I'd heard lots of good things about Don't Make Me Count to Three!, so when I saw it in the Creation Museum gift shop last week, I began reading the back cover. Two sentences in, I knew it was for me!
"Do you find yourself threatening, repeating your instructions, or raising your voice in an attempt to get your children to obey?"
[yes, yes, and OH YEAH.]
"Are you discouraged because it seems you just can't reach the heart of your child?"
[Precisely. Day in and day out, it seems!]
And let me tell you, reading this book was just about the most encouraging, exhausting, refreshing two hours I've spent in a long time!
Following are some of the highlights:
Plowman discusses in great detail the importance of learning to draw out the issues of your child's heart. Not only that, but she also gives practical, real-life scenarios, with dialogue, so one can see what that means in everyday life. Heart-probing is a delicate skill which requires not a little practice and prayer.
Plowman devotes quality time to the issue of training in righteousness--not simply telling your child what he's done wrong, but also telling (and more importantly showing) him how to do it right.
I love, love, LOVED her section on role playing. The back-and-forth conversations were so insightful. Talk about fleshing out the "put off/ put on" principle!
5 Worldly Methods Used by Parents in an Attempt to Obtain Obedience... guilty as charged.
Finally, a solution to the "Who had it first?" dilemma. (It's a trick question!)
There's a whole chapter entitled, "Managing the Manipulator." A new day has dawned, my friends.
5 instances in which it is inappropriate to use the rod.
Appendix C--How to Pray for Your Child is helping me to re-vamp my intercession for my children.
I've become so burdened with the fact that reforming the girls' behavior will not help them learn to conform to to Christ's image. In the midst of all my shouting and frustration, I've often skipped or cut short the all-important step of addressing the heart issues. This paragraph (page 34) has been swimming around in my brain since I read it:
When we focus on our child's behavior and neglect what is on the inside, we will cause our children to become manipulators. They will learn to please us by... acting the way we tell them to act out of a fear of punishment... but they will not learn the righteousness of Christ. As a matter of fact, if we only focus on the laws of outward behavior but fail to train their hearts in accordance with God's Word, we risk them viewing Christianity as a set of burdensome rules. As a result they may never experience what it means to truly know Christ and His power to transform lives. (emphasis mine)
What book are you enjoying these days?