You Asked for It: Discipline, Nature Journals, and Books

Since I have started this blog I have received several questions through comments or emails. I’m  behind on getting all those questions answered. So here is an attempt to answer some of your questions, with the understanding that I will answer some of them in more depth later.

Stacey asked, “Do you have any great tips for teaching children how to act calmly and be well behaved in public?”

  • I’m not sure about great, but here are some of my thoughts.
  • We give our children specific requirements. For example the smaller ones are required to have one hand on the shopping cart and during church services they are to keep their hands folded in their laps. This is concrete for our little ones to understand as opposed to “don’t run around being wild” and helps them to know what is compliance and what is disobedience. We brief them while we are in the car about what we will expect of them and what the consequences will be. Then we do what we say.
  • We include our children in our daily lives as much as possible. Our children have always come to nearly all of my OB visits with me. (Back before our homebirthing days.) We all go shopping together and they sit with us during Sunday school and church each week. This gives the children plenty of time to practice good behavior and it also gives us time to enjoy being with our children.
  • Each of our older children have a younger child that they help during our outings. They hold hands, help them in and out of the car, tell them stories and give piggy back rides. This is beneficial for both the older child and the child. Just think about what each of them are learning.

Another reader wondered about getting her children to obey while remaining nice and loving.

  • Love and kindness must be defined by God’s Word not by our feelings, emotions, or the current popular psychologist. God clearly tell us in His Word “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
  • Did you read that first verse? Many parents believe that it is unloving to use the rod, but God declares that if you do not use the rod you hate your child. Who is our authority?
  • If you discipline in a Biblical manner (consistently, lovingly, with instruction and repentance) God promises that foolishness will be driven out (Prov. 22:15) and disobedience is foolishness. I hear so many people say that they tried the rod, but it just didn’t work with their child. Well, God says that it will work! Who is our authority?
  • There is only one book that Mark and I have ever recommended outside of the Bible on child training. Shepherding a Child’s Heart gives you a practical application of what the Bible teaches about child training. It explains why me must instruct, chastise and expect repentance each and every time our children disobey (sin) and why all three steps are Biblical and necessary. It also explains why many forms of “modern discipline” violate Biblical principles.

Sarah wondered, “What type of journal do you use for the children’s nature journals?”

Jama wants to know about some of our kids favorite books.

  • You can read about some of our favorite resources on China. Here are some others that we are reading/have read recently that we thought were excellent.  Man of the Family and others by Ralph Moody, Five Little Peppers and How They Grew and the other Pepper books.  Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes a beautiful and sad story about the consequences of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Several of our children have read this several times in the last couple of months!
  • I recently blogged about the Ballantyne and Elsie Dinsmore series. Our older children (8 and up) also enjoy the Henty books.
  • I will plan on posting some more recommendations later, maybe even create a page so that they can be found easily.

Several of you have requested recipes from our bulk cooking. I am planning on posting those when I get my hands on them. The recipes are all in a computer program on someone else’s computer. I have made a request and will hopefully have them and post them soon. Just to whet your appetite, we had an amazing supper of Rigatoni last night and a couple fabulous calzone recipes.

If you have questions or topics that you would like to see addressed on Raising Olives, please feel free to use the contact form. My hope is for this blog to be an encouragement and help to you, so please let me know what you wish to hear about.

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9 Responses to You Asked for It: Discipline, Nature Journals, and Books
  1. Kristin
    May 1, 2009 | 9:39 am

    We also use the “buddy system” with our children. When our older girls heard about the Duggar family using it, they begged us to let them do it. It works very well for our family. We also spend all of our days with our children. We get many comments on their good behavior when we are out. My husband and I have often wondered at just what it is that makes them so well-behaved. We used to tell people that it was because we homeschool or because they don’t watch television. Now I realize that it is simply because we love them. That alone can have such a major impact on their lives.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    Kristin,
    I think you’re right about loving our children. Parents who love their children by obeying God’s Word will have an positive impact on their lives, not because we are so amazingly loving, but because God blesses obedience. Ultimately well behaved children are God’s blessing upon covenant faithfulness.

    In our society well behaved children are an excellent opportunity to point people to God. We also get many compliments about our children and always attempt to point people to God and His Word. Occasionally we will be out in public and no one will say anything about the children’s behavior, then we’ll ask the children, “what is wrong with you today?” 🙂

    Roan,
    I think that I post too often. I just have a lot to say. I’ve been primarily talking to children for the past 13 years, so this is a nice outlet. Thanks for the heads up about the Thrumbill book. I think that I need to read his chapter on scolding, not good in that area.

    Everyone,
    Thanks for taking the time to comment. It’s nice to know that someone is reading and to get a little bit of adult conversation.

    [Reply]

  2. Roan
    May 1, 2009 | 10:24 am

    I am catching up with you! I just laughed and laughed at your Not Me Monday!—viola! and your friend offering to buy you some shampoo! 🙂
    In addition to Shepherding a Child’s Heart, I have enjoyed Hints on Child Training by Clay Thrumbill (sp?). His chapter about never scolding has stuck with me the most. I really strive not to scold. Also, you are right about clearly communicating your expectations of behaviour before you even get out of the car. We also practice situations before we leave…..we have even practiced standing in line (to be used in the post office, bank, etc.). We practice sitting quietly, we practice getting in and out of the van….you get the idea.
    Have a super day!

    [Reply]

  3. Kelli
    May 1, 2009 | 12:49 pm

    Great to hear this again-it reminds me what I’m supposed to be doing.

    [Reply]

  4. Jamie
    May 1, 2009 | 2:55 pm

    We love Shepherding a Child’s Heart! We got that book as a gift when our oldest was born. We are very thankful for it.
    We also do the “one hand on the cart” when we shop. Each of the kids have their spot, which is always the same. If we are somewhere where there is no cart (like the Farmer’s Market), they walk in a line, sort of Von Trapp style. We practice this at home, and even our 20 month old is catching on (we practice with him, too, as he’s about to be ousted from the youngest child position!). In the line, again, there is a specific order to it… every child has their spot. Otherwise I go crazy trying to keep head counts. When everyone’s in the same order every time, it just makes it easier on me (and eliminates arguments about who goes where). I have to say, while I want to cherish the time with all my little ones, I am looking forward to being able to do the buddy system!!! All in good time. Oh, and Kimberly, tell Suzanne she’s way too funny! I would have been so confused, and frankly, yes, it would have been very funny. Good times, good times.

    [Reply]

  5. Cardamom's Pod
    May 2, 2009 | 6:25 am

    I can’t find my copy of Shepherding a Child’s Heart – results of construction! Arg! I just remember reading it when my oldest were 2 and 1, and I was pregnant. Days were frustrating, and when I read what I should be doing, I sat on the floor and cried! I second the recommendation of Trumbull’s book, and I also like Reb Bradley’s book, “Tips on Child Training.” We don’t use a stroller much anymore, but when we did, we would tell the youngest two walkers to “take your spots” and they would hold on to the sides of the stroller. Obedience drills – a lot of fun and really help with attention and rapid obedience (especially when a former Navy daddy snaps out different orders to everyone in the space of 20 seconds!) 🙂 Plus, the children love them.
    Have a GREAT day!

    [Reply]

  6. Brittany
    March 16, 2011 | 9:54 pm

    Teach Them Diligently by Lou Priolo is the best book I have read on biblical discipline and what it means -specifically- to use God’s word to train, rebuke…etc.

    [Reply]

  7. Mercy
    May 30, 2011 | 3:22 pm

    Kimberly, I had a quick question for you regarding “folding hands in lap” while in worship. Our nearly-two-year old is doing very well in 1 1/2 hours services at church, in fact, she is doing almost as well as our nearly-five-year old. Neither one is required to fold their hands during church, but I am definitely interested in starting this. (I’ma amazed at how much better they behave and less discipline happens when they DON’T have distractions like toys!) What age do you normally introduce this, and how long of a time period are they expected to do it? I am thinking the five year old is definitely ready, but not sure about the 2 year old yet..?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Mercy,

    We begin folding hands in lap early (probably around 2-3 months). We start with having them fold their hands anytime anyone prays, (It’s amazing to watch a 6 month old fold their hands and bow their head with no prompting whenever anyone says, “Let’s pray….”) then whenever they are awake more during the worship service or family worship they fold their hands during the sermon or daddy’s teaching.

    We simply hold their little hands together with our hands while they are sitting on our lap and they learn to keep their hands folded with almost no effort.

    Each child is different and each parent is different, but this has worked for us.

    [Reply]

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