A Change of Heart

Another Parenting Tip from The National Center for Biblical Parenting…
At the National Center for Biblical Parenting we talk a lot about helping children change their hearts. You may be thinking, "My children don't know how to change their hearts." What does that mean anyway, and what can we expect in any given discipline situation?

When a child has done the wrong thing, it's often helpful to require some alone time with instructions like, "You need to take a break. Come back and we'll talk about this after you change your heart." Children may not understand how it happens but with practice they can learn to change their hearts. A change of heart in children involves four steps:

1. Stop fighting, calm down, and be willing to talk about the problem
2. Acknowledge having done something wrong
3. Be willing to change
4. Commit to doing right
These are all steps that a child can do. Ideally we would also like to see two other steps take place:
5. Feel sorrow for doing wrong
6. Have a desire to do what's right

That may sound like a lot, but children grow into this process slowly and we can help them through the steps. If your son has been disrespectful in the way he spoke to you, first he needs to stop and settle down and be willing to work on the problem. Then secondly, he needs to acknowledge that he was wrong. Thirdly, he needs to be willing to respond differently next time. And lastly, he needs to commit to trying to do better.

Sometimes children may only settle down (Step #1) in the "break." Then they are ready to process the other steps with the parent. Other times, children may be able to work through all four steps and then just report back to the parent. The only prerequisite for coming back from a break is that a child be willing to work on changing the heart.

Remember, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) Teaching children to change their hearts is a valuable lesson that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.

This parenting tip comes from Our 1st Quarter Special: 
Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids,by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. Being a parent is the greatest blessing from God, and it is also the hardest thing you will ever do. It helps be to remember, "When I pray, I have to move my feet." Recently I was asked to speak at our local middle school Parenting University, and as I prepared for my talk, my husband shared how, when our daughter was a pre-teen and in middle school, that he quickly learned he needed to be flexible during this time. Because, just like her developing hormones, one day she might act like she was 25 and the next day she would revert back to being his little girl. From this I created talk titled, “STAYING CONNECTED WITH YOUR CHILD: 5 Keys You Need to Know”

    1. Acknowledge your child’s feelings
    2. Step into your pre-teens reality
    3. Help them learn how to manage their own life
    4. You Need Boundaries and Your Child to Be Able to Set Boundaries Too
    5. Don’t Let Your Feelings Muddy the Water

    1. Hi Kay,
      Thanks for sharing. This is really helpful.