Monday, February 16, 2015

Terms and Conditions

I had a child write a contract today regarding the use of their kindle reading device.  As I typed up the modified agreement I admit I got a little carried away.  I thought of all the times I seem to have to reiterate the known rules and regulations of our home.  I decided to write up the specifics.  This is for my benefit as well. My goal is to be a calm mama. I'm certainly not there, but hopefully tools like this will help me to establish calm in my heart and home a little more each day.  Let me know what you think. Do you have anything like this in your home? What have you found to be successful?

House of Boyd

We are Christians first, above any clan or personal preference. If the God of the universe can humble Himself to save mankind – we, His creation, can humble ourselves to serve one another in peace and kindness.

Clan Boyd: Confido – Confidence

1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

These are the expectations for the children within the Boyd family

1.      Privilege: Advantage; favor; benefit. As a participating member of the House of Boyd, children will enjoy a number of privileges directly influenced by his willingness to participate as a trustworthy member of our family. 

a.      This includes but is not limited to: approved video games, modified bedtime, “playdates” or overnights with approved friends, school activities, extracurricular activities, access to some movies not enjoyed by younger brothers due to age/ability, inclusion in family outings, dinners, birthday celebrations, “dessert date night”, game night and other privileges enjoyed by family members in good standing. 

b.      Boyd children will never lose the right to physical and emotional safety, food, shelter, clothing, education and appropriate sleeping conditions.

c.       It is completely in each child’s power whether they participate in the privileges available to them as a member of the Boyd family or not.

2.      Obedience: Compliance with a command, prohibition or known law and rule of duty prescribed; the performance of what is required or enjoined by authority, or the abstaining from what is prohibited, in compliance with the command or prohibition. To constitute obedience the act or forbearance to act must be in submission to authority; the command must be known to the person, and his compliance must be in consequence of it, or it is not obedience; obedience is not synonymous with obsequiousness; the latter often implying meanness or servility, and obedience being merely a proper submission to authority. That which duty requires implies dignity of conduct rather than servility. obedience may be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary obedience alone can be acceptable to God.

a.      Our goal is to act with kindness and love in all things.  If someone makes a reasonable request we should do our best to honor that request with kindness.

b.      Boyd children will be expected to obey requests given to them by Mom and Dad.

c.       Mom and Dad will NEVER ask them to do anything illegal or immoral. 

d.      Some requests may not be part of Boyd children's personal preferences, but they will be expected to respectfully respond and execute request. 

e.      Requests are expected to be executed in a respectful calm manner, without argument or complaint.

f.        If an older sibling is left in charge obedience and respect are expected to be shown.  The sibling in charge is expected to be kind to children being cared for.  As long as the sibling in charge is not asking supervised children to do something dangerous or immoral, obedience is expected.  Any grievances will be reviewed upon the return of the parent.  If supervising child is found to be in the wrong there will be restitution. 

3.      Respect: That estimation or honor in which men hold the distinguished worth or substantial good qualities of others. It expresses less than reverence and veneration, which regard elders and superiors; whereas respect may regard juniors and inferiors.

a.       Boyd children are expected to treat members of the House of Boyd in a respectful manner. 

b.      While Boyd children are not expected to be “happy” about frustrating situations they are expected to speak in a calm manner or ask to be excused until such time as they are able to return and address family members in a respectful tone. 

c.       We are aiming for mutual respect, which is not to be confused with equality between children and parents or equality of privileges between older and younger children within the home.

d.      Parents have a higher level of authority and responsibility than children.  It is the God –given responsibility of the parent to love and nurture children within the family, but also to train and discipline when discipline is required. 

e.      Respect includes respect of persons, property and rules of the House of Boyd.

f.        We encourage the respect of persons, property and rules in and out of the home but adherence will be fully enforced within the House of Boyd. 

                                                              i.      Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, thankfulness, and self-control are encouraged without any boundaries.

                                                            ii.      We reject any form of lying, stealing, destruction of property, blasphemy, foul language, coarse joking, purposefully inflicting physical or emotional pain on oneself or another person.

4.      Grievances: That which causes grief or uneasiness; that which burdens, oppresses or injures, implying a sense of wrong done, or a continued injury, and therefore applied only to the effects of human conduct; never to providential evils. The oppressed subject has the right to petition for a redress of grievances.

a.      If Boyd children feel they have been ill used, wrongfully accused or would like to petition for a change of rule they may request to be heard AFTER request has been respectfully carried out.

b.      If Boyd children feel they are being wrongfully accused they may ask if they can speak in their defense. 

c.       If a Boyd child or the other party is “heated”, communication will be deferred until such time as both parties can speak together in a calm and respectful manner.

5.      Discipline: To instruct or educate; to inform the mind; to prepare by instructing in correct principles and habits; as, to discipline youth for a profession, or for future usefulness. Our job as parents is to set an example of Christ in the home, to love unconditionally and to discipline consistently. 

a.      We are not perfect, nor do we expect our children to be perfect. 

b.      Discipline is not intended to inflict pain or suffering, but to serve as a strong deterrent from dangerous, destructive or immoral behavior and to ultimately encourage a change or turning of the heart toward Christ. 

c.       The discipline may benefit our household for a time, encouraging peace within the home, but the purpose is for a lasting understanding of the love of God and the hope of Salvation. 

d.      Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"That One"

It is a phenomena I have seen in many homes where children dwell.  I've seen it in homes with many children and homes with few.  I've even seen it in single child homes.  It seems in nearly every home there is that child..."that one" who has the amazing gift of button pushing.  "That one" who can take you emotionally from 0 to 100 in no time flat.  "That one" may be the one who always leaves things out, always breaks things, always complains or always ________________.    "That one" may be the instigator of every argument, the captain of chaos or the lord (or lady)  of lies. "That one" who always does "that thing" on purpose! "That one" who wants everything and seems to appreciate nothing.  "That one" may often make a mama question why she didn't think to become a nun instead of having children.  But "that one" is necessary for our salvation.

Hopefully I don't look like this, but I sure have FELT like this!!!

Even with the great trials that come with being the mother of "that one" there are a great many blessings as well, if we choose to see them.  "That one" helps us to realize that we truly are powerless and God is all powerful.  "That one" is part of the cross the Lord allows us to carry so there can be less of ourselves and more of Christ.  "That one" helps us to realize that no victory is too small to acknowledge.  "That one" helps us to learn that the fetal position in the closet is not as effective as prostrate at the foot of the Cross.  Yes, we may be white knuckling it with some of the kids we have in our homes, but we learn to hold on more tightly to Christ. 

Now, "that one" may not always be the same one.  In my home it seems the baton gets passed around.  They run relay sprints while I am running for distance.  It can be exhausting.  It can be depressing.  It can be the very thing that helps us to draw more closely to THE ONE who understands the hearts of our children and our mama hearts, THE ONE who can bring healing and comfort in the middle of all the craziness.  He is THE ONE who can mend and heal and calm and show us the JOY and LAUGHTER and LOVE that are available even when every button is pushed and every resource seems to be depleted.  When we are challenged by "that one" let it be to us a prompting to pray and ask THE ONE to be present in our lives, in our homes and in the hearts of each of our children (we will spend a lot of time praying :)

Do not lose heart dear mother.  You are not alone!

By faith Rahab was delivered from the destruction of Jericho because she believed in the power of the God of the Israelites.  Help me, O Lord, to have that same faith, the faith to stand firm even when the walls of life seem to be falling all around me.  Thank You that I can trust you with each member of my family knowing that your love for them and hope for their salvation is greater than mine.  Help me to remember that I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (Galatians 2:20).  For you are blessed now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.