Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Club Thursday (on Friday) | Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours

We are reading through the book Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman.  All direct quotes are in bold type.

Today we will be looking at the first half of chapter 5 Danger- Super Parent at Work!  In all honesty, I used to think that being a Super Parent was what I was supposed to be.  However, the first 4 chapters have taught me that being a Super Parent is not what my goal in child raising should be, but raising children who can think for themselves and make good decisions and choices should be my goal.

So what is wrong with being a Super Parent?  Isn't that the title we strive to receive?  Exactly what is a Super Parent?  Dr. Leman says that a Super Parent gets trapped in the thinking that:
  1. I own my children.
  2. I am judge and jury.
  3. My children can't fail.
  4. I am boss- what I say goes.
First of all, we do not own our children.  They are on loan to us from the Lord, and one day we will answer to him for the way we have trained them, taught them and brought them up.  When we look at ourselves as owning our children, we lose our perspective on Who we ultimately answer to.

When we act as judge and jury, we lose sight of how to use wisdom in the situation and many times we rob our children of the chance to learn from the reality of the situation.

How many of us have ever heard the phrase, "Not my child!" As a teacher for eleven years, I heard that phrase said in so many different variations.  A Super Parent cannot afford to have their children fail in any way at all.  Why?  Because their pride is at stake.  It has nothing to do with their child's well being but it has everything to do with how others perceive them as parents.  As a parent myself, I have learned how to swallow my pride.  My child is not always perfect.  My child does not always perform.  My child is real.  She has great days, good days, and days we would like to forget.  And as wonderful as she is, as great a girl as I think and know she is, she is human and like every other human born into creation she has a sin nature.  It is that sin nature that creates her need for a Savior.  By not allowing our children to fail, by protecting them from the reality that they are imperfect, we create a false sense of perfection in them and they fail to see their need for Christ.  After all, if they are unable to fail, what sins do they need to be saved from?

The parent who uses Reality Discipline is in authority but never the boss.  In the Christian home, God is the boss.  I love this phrase!  God must be seen as the ultimate authority in the Christian home, not the parents.  And when the children realize and recognize that Mom and Dad also answer to God, they begin to recognize that their parents are living out what they teach and preach.

My perspective on parenting has changed in so many ways since first reading this book.  I no longer want to be a Super Parent as described by Dr. Leman.  I want to be the kind of parent that makes a difference in the lives of my children, a parent who teaches her children to acknowledge the Lord in everything they do, and as a result a parent that knows they will make right choices. 

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