Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Parenting- Sharing

We have a policy about sharing in the Arant home (thanks to the Nesbitt's example). It's pretty simple- if you don't share, we will give it away to the person you won't share with.

So some random boy at the pool, Dominique, is the proud owner of a new Spider-Man scooter (compliments of Beck).

For those of you who have young children- if you're looking to save money on Christmas/Bday gifts, just stop by and see what the condition of our kids' hearts are that day. You may just walk away with some great (free) presents.


Anonymous said...

I love that attitude, but, as a former mischievous child, you may run into kids (sibling or other) who take advantage of this rule.

Anonymous said...

I only know enough about the Tedd Tripp book to be dangerous, but I have a parenting question about changing the heart vs. behaviorism. I thought maybe I'd implement your rule about sharing, but then I wondered if it was only addressing the behavior instead of the heart. ??

Metropuritan Mark said...

Excellent question.

To the first (anonymous) comment- there's always exceptions. I think we would've seen through your childish trickery. As with any rule, it's not always black and white that way.

To the second comment/question... A couple days ago I was talking to Troy (Nesbitt) about this sharing rule. Apparently it came out of his frustration with the "Growing Kids God's Way" book, where you teach kids to have "dominion" over their possessions. It's a God-given right to care for and steward their possessions, they say. I don't necessarily disagree.

My point is this- I want our kids to understand that all they have is God's. I think the principle of sharing even when it hurts (as Jesus taught us in Lk. 6:27-31) trumps the "I have dominion over this" and other issues of stewardship.

My answer to your question "is this mere behavior modification or am I actually shepherding the heart?" is that every form of discipline has the potential to be either of those. Tripp is not encouraging parents to not have rules (I know that's not what you think). But he is just trying to get beyond training kids as you would an animal (i.e. zap collar for crossing the line) I think it would be worth re-reading that book for clarity.

When Tripp was at our church a few years ago, he emphasized the need for parents to be the model. The best thing you can do for your child(ren) is to live out a life of sharing. Use every opportunity to talk to them about it- especially when it comes to them losing something they loved because they were unwilling to share. Just ripping it out of their hands and giving it to the other person without explanation is like the shock collar. Your child needs to be taken aside and shown that they have a heart problem. They need Jesus to change their heart, so they become the kind of person that shares.