Last Friday, I helped organize an event hosting a Q&A panel of parent experts. This followed a small group study on the series Hearts on Fire by Diane Comer. This series focuses on rearing children in the early years in preparation for the more challenging teen years on into adulthood.
Here are the notes I took during the evening. **All questions and answers are paraphrased. **Suitable for moms with young children.
Q: When my child/(ren) are down for a nap, is it ok for me to veg out or should I be devoting that time to reading my bible?
A: -It’s ok to veg out, but it’s also important to remember to allow space for your mind and heart to be and stay awakened to God.
-You don’t have to wait until the children are asleep, it is possible to create a quiet time with your children around. Train and teach them to have a quiet time with a book or a quiet activity. Have a bin full of quiet activities handy for the children to engage with, used only during quiet time.
-One thing you can do during your quiet time is listen to worship music and sketch or draw the words you hear or images that come to mind.
-The bible app has an audible option. Listen to the word while washing dishes, folding laundry, or knitting.
-Guard yourself of time robbers like smartphones, FB, and Instagram.
~One purpose of the awakening is to store up treasures you glean while engaging in the word and during worship. You will need these treasure when your children are older.
~Reading the scripture is important, but the bible repeats often to meditate on the word. Post scripture around your house and pray for wisdom.
Q: Is it ok to have children read their bible diligently or will this deter them from wanting to read the word when they are older?
A: Think of this like brushing your teeth. Did you stop brushing your teeth when you became a teenager or adult. No, of course not. If anything, we brushed them more often. This is the same for teaching your child to have a quiet time or to read the word.
~Be approving. Children seek our approval.
Q: Is it ok to correct a child with scripture.
A: Yes, but make sure it is in context. Also, use Kingdom language. “In the Kingdom we act different.” Be a partner with your child, help them succeed.
~Book suggestion: Shepherding A Child’s Heart
Q: Do some children need harder spankings then others?
A: Yes, but you never want to leave a mark. The purpose of the spanking is not to correct a behavior. It is to allow the child, when he/she is older, a moment of awareness while the child is faced with a decision between right and wrong. A way to strengthen the conscience, so the child is questioning wether or not there is a consequence to the choice he/she will make. Spanking should teeter off around the age of 6-7. A note for boys: let dad take over the spanking after a time. There is something demeaning when a mom does it with a slightly older boy.
~In the series Diane addresses this in more detail.
~Book Suggestion: Lean In
Some things that resonated with me.
-Being a great couple(you and spouse) together is one of the best things you can do for your kids.
-Your husband is a hero and your kids need to see this. When he comes home in the evenings, treat him as a hero coming home from battle. He is battling for you to stay home, to eat, have clothes, and provide a home for you. Honor him for what he is doing.
~Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect, is coming out with a new 8 week study called Respectfully Yours.
When I first heard Diane’s series, the way I parented was immediately challenged, in a great way. I loved her principals and I am able to see the fruit in her 4 grown up kids. I hope this series inspires you and refreshes your parenting skills.