Ever since Eli came home I feel as though Jeremiah and I slipped into a sort of emergency mode in our parenting. Those early weeks were all about coping and struggling to find a new normal. And keeping Ezra from killing Eli. And getting more than two hours of consecutive sleep.
We were just reacting in our parenting.
As we approach the three month mark of Eli joining our family things are finally to the place where I was able to step back and be silent enough in my heart to allow the Holy Spirit room to convict me on this. Reactive parenting is not effective, it doesn't please God, it doesn't get to the heart of the behavior, and it frustrates the kids.
This weekend we sat down as a family and worked together to come up with some ground rules. Or Hambrick house rules as we call them. If you are in the Hambrick family then you are expected to live by these rules. Mommy and Daddy especially included.
1) Honor God
2) Obey Mom and Dad
3) Show Love
4) Be Self-Controlled
5) Be Grateful
These are prominently displayed in the house. Jeremiah wrote another silly song (Dan Zane eat your heart out) to help the kids remember them. We talked about the scriptures backing up these rules. And we laid out the consequences for breaking them.
At the risk of sounding overly simplistic...this is one of the best parenting decisions we have ever done. The kids seem to really get that these aren't just arbitrarily decided rules. The consequences are clear and take all the stress out of administering them...and help with my consistency. Which helps with their frustration. Which helps with my reactions. Which allows me the patience to talk about the heart of the issue.
Which is what parenting should be all about.
What are some of your house rules?!