Thursday, December 6, 2012

Your Child's Development: 2 Issues

Due to the busy, busy, runaway train, I have not again posted on the book "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp, so I am going to make up and do multiple posts today!  I know, I am such an overachiever!

There are two broad issues that effect your child's development and Tedd covers them in chapters 2 and 3.  They are shaping influences and Godward orientation. Sounds complicated huh?  Really it isn' me if I can handle it, so can you!!!

Book: Shepherding a Child's Heart
Author: Tedd Tripp
Chapter 2: Your Child's Development: Shaping Influences

These are the events and circumstances that occur in a child's early developmental years that help to make them the person they are.  However, the shaping is not automatic, but rather what determines their effect is how the child responds to the events and circumstances. In other words, your child becomes the person they are/will be by their experiences and how they interact with those experiences. No one is just merely a pawn in this life, just being acted upon by everything around them, and not responding with their own self.  Rather, we are all sinners, acting upon what is given to us in life with the our hearts.  Remember the verses from Chapter 1 about "the overflow of the heart".  That overflow  plays a part in everything we do and if we understand that and these concepts, we can better help our children with structure and shepherding.

So what are the shaping influences is a child's life?
1. Structure of Family Life: This covers everything from birth order, to marriage status of parents, parenting roles, personalities, generational interaction, etc.  A child is shaped by divorce, death, mom, dad, grandparents, being the youngest or oldest, how everyone gets along, and more. This also produces expectations for their interactions with others in the future.
2. Family Values: Not just priorities or faith, but ideas, philosophies, what is deemed important; stuff or people, rules and roles for everyone to follow, etc. Tedd says, "The question you must ask is this: Are the values of your home based on human tradition and the basic principles of this world or on Christ?" When you talk to a child and ask them if they would be in trouble if they disobeyed when asked not to touch something and it broke, would they be in that trouble because they disobeyed or because something got broken?  That shows whether a family's values are hollow and out of line with Christ. Values can also encompass boundaries; secrets, trust, helping one another, etc. All families have boundaries, even if they are not spoken.
3. Family Roles: Who does what in the family, how involved they are in each others lives, etc.  This can be as simple as who pays the bills, who takes the kids to practices, who helps with what chores, and what do you as parents require of your children.  This can make a big impact on your children and their views of life.
4. Family Conflict Resolution: Do you know how to talk about problems? Do you resolve, walk away, shut out, yell, whisper, talk normal?  Are problems solved by biblical principles or by power, are they left unsolved, only to be brought up again: Remember that Proverbs 12:15-16 says: "The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks and insult." We train our children to either be wise or foolish by the way we handle problems in our homes.
5. Family Response to Failure: How do you deal with the failures of your children? Being a child means learning, failing, making mistakes, and more attempts to get it right.  Children are shaped by how they are treated in the face of failing.  Criticism, getting made fun of, mocking, there will not encourage a child and will shape how they deal with failures in the future.  Encouragement, praise for trying, help to get back up, etc. will help a child learn to press on and keep trying.
6. Family History: Moving, health, finances, social experiences, etc.  These can all be ways your child is influenced. 

Tedd says there are two mistakes in interacting with the shaping influences of life.  The first is seeing them deterministically.  It is wrong to think that a child is just a victim of the events and had no choices.  The second mistake is denial.  It is also wrong to think that a child was not affected by events of their childhood.  It is important to understand these influence from a biblical basis.

I think that the most important statement in this chapter is definitely this, "You make a grave mistake if you conclude that childrearing is nothing more than providing the best possible influences for your children." He goes on to say that this is Christian determinism, the idea that you can protect and shelter your child enough in Christian schools or home school, that you can provide the best childhood experiences and that in the end your child will turn out okay.  These parents are sure that their proper environment that they create will produce a proper child.

You must know that children are like clay on a potter's wheel.  Clay responds to the potter with its own properties or environment.  Just like clay, children either accept or reject the molding what we give them in life. They are never just passive receivers of our shaping, but rather active responders. Our children respond depending on their Godward focus in their life.  They can reject and rebel against you and your best efforts to direct them on Godly paths.  It is much more complicated than any parent can ever imagine.  It not just about whether you have done the right things in the right way.  Our children are responsible for the way they respond to our parenting.  Scary, huh?  They always have a choice, just like we do with the salvation that Christ offers us.

We have to remember that human beings are creatures who are directed by the orientation of their hearts. That is what this shepherding business is all about, helping your child have a heart for God and learn how to operate in this world with their heart following Him and overflowing with His grace and love!

It is strange, I know that this books guidance and teachings are right and true, because they are based on the Bible.  I also know they work when I use the techniques correctly with my children, because they behave with hearts almost of gold....I said ALMOST!   However, it is hard, so hard to follow through on, why?  I honestly think it is because it is not the norm for us, we do not see a lot of biblical parenting happening in our world, we don't meet a lot of young children who behave from the overflow of their Godly heart.  We don't want to be out of the norm...but we do.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

1 comment:

  1. We talked last night about some heartbreaking events in our area..............I say again, people need the Lord. MOM