that you can print your kids faces on the bills, heehee)

How it works:
1. Each boy has a chart with 5 things they need to do every day 
2. They receive a sticker for each thing they accomplish each day
3. Stickers are worth 10cents a piece with the potential of earning 50 cents/day
     *For added incentive I let each child pick their own stickers out at the store

5 things:
1. There are 2 behaviors(ie. complaining, fighting with siblings, annoying siblings, etc)
     *they get 3 strikes and then they are out... which means they receive 2 warnings per behavior before they lose a sticker

2. There are 2 chores(ie. clean room, set table, trash, water flowers, etc)

3. There is 1 spiritual discipline(ie. read the Bible and prayer journal)
      -Read 1 Chapter a day of a book of the Bible(in progression)
      -Write or draw a picture in summary of what the chapter was about
      -Write out Prayer Points:
            a. PRAISE- write a praise for God
            b. THANKS- write a thank you to God for something
            c.  SORRY-  write you are sorry for a specific sin
            d.  HELP-  write and ask God to help you with something

1.  Boys get an extra dollar at the end of each week IF they get a perfect chart for the week
2.  We are implementing the tithing(10%), saving(50%), spending(40%) as they receive their $
3.  Boys are only required  to do spiritual discipline 5 times/wk... so they get 2 FREE stickers/wk.

Overall thoughts:
I am SO excited!!  Things are going really well.  My favorite thing is the journals!  The boys are reading through Joshua and LOVE it.  They don't even want to take a break and plan to do it 7 days/wk.  One thing I know has really helped is how we introduced the whole idea.  I've been prepping them for weeks plus we have been building it up and speaking confidence into them that we KNOW they can do it : )  

The other thing we have done is we have UNPLUGGED for the summer(all technology, yippee!).  It's amazing how the complaining about when do they get to have their "screen" time each day and "can't we just finish this level" is NON-EXISTENT!  We will have exceptions on Saturday mornings for mom and dad to "sleep in" and for family nights(which vary week to week).  I highly recommend taking the leap : )

Oh, and we are doing sticker charts with the girls too!  They have a chart for 1 targeted behavior.  Right now we are working on not coming into mommy and daddy's bed in the middle of the night.  And like the boys, it's working!!!  4 out of the last 6 nights!!

Hope you all have a great summer!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Trusting that "Jesus loves me this I know"

Stunned.  I stood there holding my daughter.  Her arms gently wrapped around my neck and clung to me, her head buried in my shoulder.  She willingly received comfort from me as she cried.  Truly a breakthrough!

Sarah had received a punishment from me for disobeying.  Being disciplined was no new thing for Sarah in disobedience.  However, her reaction was a 180 turn.  Normally, upon punishment, Sarah throws a fit, yells angrily, pulls/runs away, or screams the name of the opposite parent(or even Caleb's name) in hopes of being rescued.

Her angry reactions have been difficult and different from parenting the other kids.  As long as we disciplined in a godly, right way(yep, we're not perfect : ), our other kids have always melted into our arms after being punished.  I'd liken it to owning their "sin" and them accepting the consequence.  But with Sarah, no matter how calm, kind, reassuring and firm I have been in delivering her discipline, she has reacted as though I have hurt her unfairly and retreats from me.

To me, it's all about TRUST.  When my children completely trust me with their training, well-being and feel whole-heartedly loved, they respond to their discipline with broken yet willing spirits(please keep in mind they aren't so willing and broken before admonishment, hehe).  They KNOW I love them and they TRUST that I am correcting in that love.  Sarah may struggle with trust "off and on" her whole life but I'm praying she won't.  I see victory over her trust/security issues little by little and praising God for this small victory in the area of discipline!

So....  you all know by now, I have to go further than a story about Sarah : )  I am reminded of Hebrews 12:5-11:

"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the LORD, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the LORD loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.......   All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

Woe is my soul when I am far from Him and I turn angrily from His discipline.  When I forget His unfailing love and choose unbelief, my heart becomes cold and unresponsive by my skewed perspective of unfairness.  I shiver and cower in fear, insecurity and lies from the enemy.

But when I TRUST my Abba, Father and am confident in the knowledge that He loves me, I receive His discipline... broken yet willing.  I cry out for comfort from the One who is training my heart for righteousness.  I mount up with wings like eagles and gain new strength as I wait for the Lord. "Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us."Hosea 6:1

Are you TRUSTING God in His discipline?  Be encouraged, friends, "HE who began a good work in you is FAITHFUL to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus!"