Thursday, December 24, 2009

Helping Kids Understand Authority

Last night Tim and I sat down and watched the first of the Tedd Tripp videos from a parenting seminar he did at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.

I had the privilege of being part of a women's group that actually read and discussed Tedd Tripp's book "Shepherding a Child's Heart". If I recall correctly Treyton was about 18 months old (I can't remember for sure), so it was about 3 years ago. But I still remember the things I learned in this book! I'm grateful that this was one of the first parenting books that I read because it certainly set a standard that many others have failed to meet. And I walked away with a lifetime worth of lessons.

Tedd Tripp teaches that raising and teaching our children is more than just producing "good behavior", as Christian parents we want (and need) to address the heart issues rather than just the behavioral issues. The challenge he gives is to deal with the heart issue by using the behavioral issues as a guide. (I'm summarizing a book I read over three years ago, so keep that in mind!) There are some areas that Tripp is certainly more "strict" than I am, but overall I strongly agree with his techniques and methods of parenting and they have helped both Tim and I immensely.

The video we watched last night was on "Helping Kids Understand Authority"

Here are a few of the notes that I made:

~ The notion of hierarchy has been largely lost on our culture - we have been taught that "we're all created equal" and we are all basically the same

~ The fact is God has organized a hierarchy in life (for example children are under the authority of their parents). In order to give our children a proper biblical worldviews we need to teach them proper respect for authority/hierarchy in their lives.

~ Psalm 8 gives us a look at God's hierarchy system God - Angels - Mankind - Animals - Inanimate Creation

~ All people are equal in dignity because we are ALL image bearers of God, however God has also established hierarchy - Men are placed as the head of Women - Parents are given a position of responsibility and authority in the lives of their children - there are more (government, bosses, etc.)

~ Training is a process - not an event! To teach our children Truth we must continually bring it to them in a loving and sincere manner. This isn't a one time lecture, or bible lesson.
* This includes teaching them that God (whom they can trust) gave them a mommy and daddy that they can trust and that has authority over them.
* Children are commanded to obey their parents in the Bible (Eph 6:1)

~ The fact of the matter is that HOW we present these truths to our kids in CRUCIAL (I loved that he added this part because I had literally just paused the video and said to Tim "I don't disagree with him but I have seen alot of parents, mostly when I was in high school, really misusing this type of system "throwing" selective scripture at their children and expecting it to mean something - sure they taught it to them, sure they know it, but it was used as a method of control, not teaching and instruction.") When we come to our children with an authoritative, power-driven, control seeking manner (my words, not Tripps), we are "planting seeds of rebellion" (Tripp's words not mine). Eventually that child will stand up and test your power... to see what you can "do"

~ Tenderness, honesty, love and sincerity are as important as the words you are using to instruct. (I really believe this). When we are real with our kids, admit our struggles, teach through example and diligently bring the Word of God to our kids with realness it's effective. They may be four years old but they know when you mean what you say and when you're just "saying it".

~ It's also crucial that you critique and evaluate (as a family) our culture and media through your biblical worldview. After you watch TV, read a book, go to the store, etc. talk about what you saw, what it made you think or feel, how you think God felt about it, how it "should have been" if it was according to God's way. We cannot always shelter our children from what they see or hear, but we can talk them through it and teach them.

I highly recommend all parents to take the time to watch these videos, even if you can't do it with your spouse, you can still learn alot through watching them.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I've never heard of Tedd Tripp. Thanks for the information. Sounds right up our alley.

I just finished Parenting by The Book by John Rosemond and did a 3 part reflection on it. It's really good; he's pretty strict but I completely understand his logic.