Parent the Heart - Part 3

Create a Tool Bag of Consequences

Ed Miller, Biblical Parenting Coach
This is the third article in the series on heart-based parenting. These first few articles really build on each other so I hope you read Part 1. If not, you might want to start there. 

It's "Heart Week!" Are you enjoying the articles so far? What's been helpful or encouraging for you? I'd love to interact with you on your questions or challenges. Leave a comment or email me at We've talked about the importance of focusing on the heart and about giving good instructions. There are times when we need to go to another level with a child. So, here we go to the next level! Wait, let me do a brief commercial first. 

Have you entered the 24 Hour Flash Giveaway yet? It ends at 8:00 am EST on Tuesday 5/23/17. Enter by making a comment and giving us your email address on this article or our NCBP Facebook page. The winner gets a $25.00 coupon for the Build Your Bundle Sale. 

Okay, now we're really going to the next level!!

Because we focus so easily on actions and behavior, we also jump very quickly to using consequences. Consequences are a very important part of the training process for our children, but we don't want to go there too quickly. We really want to work hard at giving clear, simple and firm instructions. We also want to do a lot of vision casting for the character quality we're seeking to develop in our child. Casting vision simply means that we help the child see the kind of person they can be in the future if they have this character quality. We also want to pray a lot and ask the Lord to change the heart of our child. 

Many of our children have strong wills and their hearts are hard toward us or toward the Lord. They need to have God change their heart and they may need to repent. There are things that we can do to create an environment for that to happen. We can help put pressure on the child when they don't comply by using consequences. This is a valuable part of any growth or discipline plan. Here's what the apostle Paul says about this as he explains God's process of loving and directing us. 

Be patient when you are being corrected! This is how God treats his children, and if he doesn't correct you, then you don't really belong to him. Our earthly fathers correct us, and we still respect them. Isn't it even better to be given true life by letting our spiritual Father correct us? Our human fathers correct us for a short time, and they do it as they think best. But God corrects us for our own good, because he wants us to be holy, as he is. It is never fun to be corrected. In fact, at the time it is always painful. But if we learn to obey by being corrected, we will live right and be at peace. - Hebrews 12:7-11 (CEV)

God uses correction to get our attention and to help us see the need to repent or change our heart. It's the same with our children. Remember that the goal is training and change so that we can "live right." The goal is not punishment. Many correction tools are very punitive in nature. We encourage every parent to develop a "Tool Bag of Consequences" that reach the heart and help a child change and grow. You need many different tools because every child is different. What works with one may not work well with the other.

We have found one very helpful consequence that often works well to accomplish the goal of repentance. It's also a great adult skill. A very common consequence today is called "Time Out." A child goes to a specified location to wait out their time until the parent returns to release them. This is really like putting a child in prison and is usually very punitive. It may work in the short run, but like most behavior modification strategies, it doesn't necessarily deal with the heart of the child. We prefer the tool we call "Take a Break."

Here's what my wife Joanne Miller says about the "break." 

When you begin to see a bad attitude or hear that manipulative whining voice, have your child take a Break. With young children, as young as two or three years old, have them sit in a particular place, a chair, a carpet square, the hallway, or a bottom step. For older children, you might send them to the parent's room or to another quiet place. 
We believe that the Break is much more helpful than Time Out. The instructions given are simple and clear. "You need to go take a Break. Come back and see me when you've calmed down and are ready to talk about this nicely."  
Two differences are important. The child knows that the objective in taking a Break is a changed heart and also the child helps determine the length of time spent in the break place, coming back only when ready for a debriefing.  
These two differences between Time Out and the Break change the posture of the parent. With Time Out, the parent is the policeman, keeping the child in the chair until the sentence for misbehavior has been served. With the Break, the parent is eagerly waiting for the child to return so that they can debrief and more forward.The Break helps parents address heart issues with children and can become a primary discipline technique. 
It actually comes from the Bible in the teaching about discipline in God's family, the Church (Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5, and 2 Corinthians 2). The idea is basically this: If you can't abide by the principles that make this family work, then you can't enjoy the benefits of family life. The two go hand in hand.
We'd like to offer you a couple of options for digging more deeply into this idea of heart-based parenting routines.   

The first thing you will want to do is get your hands on the Parenting Is Heart Work Training Manual. (PHWTM) It's a workbook that will guide you through introducing the Instruction Routine and other routines to train the heart of your child. It includes a 45-minute downloadable audio segment with each chapter. This is really a course in heart-based parenting.

You can pay $49.95 and get this resource for your family. You could also get this resource plus 16 other eBooks as part of the Character Building Bundle in the Build Your Bundle 2017 Sale. This package of resources retails for $312.65 and you can get it for just $49.95. If you picked up a Pre-Sale Coupon, that will bring the price down to $44.95 for all 17 resources. This bundle will only be available until the end of the day on Monday May 30, 2017. It will never be offered again. These are all eBooks, but the PHWTM works great in this form. Since it's a workbook, you just print out the pages and put it in a binder. Work through the chapters and listen to the audio segments as you go. This is really a great deal and be sure to check out other bundles as well. This is an investment in your family that will last all summer, all year and maybe beyond. 

Get Your Bundle Now!

The other thing we can do is provide you with more training on how to be an effective coach with your children. We have a new Online Parenting Support Group starting on June 19 and we'd love to work with you for 8 weeks this summer. This is the least expensive way to get Biblical Parenting Coaching. You'll get some great training via our Content Portal; support and input from Ed Miller and assignments to complete. You'll also get personalized input on the plan you're working on with your child. This is the best "coaching training" available to parents.  Click Here to learn more. You can also call our office at any time if you have questions. 609-771-8002. Use the following code, BPCEM, in the final stage of the checkout process. That will take $50.00 off the price making your final cost just $199.00



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