Whenever I start to feel like my kids are out of control and I need a little perspective all I need to do is watch an episode of SuperNanny. The horns go away and I can catch a glimpse of their halos once again.
I can count the number of episodes I’ve seen on one hand – but what a handful! I’m sure that some of the kids ham it up for the camera crews and that editing is done to compile the worst of their behavior. It all makes for better ratings I’m sure. But still. Seeing an 8 year old cuss out her parents, flip people off, spit on her sister, climb on the dinner table…. And this is just one girl, in one home, in America…. In how many other homes throughout the world is this happening? When did parents stop parenting? When did parents stop disciplining and instructing? When did parents get lazy?
I can’t point all the fingers. I certainly catch flashes of my own kids and my own behaviors in some of these shows. There are times when my A-Game slips and my voice raises or times that I “take a break” and pass the parenting buck to my hubby. But for the most part I work hard at being a parent. Not because I want people to look at our family and say “What great parents” but because I want people to look at our family and say “What a great family – I wonder what their secret is.” I want to be able to share with people that my kids strive for obedience – not because Mommy says so – but because it’s what God desires and expects from them.
I’ve read a lot of parenting books, talked to fellow parents, and tried different parenting styles. Some advice worked better, some advice ended in disaster. But all of it seemed incomplete – it was lacking.
I recently went on a trip and as I was packing I realized I didn’t have a book to read on the plane. Those of you that read know the panic. I immediately headed to the bookstore. I found a book pretty quickly and then just browsed around enjoying the smells and sights of so many books. (Again, if you read you know the contentment of a bookstore) I came across a parenting book in the ‘Christian Self Help’ section. It immediately caught my attention because it used the words Creative and Correction together. I don’t think there’s one standard correction for every mishavior – I prefer to make the punishment fit the crime, so to speak. (btw – I do realize that correction requires more than discipline)
I finished half the book before my trip the next day and finished the other half when I got back. I was totally absorbed in this book. It had that piece that so many other parenting books seem to lack. God’s perspective. I loved that the author was raising her kids to intimately know God’s Word and to obey it. And that if they were corrected it wasn’t because Mommy was mean – in fact, they seemed to crave the correction at times. The author wasn’t polishing her children’s halos either. They aren’t perfect children and she isn’t a perfect mother.
Each chapter of the book was a glimpse into their lives, followed by a Toolbox chapter that gave practical examples of how to apply that particular topic in your own family. I particularily liked the Toolbox with Scripture references. It made me realize how important learning God’s word is – not just for adults, and not just in that cute “aw, my kids memorized John 3:16” way. I recently heard a sermon by my old pastor and he was talking about how “back in Jesus’ day” boys were raised studying Scripture. Everything else they did was 2nd to studying. That’s a 180 from today. How many kids are only exposed to Scripture on Sunday mornings? If they even go to church that is. I know for a long time that’s the way my kids were being raised and it makes me sad to know that we wasted a lot of time.
I want to put SuperNanny out of a job. Even if it’s only in my little corner of the world, in my own family.