Please mark your calendar for next Sunday, July 24, 2011. We will be hosting a diaper shower/breakfast for the Halberts, who are expecting their fourth child soon. Please bring diapers and wipes and a breakfast dish or pastry to share. The church will provide coffee, water, and perhaps, juice?
PRAYER REQUESTS: Pray for Wesley Holmes and all our junior high students who will be on a mission trip this week in Arkansas. Pray that God will open their eyes and give them a heart for those in need--spiritually and physically. (But, isn't that a great prayer for us all? I know it is for me.) Pray for Leslie's mom, Sylvia Day who is recovering from by-pass surgery. Pray for a Boy Scout who underwent emergency appendectomy surgery this week. Pray also for our visitors this week: Shawn and Kim Reynolds. Shawn and Kim have three children: Emalee(7), Danielle(4), and Elizabeth (7 months). PRAISE REPORTS: Jessica's mom has experienced healing and Valerie received a positive medical report. Thank God for hearing our prayers and for His divine intervention.
In today's lesson from Parenting by Design, the Groffs discuss the concept of offering kids choices within limits. Chris talked about the fact that God gave his people a free choice and the fact that we often learn best by experiencing the consequences of choices, good and bad. In the case of our kids, Chris suggests that we build choices between two parameters: safety and our own values. Often, kids are more amenable to control battles and boundary setting when they have choices that are clearly under their own control.
Mr. Groff also discusses the contrast between commands and choices. We can avoid control battles often by providing our kids with more choices. As long as they choices remain within the parameters of what is safe and our own value system, they are perfectly legitimate strategies to avoid the total rebellion that often is a result of a control battle.
We had some great examples shared in class of successful efforts to provide choices for our own kids. Natalie Halbert shared a situation in which one of her children was refusing to wear clothes that Mom and Dad felt were appropriate for certain occasions and activities. They began to pick out two or three outfits and gave the child the opportunity to choose an outfit from the selected ensembles the night before. That way, there was no crisis the next morning when it came time to get dressed. Stephanie and Brian shared an example in which a child wanted to attend a party and stay out until 11:00 p.m. After ensuring that the parents hosting the party were responsible and that appropriate supervision would be present, they still had issues with the lateness of the hour. The child was given the choice of going to the party and leaving at 10:30 p.m. or not going. In this way, the child was not denied the opportunity to socialize and spend time with friends. However, appropriate limits that reflected the values of the family were implemented.
We also had a discussion about the difference between commands and choices and reiterated the fact that there are always consequences for choices, both good and bad. What an important concept for our kids to learn!
Think about these concepts and principles and their application in your own family. Perhaps, God is showing you another way to guide your kids without being overbearing and creating an attitude of hostility?
Next week, in Lesson 7, we will discuss "Consequences." I look forward to seeing you there.