Red Crown

Raising Daughters Of The King

Princesses that bring Honor to their Royal Father

Giving practical tips and encouragement to mommies of girls
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Question: Sleeping Through The Night

What do I do when my youngest son, now a toddler, still doesn’t sleep through the night?   more…

The benefits of training your child to sleep through the night are huge. Your child will grow and develop better. We all know that sleep affects us in our work and school. Babies need to eat and sleep so they can grow and develop to their full potential. Brain development is huge at this age and sleep along with food can make all the difference. (Another side benefit is that mom feels better and is a better version of herself. She is a better mother. What an easy way to improve our parenting skills — sleep 8 hours.) Each of us responds to a sleepless baby in a different way. Some wake up and pat baby or nurse baby. Others say that when a baby can start sleeping through the night that you can start letting him learn to self-sooth and put himself back to sleep. That sounds a little less harsh than the way many of us refer to it as “let them cry it out.”

Another benefit of allowing children to put themselves back to sleep is that Mama learns to be able to say “no” and grows stronger for the days ahead when raising a child really gets tough. These first moments of toughness for mama are really some of the easier moments. Mama grows with baby. The little phrase of “little hearts, little troubles” often does apply and the easiest way to prepare for those harder adolescent and young adult struggles are to find victory in the early moments. It is also very important for our babies to begin to learn a tiny bit of independence from Mama. The ability to be able to put themselves back to sleep, will help them go to a church nursery or baby-sitter without a total emotional meltdown. It is better for Mama and for baby&ellips; and everyone around them. It’s not easy, but parenting requires tough love if it is going to produce healthy, independent adults. Three of my babies learned to sleep through the night on their own within their first 6 months of life. However, one of them did not. It took much self-control and strength for me to let her “cry it out”. But it definitely made me a better mommy and helped her as well.

Many adults who struggle with insomnia wish they had learned to put themselves to sleep. I have been told that children with ADHD need a wind-down or shut-down routine to be able to sleep at night. Otherwise they will not be able to stop thinking, their brain runs constantly, and they wake up more tired than when they went to bed.

Question: But I Fail So Much

I am trying so hard to be like Jesus, but I fail so much. It’s very discouraging. How can I keep trying to raise my child according to the Bible, when I’m so imperfect?   more…

If you have been close to Jesus (even though it is just when asking for forgiveness for sin and imperfections), we will have His fragrance on us. We will not be able to sense that, but others will. If we could see that we are becoming like Him, we would probably have to fight our pride. It’s actually a good thing when we become sick of our sin and are frustrated when we continue to commit the same sin. The main encouragement I try to give myself is that Proverb: A righteous man falls seven times, but he keeps getting back up and trying again. God is not surprised by our falling, and He is very pleased when we keep trying.

Question: “Popular” Kids

How do I help my children know how to deal with “popular” kids?   more…

I assume you are saying that your children are not in the group you are referring to as “popular.” Many or most of our children crave to be “popular” and well–liked by their peers. But sometimes our children just don’t fit that status. Their hearts get broken, and ours break with theirs. If your precious daughter does not fit that group, know that God has a plan for her life that may include surrender to His perfect will and a life of humility. (There is a special place for her in His heart — as well as for all styles of children and adults — but when I think of Jesus, John the Baptist, and many others, they don’t seem to have walked a path of popularity.) Any help that you can give your daughters in this area of surrender and acceptance of God’s words over their lives may help them avoid bitterness. It may be that God is using this instrument in her life so she will learn the value He places on her at an early age

Question: Exposure To “Explicit” Images, Violence, Profanity

Our children are very young. What is the harm of them seeing violence, profanity, explicit scenes on television since they don’t understand much of what they see?   more…

Just as our babies learned to recognize our voices and to love music and other sounds when they were still in their mother’s womb, they learn even when we don’t realize it. Allowing them to see things that are not age appropriate just because we don’t think they are comprehending it may be allowing their little mind and body to awaken appetites that are too early and that they may have to fight to control for the rest of their lives. Seeds planted while children are young may grow into plants whose roots are too strong to up-root without a battle. Maybe we need to ask ourselves whether we need to watch those scenes ourselves and whether those shows are building us up or tearing us down; are they pleasing to God?

Question: Getting Children To Listen

How do I get my kids to listen to me? What can I do to change their habits of tuning me out?   more…

First off, I would ask you if you feel that you are partially responsible in this problem. You should know by now that I do not blame mothers for being human and making mistakes. But, if you feel you have some responsibility and desire to work on this area, then here are a few ideas. 1) Perhaps reduce the number of things you say. When someone talks a lot, people often stop listening. Do not stop communicating. Try listening more than usual for a little while. 2) Make sure that your words are not something that is so painful that your children have to stop listening as a form of self-defense from your unkind or angry words. Try to increase saying kind things and words of praise for the things they do well. I have heard that for every negative thing we say, we must say 10 positive things to c ounter balance in the heart of a child. I tried to practice this, but I found it was far easier to reduce my number of negative comments. 3) If you are angry, bite your tongue until you can exercise self-control with your tongue. The Bible speaks a lot about the difficulty of controlling our tongues. (James 3) You are not the only one to be imperfect in this area. Allow God to use your imperfection to keep you humble — but let Him help you change. 4) When you do give instructions or commands to your children, try to choose ones that your child can obey and that you can inspect. Then follow the PICNIC rule. Reward obedience with a positive consequence immediately. If they did not obey, reward that with a negative consequence that fits the behavior immediately.

CAUTION: If you are angry, delay the consequence — take whatever time you need to control your anger and quiet your temper. Words spoken in anger can cut to the core of a child (or adult for that matter). Sometimes in anger we want to change the negative consequence to be a punishment and remove joy from our children (like canceling their birthday party). Don’t fall into that pitfall. Make sure that the consequence matches the infraction.

Question: What We Read, What We Watch

Why does it matter what I read or watch?   more…

Garbage in, garbage out. If you read garbage, it will plant seeds in your heart. Those seeds will grow. As you allow weeds to grow in your heart, you will see those same weeds grow in your child’s heart, and they will be more deeply embedded and more dangerous in their lives. This is very definitely apparent with pornography. Things that we read that that do not please God will also produce the bad result in our children. Likewise, when we battle against these addictions or appetites for the occult or romance or daydreaming, etc. in our lives, we win victories and plant life-giving seeds that make our children’s lives in God easier to walk in victory as well.

Question: Stop Yelling

How do I stop yelling at my kids?   more…

Examine the reason you are yelling. A) Maybe you yell because you are stressed. If so, find ways to reduce your stress. B) Maybe you yell because your children are not obeying you or taking you seriously when you speak normally. Try using the PICNIC method to get them to obey. C) Maybe they tell you things that upset you, and you react before you can control your emotions. I gave my girls a code. Anytime they were going to tell me something that might make me react, they were to preface the statement with our code, which was: “Don’t get mad Mama, but &ellips;” Then, they must pause a bit before telling me the hard story. That helped me have time to make sure my self-control was strong and activated instead of me being emotionally driven.

Question: Telling The Truth

My daughter is very creative and has a vivid imagination. This creativity first started off with very fun stories that she told. Then, her stories gradually began to show up in her real life with exaggerations of facts and shirking blame for misconduct. Now, I am getting worried because even her friends and teachers are beginning to report these stories as straight-up lies. Can you give me some ideas on how to help my precious daughter return to telling the truth?   more…

As you know from previous writings, I believe that telling the truth to our children is one of our key roles as parents, and I believe that because God emphasized it as a characteristic of His to the point that Truth is one of His beautiful names. He goes so far as to limit His character in this trait so much so that He tells us “it is impossible for God to lie.” Therefore, it must be one of our best gifts to foster in our children.

I know you are so delighted that your little girl is so creative! What a special and desirable trait for problem solving or for the heart’s expression. I remember delighting in the story writing and directing, acting, drawing and painting, and singing of each of my girls. But I also remember that one had more tendency than the others to alter the truth. We still joke today that she is a reformed-liar. Of course, at 4 or 5, the “lies” were not grievous, in fact, they were cute and made us chuckle. However, our concern was that if we did not help her stop that little “white” sin (no sin is “white”), that one day her lies would be bigger and the flaw might become her character trait — and irreversible. It seems to me that without honesty and truthfulness in older children and adults, there can be no trust. Without trust relationships with friends or spouses will not remain strong or worse will end in brokenness. Telling lies is not a simple social flaw like tardiness, so we went to work first with prayer and then with action.

We used the PICNIC discipline (see first game plan) and focused on that one area for a time making sure that each lie that we caught (or suspected) had a consequence that was Negative, Immediate, and Certain. Spankings seemed to work well with this little one so each lie received a spanking (administered with caution and cool temper) that happened immediately or a.s.a.p. every time. (Time-outs may be your choice of consequence or revoking of a special privilege.) We also felt the need to reward her anytime she told the truth — especially if telling the truth would cost her something. I tried to model it for her and verbally named it as well. We also spoke much of God’s Word about truthfulness and lies as well as His love for truth and hatred of lies. Kids learn by repetition, and I must have repeated the verses and those statements hundreds of times to each child. Many nights I went to bed exhausted from talking. But what a precious daughter I have who loves the truth, the God of truth, and is a woman trusted to speak the truth. Small price to pay for such a valuable virtue.

Question: Coping With Divorced Parents

My friend’s sweet little girl is struggling as a result of a failed marriage between her mother and father. (She is being raised by her daddy with just occasional visits to her mom.) She misses h er mom desperately as any little girl would. Her tears were constant at first, but then she began to cry less. I’ve watched her make herself stronger against being hurt so frequently by a mom who appears not to care. What can I do to help this dad as he worries over his little princess in such horrible pain and asks us, his family and friends to help?   more…

First off, thank you for trusting me with your question. I can’t imagine the pain that this family has gone through that eventually created this broken hearted little girl. This sounds like one of those many situations where a godly trained counselor is needed. I know that counseling is expensive and finding a Bible based counselor may seem nearly impossible, but God is a God of the impossible and with such a broken heart at such a young age when self-worth is so fragile and self-image so vulnerable, I would say about this as I did in my answer about training daughters to tell the truth, it is a small price to pay for the repair of such a valuable aspect of her identity. Prayers sent your way — God is able to help.

In addition to Godly professional counseling, I would add a mentor or grandmother who will see the good in this sweet little princess and consistently seek ways to “catch her being good” – not just doing good, though good actions are important to reinforce as well. Pray for her as I am sure you already are — keep it up and never, never, never give up. I would also refer you to a small little book that is so powerful on self-worth: Search for Significance. Wouldn’t that be a treat for her to go through that book and workbook with her daddy! As for you, maybe you could be that mentor and a key component in this little girl’s healing of her heart — show her how valuable she is to you through words, photos, conversation, giving her your undivided attention when she talks to you and listening, etc. All those things that daddies do to make their daughters understand how special she is.

Question: Being Approachable

How do I become an approachable mother?   more…

Rather than speculate on what makes you feel you are not approachable, I will just mention a few things that I intentionally did while parenting and praying that my daughters would see me as approachable and share their hearts with me.

  • I recognized that I am not perfect! I said I was sorry when I knew I was wrong and admitted that I didn’t have all the answers but I would find out answers for them.
  • I tried to listen carefully to my daughter when she spoke and to value what she said and its importance to her.
  • I tried to respond with God’s wisdom to her conversation.
  • I showed her respect. I had intentionally developed my authority in our relationship — so though I treated her as I would a friend, there was never any doubt that I was her authority. When she was busy, I did not demand her to stop her activity to do my bidding. However. if at any time she began to demand that time to finish her activity, then those extra minutes were done away with.
  • I tried not to over-react to her statements or questions. As my girls grew bigger, their questions became a bit more shocking at times. To prevent my response from closing down vital doors of communication, we developed a code that helped me prepare myself to hear something difficult.
  • I asked many questions that helped them tell me things. I remembered the names of their friends, students, and events. I made that which was important to them, important to me.
  • I tried to speak truthfully and kindly to them as much as I possibly could.

Question: Cleaning Her Room

When I tell my teenage daughter to clean her room, she spends hours in her room — but NOT cleaning. She gets distracted with things she enjoys doing in her room. How can I get her to clean her room more quickly without additional conflict?   more…

Here are a few ideas, maybe one or some may be of help.

  • Some of our girls are so creative that analytical thinking is hard for them. Rather than making a general statement of “Clean your room”, sometimes it is helpful for these creative, artsy girls to be given tasks that are broken down for them; such as, “Put away all the shoes in your room”, “Put all the dirty clothes in the hamper”, “Put the books back on the shelves,” “Hang up all the clean clothes,” “Put the folded clothes in the drawers”, etc.
  • Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes. Tell your dawdling daughter to race the timer and see if she can finish the task before the timer sounds. If it sounds before the task is finished, have her reset and race again. (While she is doing this, maybe the Mama should do it as well in the kitchen or other untidy room.) Every day doing a timer race, helps maintain order rather than building a huge mess to clean up that is overwhelming.
  • Have your daughter check in with you when she finishes that task. It helps her take responsibility, be held accountable, and feel accomplished.
  • Finding clean up tips that help her maintain is also a huge gift to her. For example: Have your daughter keep her make-up (if she uses any) in a small bag. Before she begins to put on her make-up, if she takes all of her items out of the bag and places each item back in the bag after using it, then she will have put away all items as she goes, and there is no more to clean up.
  • Another help is to time a specific task done at a normal pace to show that what appears to be a lengthy task really does not take as long as perceived. For example: making the bed can take only a few seconds. Yet we procrastinate doing it because we perceive it as being a “chore”. A thorough precise making of the bed, may take a little bit longer, but if the child/mom/dad straightens the sheets right when they get out, it can take as little as a few seconds yet it makes the room feel much more orderly.

If you are able to train these abilities when they are young, then it becomes a natural thing to “clean your room”. But if that was not trained, it is never too late to begin. (Remember the verse: “There is therefore now no condemnation in Christ Jesus our Lord.”) Using small sticker charts when they are young for each task they learn and perform orderly on their own also helps train this behavior for the future. Also, chore cards, as described in a previous tip, works wonders.

Good luck as you help give your daughter skills of orderliness and cleanliness that will help her maintain a nice home in the future and reduce friction between her Mama and change her trait from messy to orderly. ☺

Question: Stopping Tantrums

My daughter is 4 years old. She has not outgrown her tantrums from the terrible twos. What can I do to help her stop this?   more…

I’m sure you tried all the normal suggestions when your two year old tried tantrums: walking away, ignoring it, etc. This is a hard one because it is usually done with an audience. Here are a few ideas that I hope will somehow give you some relief.

  • Explain beforehand what behavior you expect from her in the setting you are about to approach. Along with that explanation, explain what is not acceptable and what consequence will occur. Make sure it is very specific. For example: When it is time to leave Suzie’s house, I expect you to show your manners by saying good-bye and thanking them for letting us come. (Hugs may be appropriate, etc.) Then we go to the car without crying, begging for more time, pouting at mom, etc. If you do what I ask, there is gum in the car waiting for you. If you throw a fit or meltdown, you will not get the gum and we will not go to Suzie’s the next time we are invited. If timeouts, work, then put her in timeout immediately upon arriving at home.
  • When my girls were young, I gave them a spanking for the tantrum. I caution that this must never be administered by an angry or frustrated parent or by a parent who is working on anger management. I could not feel right about threatening to leave my child because I knew I would NOT leave her — so it was an empty threat.
  • If the tantrum is occurring in the morning when there is no time to deal with it. Try to determine what the cause of the tantrum is; perhaps clothes choice. One way to reduce this stress in the morning is to choose at night what the child will wear the next day. If you allow them to choose, give them say two items to choose from. This will reduce conflicts over wearing their favorite shorts in the dead of winter. You simply pick two pairs of pants to choose from.
  • Make sure your child is getting enough sleep so that is not the source of the tantrum, and don’t overload their emotions by giving them too many choices.

For more ideas look under Parenting Tips in the “Store” section.

Remember: This is a hard battle to fight, but it is worth the time and emotional energy in the long run because your daughter will know that tantrums or fits even as a teenager are not worth it. Both you and your daughter will be happier and not be troubled with (as many) tantrums.