Monday, March 10, 2008

Self Control continued

This was taken from an e-mail sent from It is right in line with my previous post. I LOVE IT!

Parenting Tip
March 10, 2008
How Do You Define a Change of Heart?
At the National Center for Biblical Parenting we talk a lot about helping children change their hearts. You may be thinking, "My children don't know how to change their hearts. What does that mean anyway, and what can we expect in any given discipline situation?"
When a child has done the wrong thing, it's often helpful to require some alone time with instructions like, "You need to take a break. Come back and we'll talk about this after you change your heart." Children may not understand how it happens but with practice they can learn to change their hearts. A change of heart in children involves four steps:
1. Stop fighting, calm down, and be willing to talk about the problem2. Acknowledge having done something wrong3. Be willing to change4. Commit to doing right These are all steps that a child can do. Ideally we would also like to see two other steps take place:5. Feel sorrow for doing wrong6. Have a desire to do what's right
Now, that may sound like a lot, but children grow into this process slowly and we can help them through the parts. We're talking about repentance broken down into steps. If your son has been disrespectful in the way he spoke to you, first he needs to stop and settle down and be willing to work on the problem. Then secondly, he needs to acknowledge that he was wrong. Thirdly, he needs to be willing to respond differently next time. And lastly, he needs to commit to trying to do better.Sometimes children may only settle down (Step #1) in the "break." Then they are ready to process the other steps with the parent. Other times, children may be able to work through all four steps and then just report back to the parent. The only prerequisite for coming back from a break is that a child be willing to work on changing the heart.
Your child may be ready to change without knowing what the right thing is to do next time. Remember, we're looking for heart level changes. Once your child has had a change of heart, then you can help your child learn what was wrong and what he or she can do differently next time.Remember, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) Teaching children to change their hearts is a valuable lesson that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.
This idea was taken from the book, "Parenting is Heart Work," by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

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