Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Homersteve
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:06 pm

Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by Homersteve » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:46 am

My name's Steve and I'm a father of a three year old. I've been married 18 years and it took a long time for me to decide to have a child. My wife always wanted a child and I decided - after a long time - it wasn't right to take that away from her. Well, it's been three years since my son's birth and it's really tough. We live far from family, 3000 miles, but even if we were close to them they really wouldn't help. My wife was an orphan never adopted and I came from a broken family. My mother worked double shifts at a restaurant and I was raised by babysitters or older female siblings. My sister and I had a very undisciplined upbringing and were never taught boundaries.

Well, I could go on but I won't. I will say these things didn't help me craft a way to be a good parent. I have bought several books on parenting, but they are mostly pop psychology, current whims of the times. My son is very strong willed and hard to deal with at times. The thing is, if I try to raise my kid the way a book says, it seems the book is more the parent and not me, if that makes sense. I mean most of the things suggested in the books seem to go against my intuition or just make me feel like a bad parent because I'm doing it wrong (I guess that’s normal). My wife clashes with me in almost every way when it comes to dealing with my son. We are very different people and mostly I back down and let her deal with him so we don't fight.

I opened up this new topic because I need a place to go to for advice, Christian advice. I trust Steve Gregg's judgment but I won't bother him with every question about parenting. It's funny ... I sometimes wish Jesus had a kid so I would know what was the right way to raise a child. Like would Jesus spank, or yell (it seems he got frustrated with his Disciples sometimes), or do time outs (LOL). I know we are all God's children (Christians at least), and maybe there's some parallel teaching about how God deals with his kids and how I should deal with mine. But I guess I'm too dunce to see it. Sometimes when dealing with my son I wonder what Jesus would do. However, my judgment of what Jesus may do is just that ... MY JUDGMENT.

Anyway, I post this to all the Fathers out there in Steve's forum land to maybe help me (and each other perhaps) with advice and share stories.

First off, were there any really good books that help you with skills on parenting you children? Do you spank or time outs?

My kid doesn't like to sit at the dinner table and is a very picky eater. He's 3 so I don't always battle this one out. But sometimes it's very stressful at the dinner table to get him to eat and my wife and I end up fighting. No, my wife doesn't submit to my authority, she doesn't always think highly of me or my judgment. But that’s another story or maybe that is the story and part of the problem. I don't blame her for feeling that way. We are not the perfect or perhaps even the ideal Christian couple.

Well, that's all for now. I'll check back later to see if anyone responds to this post. Thanks ...

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steve
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by steve » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:17 pm

Hi "Homersteve" (sounds like a hybrid of two of the main contributors),

I am wishing to write something for you here, when my time will allow. Right now I am teaching for YWAM in Toronto, AM and PM, and may take a little while to get to it. I just didn't want you to think no one was interested in answering. Your situation is a difficult one, and my heart goes out to you.

By the way, I am in favor of spanking, but, like any discipline, it only works in the context of a loving relationship with your child. It is generally not good to discipline when you are angry. Since discipline is frequently needed, this means, of course, there is a need to quickly get over anger (or else not get angry at all at your child). Your wife's resistance is complicating factor.

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darinhouston
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by darinhouston » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:57 pm

I'm interested, homersteve, and have a 1 year old girl and 4 year old boy (also having been married a while). I'm looking forward to Steve's response and will likely have more to say after I see his counsel. I have some personal responses I may prefer to send offline, but I can tell you that you're not alone in how "difficult" it can be. I can't look favorably at much of the "biblical" "examples" because they seem descriptive rather than prescriptive of those particularly in the OT and their kids seemed to be treated more as chattel, etc. due to societal differences.

I will say getting your relationship with your wife straight has to be at the bottom of the pyramid (after ensuring you're right with our heavenly Father, of course).

Homersteve
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by Homersteve » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:27 am

Thanks Steve for noticing my post. I look forward to your reply.

mbeckg
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by mbeckg » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:36 pm

Right now my wife and I are going through "Growing Kids God's Way" by Mr. and Mrs. Ezzo.

We are about halfway done, but it has been very good and biblical.

Marco G.
Jesus Saves

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darinhouston
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by darinhouston » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:56 pm

We just volunteered this weekend for the National GKGW conference here in Houston (just down the street from my house in fact). I have some doctrinal concerns with some of the things Ezzo promotes, but it has been very helpful to our family, and absent a better "system" has given us some peace to have a shared and rational (and mostly biblical) structure/approach to maintain consistency and to try and capture our son's heart and teach him much needed self-control. My only concern is it's a bit rigid in its "control" aspects, but where we've "let up," it's generally led to problems.

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Murf
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by Murf » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:55 pm

My two cents as a father of 3 (21,20,16)

The basics I had in my head as my kids were growing up
- Love your wife in front of your kids (this is the one I failed at most often)
- Consistency in discipline is more important that getting discipline "right"
- My wife used the counting-to-3-but-never-getting-to-3 method & timeouts
- I used 1 swat for minor infractions & 3 swats for major infractions (hug kid after discipline of any kind)
- the kids adjusted to both
- Explain to your kids why discipline happens
- Play with your kids
- Hug your kids
- Tell your kids you love them a lot /often
- A child's job is to push the limits. A parent's is to disipline/love before the limit is reached. If a behavior made me angry the kid did his job and I failed to do mine.
- Know their friends

Things i tried not to do
- say "because I said so"
- spank in anger
- forget to ask my wife if she already said "no" whenever the kids asked me for permission. (also a tough one)

I will let you know how things worked out when they start having kids of their own.
tim

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Joan
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by Joan » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:18 am

Homersteve, It's been a while. How are things going?

Homersteve
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by Homersteve » Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:45 pm

I wrote Steve Gregg again tonight, almost a year later exactly. Tomorrow I'll be going to a preschool with my wife to take a tour. I really don't want to do this, but my wife thinks it will be good for him. It will only be two days a week and she feels he'll get more socialization and activities. I feel torn about this, but I think I oversympathize with my son. We'll see how it goes. Things are tough between my wife and I. Please pray for us. Thanks...

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Joan
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Re: Parenting (Mainly on being a Father)

Post by Joan » Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:30 am

I can tell you are in a very hard place, Brother. I want to share one or two things I've learned through similar experiences, but I'm on a high-speed lunch break right now, and will have to wait. Meanwhile, I'll be praying for all of you. May the God of glory do an exceedingly great work of grace in your family, more than you can even think or imagine!
Blessings, Joan

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