My sweet friend, Julia, recommended this book to me: Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond. I really liked it, and I feel so inspired to parent with confidence I gain from trusting Scriptural truths.
Here are some quick things I learned/liked:
-teaching a child manners is key in child-rearing. When a child gives another person preference and respect, he gains self-respect. He is teachable (in school) if he is respectful and obedient to others. This starts with manners.
-High self-esteem in a child should be avoided at all costs. If a child esteems himself highly, he is proud, selfish and thinks the world revolves around him. Teach a child to be humble and considerate to others.
-A family should be more marriage-centered than child-centered. After the age of 3, the parents shouldn't cater to every need of the child, but rather, teach him to serve the family (chores, etc) and be a contributing member instead of ruler of the roost.
- Tell and compel. I shouldn't ask, plead, cajoul or beg my child to do anything. I tell them once, and turn away so they only have a back to argue with. Lead with confidence -- inspiring and influencing.
- Predicable consequences (such as spanking a child for the same infraction over and over and over) immunizes the child to the spanking. Instead, make discipline unpredictable (and creative), increasing the punishment each time the infraction is made.
-Limiting activities after school and allowing more time for kids to be kids in free play is good. Rosamond points out that going to a kid's soccer game is NOT family time, team building is less important than family building. He says a mother's identity should not be wrapped up in her children's activities. Amen!
-Micromanaging Moms: (I could tend toward this!) If you are constantly checking in on your child's homework, affairs and other things, you are teaching the child that he doesn't have to be responsible, since you're always there to remind him of things, fight his battles, pick up last minute supplies he needs TOMORROW etc.
Rosamond talks a lot (too much?) about how modern parenting (prompted by today's psyco-babble) has truly derailed children, but he insists that if we base parenting on Biblical truth -- we will never be flailing for answers or doubting the legitimacy of our "curriculum."