Permission to Stop
For the last few weeks, I’ve invited some of our Children’s Ministry team members to guest post here on the Magnetic Ministry blog. Up this week – Tobi Florence, 3rd-5th Grade Groups Leader. Tobi leads our 3rd-5th Grade Life Group Leaders and Welcome Hosts. You can read more from Tobi on her blog, Intentional Parenting.
Last winter my son came home with a report card that was not in line with his abilities. When his dad and I asked why he had these grades, his response was a very irritated, “I don’t know.” After several unsuccessful attempts to drag some real conversation out of him, we decided that talking was clearly not going to produce the results we desired. We spoke to his teacher and learned that most of the issues seemed to stem from lack of effort rather than lack of knowledge.
Resolution—Take away the distractions.
Translation—No TV, video games, or computer on school nights.
This was not well received! All three of our kids moaned and groaned over it day after day. Remarkably my son came to me one day and said, “Thanks Mom for taking away the video games and TV and stuff during the week.”
No kidding, that’s what he said! Of course I wanted to hear more… I asked, “Really?” He then began to tell me that it was really hard for him to have the self control he needed to choose homework or studying when the temptation was there to do things that were more fun.
Of course, I realize that most kids aren’t going to verbally come to thank you for not allowing them to do something they love, but they absolutely feel appreciation in their hearts. Kids crave boundaries and discipline. Not only that, God calls us to them. Proverbs 19:18 says, “Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.” One definition of discipline is “training to act in accordance with rules” . If we can begin to view discipline in this positive light, the possibilities are limitless!
May I challenge you to take this definition of discipline to your Life Groups and bless your children with it?
Establish some boundaries for the kids. Get their buy-in. Put them in writing. Review them weekly, as needed.
Your group time will be even more fun than it is now, and the kids will feel safe and loved when they know that you are in charge.
– Tobi Florence, 3rd-5th Grade Groups Leader