A Biblical Foundation for Behavior Management Billy Barnett MS, LMHC This presentation can be viewed at http://billythecounselor.blogspot.com
Translation: My kid won’t behave…what do I do? Good question…
Part One: What are the rules in your house? This is rhetorical for now. But think about it.
Little Johnny is running around the store, hiding in the clothes racks and just bouncing off the walls. His mother is clinging to her infant while little Johnny runs wild. She keeps telling him, “stop” and “don’t do that” , but she is too embarrassed to yell…for the first half-hour of her shopping trip. After she has had enough of trying to get him under control with her constant pleading with him, she finally explodes and tells little Johnny, “That’s it! Your grounded for a week!” Little Johnny begins to scream and break down in the middle of the store. He throws himself on the ground and rolls around on the floor, which makes his mom even more embarrassed. The other shoppers try not to look shocked, but mom can see it in their eyes…they show a look of judgment and scorn at her inability to get Johnny to behave.
Part Two: What she didn’t say.If you ______ then _______ will happen. Gen. 2:17 …but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. If you eat from that tree…then you will die.
We ate from the tree…and beganto die in our sin…
Johnny, if you go into the clothes rack again, we aregoing to go to that corner over there and have time out.Do you want to go to time out?Johnny’s response option 1. No.Then stop going into the clothes rack. If you go in theclothes rack again you will go to time out.Johnny’s response option 2. Sure, I’ll go to time out.Take Johnny to time out…repeat as necessary.
The Ten CommandmentsExodus Chapter 20 The best behavior modification template follows God’s design. 1. God gave us ten commandments which are His rules. 2. He tells us He is God and we are not. 3. These rules are written on the hearts (Conscience) of everyone.
1. We tell the truth.2. We only put food in our mouth.3. We clean up when we are done.4. We say “yes, ma’am/sir”5. We don’t throw our toys.6. We say “please” and “thank you.”7. We are gentle with books.8. We stop when mom/dad says stop.9. We don’t bang on the table.10. We don’t yell inside.Ten Rules for our home…As understood by our two year old Elizabeth, Lauren and me.
If Johnny does not stop the behavior you can find somethingmore valuable for him to lose.His stuff can go to time out too!It’s okay for him to go to time out many, many, many times.Eventually, after you consistently point to the rule he willrealize that he is responsible for his choices.He will change his behavior, because he sees that you will notbe split from the rules.
Part Three: Johnny is confused about the differencebetween rules and parents. One of the biggest confusions we have as parents is wanting our children to do what we want, when we want it. This makes them confuse the difference between people and rules. We believe we can keep them safe when they do what we say. That backfires in adolescence. Our goal should be to help them make decisions, not just do what we say… We should model the main idea of the Bible in doing this…Sometimes we model to our kids that our authority is the rule…
John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Verse 14: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Isaiah 53:5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by his wounds we are healed. Jesus laid down His authority on the cross. Therefore, I should remain humble too. He was the Word (or the rules). If I point my child to the rules I point them towards Christ.Jesus is the only exception to the difference between rules and people.