Family Home Evening - Love Through Obedience
Since we moved our family in the summer and took a break from a lot of our rules and schedules we've had a really hard time getting back on track once school started. Having a child with autism and another with ADHD, not to mention the fact they are all 8 and under, we have to get pretty creative to help teach our kids those basic skills most kids pick up a lot faster. They really have a hard time staying on task and focusing until the end. This FHE will actually be quite a few lessons to remind the kiddos what we expect of them and what consequences they will receive with their actions. We are big believers in consequences in this house. Notice I didn't say "punishment." We talk about consequences positively and negatively. My daughter always reminds us, "Good choices get good consequences, bad choices get bad consequences." It's a simple concept for her to remember and if we are showing how every choice is attached to a consequence it helps the kiddos realize that they are actually choosing their consequence and it's not just mom and dad being mean or picking on them. We started with an FHE lesson we found on Showing Love Through Obedience found HERE at a Year of FHE.
After the lesson, we re-introduced The 21 Rules of This House. We have already spent time introducing one new rule each week when we lived in Roosevelt, so this was a refresher course. We ordered ours as a PDF (I can no longer find it on amazon like that, just the book) and I printed them out on cardstock and colored them all. It's broken down into very simple rules such as "When someone is sad, we comfort them," "When we have something nice to share, we share it," "When we turn something on, we turn it off," "We don't create unnecessary work for others." The book is basically these rules and then coloring pages with illustrations for each rule. For me, it was really helpful because instead of broader concepts such as "Clean up after yourself" it breaks it down smaller for younger kids and special needs kids. There were some rules we had to add for our family and some we don't use as much as others. The very last rule talks about accepting discipline when we break a rule and the picture is a little boy sitting on his dad's lap and dad's got a paddle in his hand. Ok, every negative review I've read is about that dang paddle. We don't paddle our children, we have another form of consequences which we will go over next week, but I don't see that paddle and think this plan is to beat your children. If that would bother you, don't purchase the book, or simply draw your own for number 21. If you aren't an artist, a very simple idea is to even TRACE rule 21 and simply leave the paddle out. Dad's just sitting there and the boy is sitting on his lap crying. Nothing wrong with that picture, looks like he's talking to Dad and he's feeling bad for breaking a rule. The other 20 pictures are worth it. I'm happy with our purchase. As I mentioned before there were a few rules that we added because I couldn't find which of the 21 these would fall under and they are some my kids struggle with a lot.
The Love one is actually in the 21 rules, but it never hurts to repeat that one over and over.
If you don't have a set of rules for your house, I suggest you make some. It would be a good FHE to talk about what rules you think you should have. Make sure the children understand the rules and why. Focus on how they affect others. Give examples of how others can get hurt or things broken or money wasted when we don't follow the rules. This helps the kids understand the rules are there for a reason and not just an "I told you so" type of reason. Even preschoolers will be able to loosely link reasoning behind rules. When kids can grasp this concept they will have a better understanding and hopefully obedience for rules as they get older and will still understand the importance of following them when mom and dad aren't around.
So what do we do when our kids break one of the rules? Sometimes it depends on the child and the rule broken, but most often it results in either a time-out or picking from the consequence jar.
We will go over the consequence jar next week. But basically we have small consequences on strips of paper the kids need to choose from. Some of these are extra chores, doing something kind for someone else, taking time alone, some type of physical exercise, some form of extra learning type work, sometimes a fine from their piggy bank, and some of them are downright silly. We also have some freebies. So we don't repeat the same ones over and over, once a consequence is completed, it goes into the other jar until the first jar is empty and we start over. The kids never know what they are going to get which is much like life.
I find it shocking how many parents in today's society think that setting rules and consequences for those rules are a bad thing. As parents, it is our job to raise children who learn to respect and honor rules, to accept the consequences of their actions. It amazes me the parents who plead with judges and officers for freebies when their grown child has broken the law. Life doesn't work like that, and if it did, it would be a very scary world. As adults we have consequences attached to every choice we make. If we work extra hard, follow the rules and maybe take some extra classes or training we can earn a promotion or a raise. If we choose to party the night before a Monday meeting and we are late or miss it, we could lose our job. If we love our kids we need to raise them to realistically and happily thrive in the real world when we aren't around, because we won't be around forever. Teaching them obedience at a young age is a very important start.