Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Character Counts: Self-Control

I'm trying to get my big bum in gear for January. 
January officially starts our homeschool adventure. 
January? Yes, January. 
Because I'm a slacker and have 4 very small children and worked an insane amount over the summer and fall and couldn't keep my head on straight, let alone my many ducks in a row. 

Sounds like a bunch of silly excuses doesn't it? 
I know. 
It partly is. And it's partly the raw truth. 

So, since I've fallen off ... er, dropped? Yes, dropped or thrown or completely lost the proverbial ball and have not been keeping us in routine and definitely have not kept up with daily Bible time or character training ... 
I am attempting to get those all back in swing. 

Today we studied Self-Control and will continue to for the rest of the week. 
I get my character training tools and tips from my wonderful friend
and mentor Kim D. 
She gave me all her character tools many years ago and believe me when I say,
they are invaluable. 
So, you being able to get her book now (it wasn't available back then) is a great deal! 
You can find it here
There is also a tab to order it through the mail. Or if you are a local here in our frozen (or not so frozen) tundra, just e-mail me and I can hook ya up. Boom baby! 

One of our every day ways of practicing self-control is blanket time. 

Controlling my actions, attitudes, and words so they do not control me. 

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. 
Proverbs 16:32

What the Bible says about self control:

Proverbs 25:28: Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

2 Peter 1:5-6: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

1 Thes 5:6: So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

1 Timothy 3:2: Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

Titus 2:12: It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,

1 Peter 5:8: Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Thoughts on self-control: 

"As I read nearly twenty verses on self-control, I realized that self-control affects nearly every aspect of our lives. From eating to exercising, from working to entertainment, from shyness to boldness; everything is affected by our choosing to be self-controlled or self indulgence. In this world of comfort seeking and thinking we deserve the best, self-control is not honored, but God's ways are not man's ways and He highly values a man that practices self-control."

How to train your children in Self-Control: 

1) Practice sitting and not moving. Start with 15secs and slowly progress up to 5mins. 
- Leave the room but keep one eye looking. 
- Allow other children to make distractions without touching the child sitting. 
We practiced this one this morning. I had all 3 older children take a turn sitting on the chair. Then the rest of us (me included) ran around, jumped, danced, sang, yelled, whispered, talked in silly voices, and crinkled wrappers. The child in the chair had to remain sitting, paying attention to only the picture on the wall and not engaging with the others. 

2) Throughout the day have the child stop (freeze) and do it immediately. 
- May reward them at first and then just expect them to obey. 
- Goal is to stop without one more stop or them looking for reason. 
When we do this we make it fun and I let them run around and be super silly and then they need to listen for my voice very, very carefully. 

3) Eat in front of children, don't always have to let them eat what you're eating. Say no. 

4) Teach them to not ask for things that seem "normal": food at a friend's house, stickers at the Dr. office, sucker at the bank, treat from anyone, etc. Teach them that they may accept when it is offered but they are not allowed to EXPECT them. 
- Role play what is and isn't ok. 

5) Do not allow them to run in church, in parking lots, or in stores. 
- When you pull into mentioned places remind the children why they are not to run. 

6) Do not scream. Only for danger. 

7) Do not yell in anger. A quiet voice is a sign of emotions under control. 
- When child fails have them redo it correctly with self-control. 

8) Explain that some attitudes to control are: fussing (pouting), jealousy, sadness, pain, screaming, running, biting, and pinching. 
- Talk through scenarios and how they should act and how they can control themselves. 
- Teach them what TO DO, not just what not to do. 

9) When a child lacks self-control, think what does he/she hope to gain and make sure you do not give it to them. 

10) Be sure your own emotions and actions are in control when training and correcting children. Be quick to apologize and seek forgiveness when you blow it. 

11) Never change your mind if a child fusses. Tell them, "I may have reconsidered but now I can't because you fussed." OR "Because you received my 'No' with joy, I have the freedom to change my mind." 
We also make it really easy and tell them flat out: "You do not get what you fuss for."
It makes it simple and easy. 

12) Practice church, wedding, and funerals. Discuss what will be allowed and what won't. 
Tell them how to get your attention and why. Explain that we do not want to be a distraction to others and that talking, climbing, swinging legs, etc is pulling others attention away. 
Make a special way/sign for them to get your attention when in these situations and practice. 

13) Fussing sounds sour. Use a small squirt of apple cider vinegar to illustrate that they sound sour and tell them you want them to sound sweet like honey. 

14) Teach them to change their thinking, to fill their thoughts with something good. 

15) When teaching very little children "no touch" or "no throw" apply a swift sting to the hand to associate the word "no" with pain and something to stay away from. 

16) Praise, praise, praise, and praise some more when they do show self-control.

17) Prepare child for time when "everyone" else is doing something they shouldn't do. 
Ie: jumping on bed, running in church, eating treats, throwing rocks, watching certain movies. 

18) Talk about the Bible verses and how a person without self-control, (namely can control their anger) is better than the mighty! 
Everyone wants to be mighty in some way; relate to your children and how they want to be mighty and that self-control is more valuable to God then that mightyness. 
A mighty football player, a mighty soldier, a mighty pirate, a mighty dinosaur, a mighty princess, a mighty dancer.

No comments: