“Hello. My name is Betsy and I’m the mother of three little girls. I am (always) in the process of learning how to be more patient and gentle while teaching and raising the beautiful children God has blessed me with and I hope to share some of that journey here with the readers of this blog.
My husband I are striving to raise our children without punishments as much as possible. We believe that the Holy Spirit compels us to show the fruit of the spirit in all areas of our lives which would include our interactions with our children. We believe that we are called to love our children as ourselves and to treat them with gentleness and love because what we do to the least of these, we do also to our Savior and Creator.
I was very fortunate to have been raised by two wonderful parents who love me very much. My father is a Bible teacher and pastors churches from time to time. My mother stayed home with my siblings and myself, spends a great deal of time with her granddaughters, and is one of the sweetest women alive.
I disagree with my parents about many things – including the issue of spanking – but I know they love me and that they raised me in the best way that they knew how to. Yes, I was spanked and I’m fine for the most part, but I want better for my children. I want to raise my children in a way that I believe honors God.
I will forever be grateful to my parents for respecting my decisions about how to raise my children and for encouraging me from the beginning to do my own research in all things and not to follow others’ teachings blindly.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
“I’m a stay-at-home mum to two energetic toddlers. We live in a large town in Tasmania with a few backyard chooks and vegies. I’m a volunteer Community Educator with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, and I like to read, knit and laugh.
My husband and I grew up in ordinary punitive homes. Our parents did the best they could with the tools they had and I think they did a pretty good job. However, God has led us to realise that his grace is intended for children, too, so we are trying to learn to parent the way he does.
God led us to this gently and by degrees, from punitive parenting, including spanking, to seeing how it wasn’t working in our children, to seeing that Scripture doesn’t support punitiveness and finding a great online community of mamas to learn from.
My own upbringing was characterised by frequent explosions of wrath from my father, whose temper I have unfortunately inherited. As I come out of the punitive paradigm, my biggest struggle is with controlling my temper. I find I often feel entitled to my anger and I want to make my children feel bad. I have to remind myself each time I fail that God’s grace is sufficient for me and his strength is made perfect in my weakness.”
Once upon a time there was a country girl. She met a rancher’s son and married him. She had two baby girls and loved to snuggle them and keep them close to her. She nursed them and slept with them and taught them that God loves them as much as He loves big people.
She loved to cook and take care of her friends and do all sorts of creative things like painting, writing, sewing, rubberstamping and telling stories.
While she was in college, she learned about child development and herself and discovered along the way that she had ADD. It was a good thing she found out because both her little girls were very spirited.
She loved all babies and wanted to help their mamas listen their hearts and to keep their little ones close and love them.
As a child, she had read all of Dr. James Dobson’s book as well as other parenting books her parents had. She hated being spanked but worse, she hated being unheard. She often felt like she wasn’t good enough to be loved.
She knew there had to be a better way to discipline. When she had her first baby who quickly grew into a toddler, she hated that her automatic response was to strike her precious baby. She found Mothering magazine’s forums and then the Gentle Christian Mothers forum and learned about gentle discipline and Grace-Based Discipline.
In those places, she found what she knew in her heart that you don’t have to hit, shame, or manipulate (use pain and carrots) children into behaving well. Instead, she learned about age-typical behavior and how children grow out of annoying behaviors and learn better from scripting and modeling the desired behavior. She had already learned that when she modeled hitting and shouting, her toddler hit and shouted. She realized that first, she had to change herself and act in appropriate ways, and that her actions were her children’s first lessons.
She was grateful to find that Grace-Based Discipline helped her understand and reconnect with her children, instead of pushing them away from her and breaking their trust as punitive training had begun to do between them and had happened in her relationship with her parents.
She hopes that she can help others on their journey of extending grace to other parents and helping them do unto their children as they would have others do unto them.