A couple months ago Jon and I were looking to join a small group through our church. Our church has small groups that go in semesters and that are topical. So after browsing through the available groups online we decided to check out a group that was for parents of young children. The group would be reading through a book called Loving Your Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk of Bethel Church and childcare would be provided; which may have been the selling point for us.
The book and coinciding DVDs that we’ve watched have been great so far and the people in the group have become fast friends that we’ve been very thankful to know.
To summarize the book:
-The idea that we can control our children is a lie
-If we spend our time dictating to our children, they become dependent on being told what to do rather than developing the ability to make good choices on their own
-The Bible says “there is no fear in love,” so how do we parent in love instead of instilling fear of punishment in our children?
-Parents need not be afraid of their children’s sin. God is not afraid of our sin. He deals with it and loves us through it.
-God does not control us. He gives us choices and employs us to make the right ones.
-Parents need to allow their children to make mistakes and handle their own mistakes (with some guidance of course), without jumping in to rescue the children from natural consequences
-Children need the opportunity to make choices. “Would you like to eat your carrots or broccoli first? Do you want to drink water from the red cup or from the green cup? Do you want to wear this shirt or that one? Do you want to climb off the table yourself or would you like me to help you?” These kinds of everyday choices empower your child to make decisions and grow in confidence.
-Nobody likes to be told what to do, even small children. So framing things in a way that give the child ability to feel in control and exercise their freedom keeps your child from wanting to overpower you.
-Children who are dictated to and controlled often rebel later on. Once they get a taste of freedom go crazy because they were never trained how to properly handle their freedom.
-Parents need to first learn to control themselves and not let themselves get so wrapped up in their children’s problems that they take on anxiety and anger.
–Main Point of the book: It’s all about maintaining an intimate relationship with your children. Relationship is the basis for parenting, discipline and training…not to just get your kid to do what you want them to do. This is also how God relates to us.
That is just my loose summary of the book so far. The DVD is great because Danny Silk gives lots of entertaining examples from life with his own kids about what it looks like to actually carry this out.