So, you might have noticed that I wrote a review recently of a book called Motivate Your Child. It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time in my family. However, as I was reading this book and looking over the National Center for Biblical Parenting’s website, I realized that I might need to start making changes in my family in a different place and a different book.
So, I ordered Parenting is Heart Work and began to read it. I couldn’t get out of the introduction without feeling a persistent sting of conviction. It was there that I read these words:
This approach of “Do what I say and I’ll let you have what you want” often misses the heart altogether. In fact, it has the opposite effect of what parents want. Behavior modification appeals to children’s resident selfishness.
I have done that so much as a parent. I’ve found myself saying things like,
“If you hit your sister, you can’t have your Loot Crate.”
“If you yell at me anymore, there will be no video games for a week.”
“If you clean your room, you can have dessert.”
“If you don’t stop crying, I’m going to send you to bed.”
“When you apologize to your sister, you may get out of time out.”
I already knew that the way I was parenting was getting old. I was having turn to consequences and rewards far too often for the consequences and rewards that I offered to have any true and lasting effect. Instead, I was finding myself looking for greater rewards and punishments or something new that I hadn’t tried yet.
It just didn’t seem like anything was working long term. I also hated the obedience paired with looks that could kill from my oldest child.
I want to have a heart for my children and I want them to have a heart for me. Over the past couple of years I’ve been on a parenting journey where I’ve been working hard to gain a picture into my children’s heart, and I’m going to share some of my parenting journey here. Many of the ideas in Parenting is Heart Work, Motivate Your Child and the other related books by Turansky and Miller are not new to me, but now is the perfect time to take those ideas and use them to build up the family relations that we’ve dreamed of.
I’ll be back to share more soon 🙂