Taking a serious look at Behavior modification vs. Heart-based parenting
There’s much at stake in raising our kids. When we take a heart based approach to parenting, we are partnering with God in raising the future generation. Children learn to make changes on the inside, not just outwardly. Those changes last and become the basis for conviction and values that our children will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
The approach of “Do what I say and I’ll let you have what you want” often misses the heart altogether. “If you get your homework done, you can watch a movie tonight.” “If you kids keep fighting, you’ll have to play alone.” “If you clean your room, you can have a friend over.” Motivating heart change isn’t easy. You can force a child to change behavior, but you can’t force a change of heart. It’s deeper work. Behavior modification appeals to our kid’s resident selfishness. It may work a times, but it has a limited capacity to make lasting changes. Touching our children’s hearts is possible, but it takes some time and planning so that we’re ready for the opportunities as they arrive.
Helping children change their hearts requires us as parents to “stop parenting on auto-pilot.” Raising God-centered children requires a lot of thought, planning and prayer. More and more parents (definitely including my husband and myself) are relearning discipline so that we can have a lasting impact on our children.
Please, do not think that having a heart-based approach to discipline is all mushy and lenient. It’s not. Firmness and hard work produces character. The challenge is to help children change on a deeper level so that they can become most effective in life.
Over the next month join me as I study the book “ Parenting is heart work” by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. I will have a 4 part blog that takes a serious look at heart-based parenting as opposed to just the surface behavioral modification. Let’s put aside our indecisiveness on how we approach parenting.