I was visiting Sally's Blog "I Take Joy" today, and just loved what she had to say about how grace based parenting is NOT leniency or coddling. (I added the coddling word)
Her post got me to thinking about parenting kids who come from hard places. Not that I don't think about it all the time. But I began to focus on what some think BCLC is, or Grace Based Parenting is. If you don't understand the concepts, you might think it is spoiling, allowing children to be out of control, smiling as your little princess throws a huge fit, demands, talks back, etc.
(you get the picture)
What a horrifying thought! It is not at all even close to the truth.
When children come into our lives after living a life completely separate from us, they come with their own set of values, morals, ideas, likes and dislikes; and those may be quite different from our own!
(that is an understatement) :)
In order to help them root out unwanted behaviors, we need to cultivate the soil. Gently!
Picture a child's heart as a plot of land for a garden. But this land has not been cared for at all. There has been no fertilizer, no compost, no weeding of any kind, no careful hoeing, no water..... it has just been left to itself. Do you know what a garden looks like that is left to itself???
If you just go in and start whacking down every weed you see, you are going to cause more problems in your garden. Whacking weeds will only spread them. The roots will still be there and the seeds of those weeds will fall into more soil and you will have a bigger problem that you started with!
In our Children's lives, if we bring them home and just start whacking at the weeds, (the unwanted, trauma based behaviors) we will only be spreading them. It might look pretty at first! The weeds are all gone! SEE!
But then, they will start to come up all over the place! Why?
Because we forgot about the root! The root causes of many behaviors are based in fear and shame.
Trust me, your child wants to get better, they really do! But sometimes it is just so scary!
That is a picture of our children, who come home already frightened and then, all this whacking, chopping and supposed weeding starts to happen....
In reality, the little tender trust shoot that was starting to grow gets chopped down with the hoe of anger, impatience, adult temper fits, demands, and the attitude of "Enough already! When are you going to grow up and face the real world?"
Then answer is, they need to be cultivated with love, fertilized with kindness, sown with patience,
and watered with abounding grace.
A good gardener knows that gardening takes time. They are patiently dedicated to having a wonderful garden of blessing with luscious flowers to adore and foods to eat as the reward of their labor.
A really awesome garden takes YEARS to cultivate. It doesn't happen in one season, two or even 4 or 5.
Tending those little plants carefully, will lead to an abundant harvest!
Weeding must be carefully done, much like a surgeon must be careful, we must too!
Put the weed whacker away! It doesn't get the right job done!
Get on your knees and pray about what weeds need to be carefully and gently removed from our children's hearts, and pray about how to remove them.
And then, nourish your children's lives with the abundance of grace that flows from a life turned over to Him.
I promise, they will grow! The weeds will try to come back, but you will know how to work with your child to help rid them.
And they will. Their little heart garden will bear the fruit from your labor of love. :)
Tender trust shoots bloom when they aren't whacked! They develop deep roots! And when the winds of struggle try to blow them away, uproot them or destroy them, they thrive.
In the process of growing the garden of your child's heart there will be thorns, but don't forget to smell the roses! :)
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)