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Conveying God's Love Through Discipline (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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September 21, 2020 6:00 am

Conveying God's Love Through Discipline (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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September 21, 2020 6:00 am

In a discussion based on their book "Discipline That Connects With a Child's Heart," Jim and Lynne Jackson offer parents biblically-based practical advice for disciplining their children with grace and love. (Part 1 of 2) (Original air date: April 4, 2017)

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This is Jim Daly from Focus on the Family are you looking for practical ways to contribute to the pro-life cause. Join us for sea life 2020 on September 26 and learn how you can be a voice for the voiceless. For more information, text, heartbeat, to 72,000 parents got a bunch of goals for respect for love, for its use kind words for peace and quiet around here.

And with those goals in mind parents to the discipline that they do, but we'd like to suggest that while that's an important goal is not the most important goal for parents to be thinking about how should the kids behave less Jim Jackson and you can hear more from him and his wife Lynn today on Focus on the Family about what the most important goal is when it comes to disciplining your children, your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John. We all want to raise the respectful, beautiful, wonderful, maybe should I say perfect. But when they misbehave, we can often confused are you like the formulas not working and that is so true within Christian homes, particularly because we want to follow the rules want to do things correctly so that we get the right outcome and sometimes it's hard in parenting because diesel tops are born with temperaments of their own which we can always manage so if you're in that spot or you're the grandparent and your observing this mandoline in today because this program is going to help you do a better job. I believe in your parenting role discipline is hard, but working to give you some tools today. I think to make it easier and as I said Jim and Lynn Jackson are our guests and delete parenting workshops around the world that got three grown children and live in Minnesota and together they co-authored the book discipline that connects with your child's heart and that be the subject of the conversation is left that title and half right.

Discipline that can have that conversation that already there. That's good.

Let me start here. Like I said in the set up children are born with their own temperament and their own personalities and any parent that has more than one child sees that their children are different. If you have two kids like we do there quite different. If you have three or four very different if you have sex. John, like yourself, very different so there's this thing between nature or God and what he imprints on a child and then the nurture aspect of it and I think his parents, we tend to want to overestimate the nurture aspect and we tend to underestimate these little temperaments that are there already in the strong-willed child might be an example all the way to the compliant child. They seem to come out of the womb. That way right compliant compliant for the first maybe not even write the first hour for the first hour they cry out one of our children made a mess all over me and all over everything and not compliant from the word go. She was sending you messages right now and you know I want to reflect just a little bit on what you said Jim about how parents tend to want their kids to behave. They want their kids to be respectful. They want them to do well and they put a lot of focus and energy on that especially Christian homes were taught in the church to raise obedient, respectful, faith filled children and that's what we want and so we make a goal in our methods in our efforts and in a lot of the things that we read to try to figure out what is that formula to get my child to do what I want them to do and we think that's the wrong question.

A better starting question isn't what should I do to manage this behavior, but what's going on what's going on in my heart what's going on in the heart of my child because those are the things that really determine the end result of the discipline. So if I have a lot of no negative self perceptions about myself as a parent, or have judgments about my child to unpack that and understand it really can be a huge change in our discipline interactions because if I have judgments about my child.

They will suddenly manifest in my nonverbal's my choice of words.

My facial expressions my tone of voice, and then those messages communicate to my child giving it give us an example of what that sounds like what it feels like both from the parent standpoint in the child's standpoint we talked about this a little bit and we thought it would be really fun to do a role-play with you guys not to just say what it looks like, but to show what that might look like, because as parents armed with this goal of getting kids to behave. We watched you hundreds, probably thousands of parents over the years. Do this sort in a dual role-play right now. Great John to be my younger brother.

This could get really messy really fast but that's real life right and so you say you kinda started to set this up already. You guys want to be siblings.

I always wanted is a matter of exit does seem natural.

So, so, older sibling, younger sibling. How old are you, Jim will I'm 55 he's actually kind of like you and others that one is a hypothetical of you knows steaming 14 John G. Mom and dad's bills is sexy no younger okay 66 go we can go to the teen and preteen just like William Griffin would like to take us were willing to 13 and 10 sure okay so like a 10-year-old. I was then asked what when Jim's inner child comes out. How old is that we don't answer that had laid out so so 13 years old 10 years old out what kinds of things do 13 years old and 10 years old squabble about you know, get heavier and want to play with you.

I'm too old for that not to play. No G.I. Joe with you anymore where so I think you be more upset if I tell you. John would like older brother to play with him. 13-year-old is onto more sophisticated things like maybe a smart phone or computer games that are more mature than my okay so here's the thing, so I'll be dad and your mom that make sense right now to soak your mom generally is deal with this before I get home from work and so she's going to start dealing with this and I'm in a come home from work and were just to see what that looks like and want to talk about how this is pretty working to do this in a way that we think is fairly typical of what we've seen parent Stewart heard parents report want to back out for just a little bit now. I'll enter the room and and ready set role-play okay my Jim just play for a few minutes when we don't stop it John. I'm in a put you in the laundry basket and put an ad is not a young man on the land was asked to play with me was 100 G.I. Joe door is open and your dad coming and and that may need to be more respectful, as older truck that is not acceptable and non-name-calling and I will handle this.

You boys need to know for the umpteenth time. This is not okay.

We talked about this, we've grounded you Jim many times is all it is not your fault.

I mean he's pestering me your subtle and he knows how to get your goat and you let them get your goat.

Now you go to your room, unplug he's going to get his to him you stop it right now young manager to lose that computer games of the week you understand how we who understands really fair. Dad aren't going to your room now about this later okay on John United do anything. John you need to know you have an older brother who was in his phone all the time and he ignores me all that I need your room for a break to know any of this.

Don't have any reason to sound like a very mature tenure. I got no logical like spot okay so go on and on as this is what misses you close to home for a lot of is so here's the question there's a bunch of questions. Lynn's question starts out saying what's going on here is is a really important question will insert a kind of intense for mom, but I don't know was that there were you wanted to be.

Oh, I'm trying to get. I will intense as a mom want everything to lie down until I learned some wiser ways.

Yes, earlier Lynn talked about what's going on is important question for us to think about and so let's do that a little bit by a little bit. So let's let's first go to to Lynn's goals. When she intervened with this. What was she trying to do what was important to her. If you boys would learn out the problem. Stop the argument.

Okay, so if you boys would learn just what it is that she wants you to learn at times like this. Based on what she said what she did.

What would be treat each other respectfully soak so respect. So mom wants respect what else. Love love each other in this family. We love each other so you better love you gather that dog gone it is nice words each other kindly use nice words treat each other kindly so and then I can and a lot of thing happen before I started talking with you guys. But when you think about what was to be me while I want the people in the situation to be learning to be growing into the to be embracing is that I want peace in this house piece in the south whose out about about me that's going on. I got I could tell you the story of the day I came home and my kids were arguing not to.

At about the same age and not to differently than what you said and what I did was what I did and the reason that I am able to do this is because if there's a default in me that gets this way is it that and I said to Mike if you stop arguing.

I just came home I had a hard day and I didn't say it in these words but essentially what I was communicating to my kids was this is all about me.

I deserve to come home to a peaceful home and be able to go get my snack and sneezy chair for a few minutes, and one on the news and watch the news that sounded reasonable and needs to not be where my missing it. So it's important for me to acknowledge that that's going on. When our family and that story I had acknowledged that that sometimes I get selfish and I get big and I get demanding in ways that are helpful and we had taught our kids the kind of parents want to be the kind of messages we wanted them to be learning.

And so when I did that my oldest son just looked at me and said dad you didn't connect first out are that and he and he was he was right.

So I mean when you think about the list of things that parents want to get done and and what's going on. Lynn referred to as a parents got a bunch of goals to respect for love for kids to use kind words for peace and quiet around here and with those goals in mind parents to the discipline that they do, but we'd like to suggest that while that's an important goal. It's not the most important goal for parents to be thinking about how should the kids behave. Okay, now that prompts to questions in my my one is okay, what's the most important goal in the most important goal is to really be thoughtful about the messages you want to communicate to the child kind and those you are blank messages that you want to communicate to them in the midst of the misbehavior like you are frustrating me.

Well that is not what you want that's self-evident that we don't want to. So here's the question. And this is really the question that our materials attempts to answer one of the messages parents want their kids to come to believe is true about them well because out of the abundance of our hearts are most floor kids will behave based on what they believe is true about them, not based on what they've conditioned to do because we can condition kids really well in our midst. If there conditioned well in our midst, and then they go out here into the world on their not condition well there and something else emerges when this is the problem that were having with our young people right there walking away from the faith when they go off to college with our members, record numbers, But the second question follow-up you startling in that direction. How should it be handled well, how should it be handled is a different question than what beliefs do I want my child to embrace okay so you have these children called Lois all working to lay a framework out and then invite you as our children to interact with this. Just a little, but the framework is a framework of four messages that we've sort of determining the could be all kinds of if we look to God's word. Ephesians chapters 1 and two, just in those chapters were Paul is about to address the church for some behavioral sorts of things he lets them know who they are and he basically says 27 different you are messages to their kids left too many for parents to remember. So we narrow the list of four and four are this, you're safe with me because God's work in me. I'm a work of grace to your love no matter what your God's workmanship, your called your capable to do the good works. God prepared in advance that you would do in your responsible God can be mock you reap what you sow.

So what we eat, what our work is all about is helping parents make the shift from going after getting kids to behave as the primary goal to going after how kids believe is the primary goal kind way to say that is simply we shift from managing behavior from a primary focus of managing behavior to a primary focus of mentoring belief and from those healthy helpful God-given beliefs about ourselves. Then kids learn to manage their own behavior and walk in wisdom, let me hear this for again Jim because I some people driving them away in their joint that was good but I suspect message number one, you are safe with me.

Message number two.

You are loved no matter what message number three.

Your called and capable message number four.

Your responsible yeah those are good and will post those online and that your driving can't write them down, go to the website and you can get that. Let's take those four components and backup to the story and apply them up. So here's when I ask you, so I'm to give you you 13 and 10-year-old kids. Here's Morgan have a conversation right now. Boys honey and you know Lynn would participate in this.

We have talked about. We decided that as parents we been working way too hard to manage your lives, but that's for sure dad Jaffer yesterday. Family room on your online buddy. You and I know that you've known that for a while now and it's getting at you, isn't it has been, and I wish that that would be different.

I wish you treatment a little little older like I am much older than John yeah I want I want to hear more about that in a bit. But before I do I want I want to tell you is that we decided there's four things we want you guys to to know are true about you that we believe are true about you.

We blow it. Sometimes we don't act this way. But here they are. Your you. We want you to know you're safe with us. You're emotionally safe. You're physically safe whenever you hurt your your your physically were never going to hurt you, even spiritually or emotionally don't want to. We may do that but we want you to know work and work toward being safe. Message number two that we want to make sure you know and start believing better from us is that your love no matter what when you asked what when I came home the other day in your bedroom the way you bickered. I'll bet you if I asked you at that moment. Do you think mom and I love you the way you want to feel loved by us. He was said no way right if you loved us you would let him run over me all the him pester me yes so we got we have some work to do to figure out how that how to do this in a way and then we know that you're capable of figuring this out.

We watched in fact I probably treat you mom treat you like most of the time your failures at get along. But you know what when we think about it, and when we look at most the time you're not failures to great your capable of this lease want to help you get more and more capable and then when things go haywire.

Sometimes we get in the middle of your fights and then we become part of your fight bullets your fight. Your responsible for, not us. And so we want to help you figure out how to take more responsibility for yourself John when you feel that way and more suck more responsibility to grow all the way you want to Jim you talk in the book about baggage and keeping your kids safe from the parents baggage what you mean by that I mean I think you're hinting at it, but let's be more specific one baggage to parents bring into the parenting role there's a lot of baggage that we have that's mostly in the form of beliefs about ourselves or our children. So, for example, what we have a very intense oldest son named Daniel and when I would get into conflicts with him early on, I had this almost like a loop tape in my head just playing over and over when when we would start to get into a conflict that was basically it was a statement I am an angry mom raising an angry child when he gets to be a teenager. It's going to be horrible to just feel how that preset in my mind would increase my anger might anxiety my desire to control him before that all became a reality and God convicted me out of the verse in Ephesians attacks but speaking the truth in love, and it was like when you are not speaking the truth in love to yourself about yourself and Daniel. They really had to think it through and pray about it because I couldn't just go get along great because we didn't. We were angry a lot and sell as I thought about it and prayed about it I realized intense mom raising an intense child and we bought heads, but we have each other and that was so much more true. That was 100% through the rest that the previous one had been sort of a toxic line that was coated with a little bit of truth and about my identity and his identity.

And so when I shifted in that perspective I could set down my baggage I could go into sibling conflict without a judgment of all, he's out again pick on his little sister and I could go in with beliefs of lords where the opportunity here to build the skills and values that my kids are going to need throughout life.

Jim and Lynn. Let's get into the nitty-gritty.

We've done a pretty child, I think. So far, but you talked about anger when and a lot of parents listening right now can connect with because their buttons get pushed in their mere cells start reflecting what they feel they're getting from their parents to an easy trap to get into where you begin arguing with your parents when you begin arguing with your children in a reasonable place and in so how for that angry parent when it flashes so quickly now because this is been years in the making. It happened at seven.

It's happened at nine. It's now 11 may be there 13 and seven years of this buildup where this is a continual fight. How does that parent like you experience how you back up and say okay we got it we got a redirect this but the change starts with me. The parent not a child and now we as parents. I think continued want the child to change first so that we don't have to change our mirror cells that describe what changers first is they'll be easier for me right yeah so often parents they want that outward behavior, but that's my goal and my child is instantly in charge because I am looking for a specific behavior and they can just go back and do it. But if I have a goal about myself.

I want to be a wise parent and to really help my child learn something productive from this I mean, much more control of that goal, and anger is really about a blocked goal's of my child just says no I'm not can behave then that will instantly kick in my anger, but if I have a goal to bring up build skills and values to communicate unconditional love to help my child take responsibility for the resolving their conflicts. Those goals and I can't and much more control of and my anger naturally subsides. One of the scripts that we teach we teach a lot. We we work with parents. We coach parents in one of the scripts we work hard on helping parents to come to embraces. I can be okay even when my child is struggling in my child's behavior is not my report card that you say that to say that again because it's important. My child's behavior is not my report right most moms out there just want what that is in feel right away.

I would ordinary and we would like to think that but that's incredible pressure on her kids. I remember specifically the day and you know, a big box store target that my kids were just having a meltdown and I took a deep breath, and I thought this is another chance to practice getting my value from Jesus and it just it was like a change. The whole thing because it's like care of the pastor locks by right now I am just going to keep my focus on love and my kids and guiding them well, but practically then what did you do, started with some empathy for my child, you know, what are they feeling what's important to them.

He will love that Lego kit don't you you saw Johnny had one and you just love that I love how intense you are about building things. I think it's one of the ways God made you we can get it today, but when we get home we can talk about a plan for you to earn that good when you talk about your perfectionism being part of it. And again I like feel moms in the audience, that's me. That perfectionism headed perfectionism play into your script when it came to parenting. All I really had ice is started with me and felt sort of like God, you know, was he given me the Holy Spirit, and so I should have all of the fruits of the spirit all the time in relating to my kids and so I was just frequently feel like God was discouraged with me and so I struggled in and loving myself when I struggled as a parent, so when I began to really understand grace for myself and I was much more able to give it to my kids, and I set aside that perfectionism. If we all have to get it perfect because that Asher and that's the formula I want to be perfect because I want to follow Christ. You're my child and I want to be a perfect parent. Therefore, the evidence of my perfectness will be your perfect yes and then God does work on you.

I remember one of the most dysfunctional thoughts I ever had was on. I remember looking at Daniel and thinking you are the three-dimensional representation of my failure as a parent you know and and lease I was aware aside all Lord take that and transform it because that that was so gut level, but that was where I was at you and I appreciate that transparency I want to bring in the work of the Spirit of God is right here because I think you know we focus on our Christian faith and in our relationship with Christ. So how did God work in your heart to begin to reshape your parenting ability so that you honored him oftentimes were to put our own formula and there were in feel were honoring the Lord when we're as perfect as possible and our kids are behaving as perfect as possible. I'm not so sure that's what God is expecting oh now he's expecting faith. You know where we hold onto his hand through the ups and downs of life and in the masses in the mud and just to be crying out to him in that time in faith that's good for your children.

This is really good for your children to see I was coaching a mom who was really struggling with her, bought her for actually about the ages of the guys you just role-played and she was trying to micromanage everything and she was a perfectionist and she was getting all anxious and so then we took out a note card in the coaching session and she wrote down okay what's true about you and she wrote down some true beliefs about herself is apparent that the Lord had spoken to her and I said okay flip it over and put some true beliefs about your boys in the backside and so she did that and then I saw our later for another coaching session said, how's it going, she's really good.

I stuck the cart and mine in the bathroom and so when I start to argue with the boys. I coach us.

Many guys I need to go to the bathroom back in straight yeah and eventually the guys asked mom going the bathroom I were having a conflict so she took him down the hall and showed him the card and then he got a glimpse into true spiritual transformation of bring in the truth of Jesus about us into the nitty-gritty masses of family life. I happened to run into about five years ago and she had so much joy in her and in her parenting and her relationships with her voice and the kids are probably doing a lot better all absolutely. And that's a good practical approach and in the book you talk about slow low and listen and we are out of time today but I want to come back next time and talk about the concept of slow low listen to the authority and command because it it seems counterintuitive. Can we come back and pick up the discussion.

Their parents out of the low slow would listen absolutely join us next time, stop by your website for resources like the book discipline that connects with your child's heart written by your guests Jim and Lynn Jackson.

And then we have other resources as well including a free assessment. It's called the seven traits of effective parenting assessment and it takes just a few minutes to fill out it'll show you some strengths in your approach is a mom or dad. And maybe an area or two of growth as well. It's all right there in the episode notes or call us 800 the letter a in the word family and if you benefited from the work that were doing.

Let me ask you to make a donation to Focus on the Family we've assisted literally millions of families to raise healthy God honoring children and if we've help you in that way, please pay it forward.

Let's help another family get on the right track. We especially appreciate your help in this difficult year. If you can make a pledge to donate every month. Electronically we would be so grateful and say thank you by sending a copy of the book discipline that connects with your child's heart. If you're unable to make a monthly gift will send you the book for a one-time gift to help the ministry help others can donate and get your copy to or when you call 800 the letter a in word family get more from Jim and Lynn Jackson next time on this broadcast now on behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team asked for listening to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Join hundreds of thousands of students will share their faith on bring your Bible to school day on October 1, sign up and be counted. Text the word Bible to 72,004 visit bring your law school may look different this year.

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