Parenting Styles

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As parents our job is to do all things with love, especially when we parent our children. God wants us to bring up children who love Him, live for Him and make an eternal impact in their world.  (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

I believe good parenting is achieved by loving our children well. We need to be careful not to be either extremely legalistic or permissive. Scripture teaches that God has rules, structure and guidelines. But God’s discipline in parenting is balanced by his love, affirmation, and grace. This is considered to be the authoritative parenting style as coined by Sociologist Reuben Hill.

One of God’s primary attributes is love. I John 4:8-1 1, “…God is Love.”  Since God loved us, we also ought to love one, another especially our children.  Our job is to train our children to be what we want them to be. In our home we desired our children to have Godly character. Our job begins at each birth and continues on until our children reaches maturity.

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God’s model for parenting demonstrates a healthy balance of both discipline and love.

Focus on The Family used the research by Reuben Hill who conducted a study of thousands of teens and parents in Minnesota. Mr. Hill put all of his research on a grid with an x-axis, a y-axis, and four quadrants. The horizontal axis measured how much discipline or control parents exercised in their relationship with their child. The vertical axis measured love. Hill found that different parenting styles produced different responses among children.

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PERMISSIVE

High love, low discipline/control

These parents are usually indulgent and are more interested in being best buddies with their children.  Appropriate boundaries are not established. These parents rarely discipline their children. Life lessons are often learned later in life at a higher cost.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. (1)

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Overprotective
  • Spoiled
  • Yielding to pressure
  • Manipulative
  • Desperate for harmony
  • Disrespectful
  • Rescuing
  • Irresponsible
  • Too helpful
  • helpless
  • Lack of boundaries
  • insecurity

Biblical example: 1 Samuel chapters 2 and 4 (Eli’s was a permissive parent as seen with his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.  Eli was fully aware of his sons sins as were the people but Eli never discipline them.

NEGLECTFUL 

Low love, low discipline

This is the worst of the parenting styles.  Parental involvement is very low as is communication, love, and responsiveness. There is very little attachment or affection between the child and parent due to neglect. This parenting styles is often seen in homes where both over achieving parents work and are driven by worldly success keeping them uninvolved. Parents with addictions or mental issues may also fall into this category.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers. (1)

1 Timothy 3:4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.

When Parents are…
  • Children become…
  • Apathetic
  • Self sufficient
  • Ambivalent
  • Emotionally hardened
  • Uninvolved
  • Rebellious
  • Lacking follow-through
  • Underachievers
  • Lacking boundaries
  • Insecure

Biblical example: 2 Samuel chapters 13-15 and 1 Kings 1:5-6 (King David)

AUTHORITARIAN

Low love, high discipline

Children are expected to follow strict rules and failure to do so results in punishment. Often there is little or no reason behind given rules.  A common phrase of a parent to the child when asking why is, “Because I said so.” Communication is difficult and usually combative, especially as the child gets older which often leads to rebellion. This parenting style is seen in homes where there is an angry alcoholic parent who rages.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to be obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem. (1)

Colossians 3:21 (NLT) Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4 “Parents,’ do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Domineering
  • Rebellious
  • Not flexible
  • Fearful of failure
  • Performance-oriented (vs. people-oriented)
  • Under or overachievers
  • Critical
  • Overly sensitive to criticism
  • Black/white thinkers
  • bitter

Biblical example: Genesis 29:1 through 31:55 (Rachel’s father, Laban)

AUTHORITATIVE

High love, high discipline

Children are expected to follow establish rules and guidelines which are clearly understood. Parents are responsive to their children and tend to listen to questions. These parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing.

Children brought up in this home environment tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful. (1)

Luke 2:40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

When Parents are… Children become…
  • Loving
  • Secure
  • Encouraging
  • Confident
  • Comforting
  • Compassionate
  • Sincere
  • Honest
  • Teaching
  • Wise

Biblical example: 2 Timothy 1:5-7 and 3:14-15 (Timothy’s mom and grandmother)

What parenting style did you most identify with? What parenting style does your spouse identify with?  As informed parents what parenting style will you use?

 

Advice To My Youngest On Turning 13

Dearest Cayley,

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I can never say I Love You enough nor will I stop ;-) It’s crazy you are now thirteen. What would I be doing once your sisters left home if you had not come along? How blessed I am to be given a second chance at mothering. In some ways I have grown and often times I feel green.  You are very unique and so different from your sisters.  A decade later I have found that technology has changed the parenting dilemma.  Regardless, I know God choose to bless us with you for such a time as this.  Together we sharpen one another. So I complied 10 thoughts I desire for you to remember as you continue your life journey.

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1) Never forget you are fearfully and wonderfully made, yes made in the imagine of Christ who delights over you as He is a masterful creator.   (Psalm 139:13-16Ephesians 2:10 ) Comparison is the joy killer of being content with your many beautiful features. Never allow the media or others to dictate what true beauty should look like.

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2) Love the Lord with all your heart and get into the habit of beginning your days by putting Him first. You will often feel that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Time is something we all treasure, something we wish we had more of, but it just seems to slip so quickly through our fingers. We think if only I had more time I would spend it praying or reading the Bible, helping people, or making a difference.  (Proverbs 16:3; Luke 4:42, Matthew 14:13)  The poem The Difference is a good reminder of keeping God first.

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3) Remember to love and listen to your sisters as they are two of the wisest women I know.  Support one another. Talk to one another regularly by being the initiator as you have more free time. Be there when they need you and they’ll be there for you. They really do love you that is why they both flew in to surprise you for your 13th birthday. Sisters are forever friends.P1050675

4) Be bold, take chances as those who don’t take chances don’t make advances. Dream big because you serve a BIG God. Strive to reach the full potential of your calling in life. (Jeremiah 29:11).   Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to everyone through your speech,  by the way you live your life, in your authentic love, your faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

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5) Continue to travel while you are young. We hope that through our various family excursions we have given you a love for adventure, exposed you to various cultures, taken you out of your comfort zone, and shown you how big and yet small the world is. May you bring the good news to those wherever you go in the future. Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15

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6) Enjoy life! Gather often with your friends, have fun, laugh a lot and enjoy the relationships God has given you. Also your best friends will be those who bring out the best in you. Never substitute face-to-face interaction with that of the internet or social media. According to a study, people are happier and laugh 50% more when talking face-to-face with friends or via webcam than when they use social networking sites.

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Cari, Cayley, & Laurena

7) Cherish your human connections with friends and mentors who invest deeply into your life and you will grow wiser and richer.  Appreciate and remember those who have poured richly into your life (your sisters, grandparents, teachers, Sarah T. Danielle A., Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Teresa, Ritz, Mrs. Cheryl D., Grandma Coleen). Allow them to speak truth into your life so you can learn something new. Proverbs 13:20

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8) We love you unconditionally, always, and forever. No one will ever love you like your dad and I love you.

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9) Be humble, teachable, and enjoy the learning process. Be a lover of learning as you gain the education needed to carry out the tasks for which God has designed you.  (Proverbs 9:9; 12:15; 11:14; 19:20-21; 15:22; Psalm 1:1-5).

Some of my greatest lessons have been learned through the pages of books. I have gained incredible insight, knowledge, and experience of various authors.  Reading exposes you to a world of imagination, showing you nothing is impossible.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Charles William Eliot

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10) Smile a lot and keep singing God’s praises. A smile draws others to you. The joy and love of the Lord are yours – so smile! Aim for joy found when putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last which creates true JOY. Being happy and enthusiastic is always a good choice and the joy of the Lord is your strength.   (Psalm 28:7; Nehemiah 8:10)

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In conclusion, do all things with Love. Love is so important to God that is is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. Love is referred to as the greatest commandment of all. Christ is love. John 13: 34-35 As we learn to love God’s way we provide the world with a tangible picture of Christ to the world.

I look forward to finishing the book Love As A Way of Life by Dr. Gary Chapman who writes, “Love is an attitude, that says, “I choose to focus my life on helping others.”  I appreciate those who use the following seven characteristics to define a loving person providing so much room to grow:

  • Kindness: Discovering the Joy of Helping Others
  • Patience: Accepting the Imperfections of Others
  • Forgiveness: Finding Freedom from the Grip of Anger. Life’s way too short to constantly be mad at someone.
  • Courtesy: Treating Others as Friends
  • Humility: Stepping Down So Someone Else Can Step Up
  • Generosity: Giving Yourself to Others
  • Honesty: Revealing Who You Really Are

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Using Books to Instill Character

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I giddily look forward to the first Wednesday of each month, because I have the privilege of sharing life with a group of amazing women. Recently, we have been reading through Love As a Way of Life by Gary Chapman. Essentially, this book has taken us through seven character traits including: Kindness, patience, forgiveness, honor, humility, generosity, and honesty. When these character traits are put into action, it naturally demonstrates authentic love. This is something that everyone can benefit from.

Character training starts at home and should begin early.

One of the best ways to teach character is to surround your children with good literature. Simply put, read to your kids. When you read to your children, it opens the door for conversations to ensue. Stories have the ability to teach, motive, and inspire our children to dream bigger.

There are so many wonderful books that can help teach our children about love, honor, respect, fairness, caring and responsibility. Below is a resource, that I compiled, to help you discover some great websites and books.

TEACHING CHARACTER Through Books

Character is the inward values that determine outward actions; the mental model used for making decisions; the moral compass that guides your choices; who we are when no one else is watching.

Below are numerous resources regarding character that has somehow benefited my family and me.  Please know that while I have enjoyed these resources I do not necessarily agree with ALL content presented. While some authors may be extremely conservative or liberal,  I read seeking what I feel the Holy Spirit has convicted me to implement for the Werner family and I trust you will do the same.
Character First This is one of my family’s favorite resources especially as my girls began school. I continue to use the character booklets.
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  • Instruction for Righteousness is a topical reference guide for biblical child training.
  • Polished Cornerstones
  • The If-Then Chart
  • The Blessing Chart
  • The Go To The Ant Chart – understanding diligences and laziness.
  • The Brother Offender Chart – teaching children conflict resolution in a Godly way.
  • Be sure to check out the package deals.
Character in Action I have not personally used this website but I did look it over and it has great content.
Family Ministries   by Reb Bradley You will find many available products so I have listed below the resources that have personally benefited me.

  • Child Training Tips What, I wish I knew when my children were young.
  • The Delightful Family
  • Managing the Mouth: Victory over complaining, arguing, and other poisons of the tongue.
  • Motives of the Heart.  A biblical study on pride and humility.  This seriously was life changing.
  • Teaching Children to Love One Another
  • Creating A Strong Family Identity
  • God, TV, and Your Family
Family Life Today Encouragement and practical help for you personally, for your marriage, and raising your parenting. So many great articles and resources.
Focus on the Family
  • Kids of Integrity tools for growing Godly character.
  • Kids Clubhouse
  • Adventures in Odyssey
  • Focus on the Family has lots of wonderful family resources.  Catch their daily message via the Internet.
Institute in Basic Life Principles
Lamplighter Publishing The mission of Lamplighter Ministries is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, by building Christ-like character one story at a time.” This is a wonderful resource for parents on Character Development born out of 25 years of research and personal experience. They carry many old and rare books highlighting various character traits.
Whole Heart Ministries Clay and Sally Clarkson I am bias as I adore this ministry given Sally has been my mentor from afar since 1997. Five years ago she became my real life friend ;-)   My husband and I serve on the board of WHM and recommend all of their resources Whole Heartily.

 

CBDAmazon Other Misc. books and resource titles I’ve enjoyed. I usually shop at CBD, Amazon, and Half Price Books.  Keep a list of resources you desire as you can find really good deals at Goodwill, yard sales, home school used book sales, etc…

  • Wise Words for Little People by Kenneth Taylor (preschool age)
  • Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth Taylor  (preschool age)
  • Berenstain Bears  (preschool age)
  • Jungle Jam and Friends The Radio Show (listen free weekly) or buy CD’s (all ages)
  • Adventure in Odyssey Radio Talk Show by Focus on the Family (elementary age)
  • Veggie Tales (videos) (all ages)
  • Uncle Arthur’s Story Time These are classic stories that help children develop positive character traits and Christian values.  Hard to find but worth having.  Children as young as 2 will listen to and enjoy the Story Time.  Stories can be shorten.
  • Choice Stories for Children by Ernest Lloyd I am not sure if you will be able to find it.
  • Day by Day Devotion by Karen Henley
  • A Hive of Busy Bees 5-10 by AB Publishing
  • Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character… In You and Your Kids by Scott Turansky
  • While They are Sleeping: 12 Character Traits to Pray for Your Child by Ann Arkins, Gary Harrell
  • God’s Wisdom for Little Boys by Elizabeth George
  • God’s Wisdom for Little Girls by Elizabeth George
  • Young Peacemakers Series by Corlette Sande   FORGIVENESS Recommended for grades 3-7
  • Proverbs People: Book 1 and 2 by Rick Boyer
  • Books That Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values Through Stories by Robert Coles.
  • A Child’s Book of Character by Ron Coriell
  • Read For The Heart, Whole Books For Wholehearted Families by Sarah Clarkson  (A Great Resource when decided on books to read and purchase.≠)
  • A Little Book of Manners for Girls by Emily Barnes
  • A Little Book of Manners for Boys by Emily Barnes
  • Wisdom and the Millers by Mildred A Martin

Using Biographies and books about Christian hero’s to teach Character.

  • Hero Tales volume 1, 2, & 3 by Dave & Neta Jackson
  • Trailblazer Series by Dave & Neta Jackson
  • Christian Heroes, Then & Now by Janet & Geoff Benge (YWAM Publishing)
  • The Sowers Series

Please share books and resources that your family has found helpful.  If you would like a PDF of the recommended resources leave me your email and I will send it to you.