Saturday, November 22, 2008

Parenting by The Book

I promise that my head will spin off my shoulders and my eyeballs will fly out if I hear "ME FIRST" one more time. I'm serious. I've warned the children, but I don't think they believe me, so you will want to watch the evening news, as I'm sure this event will warrant much air time. The Weekly World News will likely do a feature (provided BatBoy doesn't have any breaking news). It's really that bad.

Which brings me to this week's installment of Parenting By The Book. Our Scripture is the familiar
If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all. ~ Mark 9:35
When one of the little darlings chirps or, you know, wails "ME FIRST", he or she must be the last and serve the others. If he was trying, for instance, to be first in the van and score a certain seat (as if where one sits makes a whit of difference), he would have to open the door for the other children and take the seat that is left after everyone is in. Or say she was demanding the first cookie, in which case she would serve everyone else their choice of cookies and take her own serving from what was left. I simply recite the above verse and do my Vanna White impression, indicating the demanding child's new position and responsibility.

Conversely (and this happens less often, but it has happened), when I see a child showing deference and a servant's heart, I will move that child to the front of the line or give him his choice in the matter at hand while specifically praising the actions and attitude. This usually has the "trickle-down" effect of engendering lots of "You first!" "No, you first" and all of a sudden I'm in a Chip and Dale cartoon, which is fine with me, as there are no dishes or laundry there.

Did you parent "by The Book" this week? I'd love to read about it!


  1. I believe ours was more of a "parenting WITH the book". Couldn't find "Mr. Happy"...our I used "THE BOOK"! (Sorry...ran out of duct tape!)

  2. Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog! I just read through your first page of posts and I am bookmarking you. I struggle with disciplining my very strong-willed kids and you've encouraged me! I'll be back! (That wasn't meant to sound as ominous as it did in my head just now.)

  3. As usual...great post, and so timely!

    My dtr is dealing with fears right now (spiders/robbers/the angst of a 10-ager), so I've pointed her to (and read with her, as well) Phil. 4:4-8.

    4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    Yet again, I realize that the extent to which I parent by the Book is directly dependent upon how much I'm IN the Book. Ahem...

  4. That's wonderful. Love the thought of being in the Chip and Dale cartoon.

  5. I just love your ideas. What a blessing for me to find your blog while I still have a chance to implement these things with my tiny kiddos :)

  6. for is something we have implemented in the past few weeks. My kids are always complaining about having to help each other..."EWWWW...I'm not touching Bryce's has KETCHUP on it!" So, 4 days a week, my older kids serve lunch. They each have a day, even Noah (7) and they make lunch. Then, after making lunch, they must SERVE everyone. This means, "do you want mayo or mustard on your sandwich?" "What kind of chips would you like?" Plates on the table, etc. There is a difference in making lunch for everyone because mom said so and making lunch so others will benefit. I want them to CARE about the other kids likes, wants, and needs. And if this doesn't work...back to duct tape!

  7. Fabulous idea. My kids aren't saying "ME FIRST" ... yet. But we'll get there. I'm glad to have a tool in my arsenal.

  8. Oh to have had your wisdom when my kids were small. Now that they're older, and I'm much wiser, I am trying to parent by the Book. Learning is so much easier than unlearning!

    Your children are blessed to have such a wise mommy. You can tell them I said so.

  9. Great post!! =)

    Come on over to my blog, I have an award waiting for you!!

  10. Love this! I actually do this, but never added the scripture--always more effective.

  11. This is a wonderful idea. I'm going to implement it immediately. Anything that can make the Word real to children is definitely worth doing. (I found you through Rocks in My Dryer, btw.)

  12. Ahhh...and then there's my son (5 at the time) who, instead of the normal pushing to be "first," allowed his older brother to go first. Older brother stopped in his tracks (after he got ahead) and asked, "Why did you do that?" Younger brother replied, totally serious, "Because the last shall be first."

    I found you through Rocks in My Dryer. Loved the post! I'll be back to visit again! :)