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Disciplining Your Kids With Love and Limits

Air Date 01/12/2018

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In a conversation centered on their book Put the Disciple Into Discipline, Erin MacPherson and her mother, Ellen Schuknecht, discuss the importance of parents demonstrating love in the midst of disciplining their children. Erin and Ellen also talk about teaching our kids self-control, helping them (and ourselves) become slow to anger, and faith training.

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Ellen Schuknecht: And I can say, how would you like to do that differently? How did that feel? I don’t try to correct at that point, I try to get it to the heart level of, who does he want to be and how does he want to respond better? And he has all the right answers. And then we’ll pray, and I’ll say, OK, let’s try that again.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Ellen Schuknecht and you’ll be hearing more from her and her daughter, Erin MacPherson about exhibiting love even in the midst of discipline. This is Focus on the Family and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: Today, we want to equip you as a mom or dad - and that’s good news, uh - to be a better parent. And I’m sure you’re doing a great job. But I’ll tell you what, children - they, uh, can push your buttons - can’t they?

John: Every now and then, a fine tune-up is required.

Jim: I bet your buttons - let’s see - I see a button right there.

John: It got pushed a little bit today.

Jim: Already?

John: Already.

Jim: That’s crazy. They seem to, uh, just go right to the limit every time, whether it’s a two-year-old who’s having a temper tantrum in the, uh, checkout line - both of my boys had that moment, um - or maybe that teenager who’s just, uh, not too engaged, won’t take out the trash, or maybe talks back a bit - who knows? That is something you wanna get on top of as a parent. One of my favorite scriptures is found in Galatians 5. It’s, uh, 22-23. It says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” That is awesome. They’re also very difficult to deploy because of our humanness. Today we’re going to talk about how we can develop some of those great godly qualities in your children, and hopefully, uh, in ourselves as well.

John: Yeah, and, uh, we have a lot of trusted resources to help you as a mom or a dad. Just stop by focusonthefamily.com/radio, or call 1-800-A-FAMILY. And as I said, Erin MacPherson and Ellen Schuknecht are here.They’re a mother-daughter combo, and they’re from Austin, Texas. Erin has three children, and Ellen has 11 grandchildren. And, uh, they’ve been guests before on this program. They’ve coauthored a book calledPut The Disciple Into Discipline: Parenting With Love And Limits.

Body:

Jim: Erin and Ellen, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Erin MacPherson: Thank you.

Ellen: It’s great to be here.

Jim: Now I want to go right there, Ellen. Now, was there a time when Erin threw the tantrum in the checkout line, and what did you do?

Ellen: Oh, my goodness. Talk about button pushing. She was my first, and she has a strong will, and her temper would flare really easily. And so those are those moments that I really, really didn’t know what to do - those embarrassing moments.You’re talking about the, uh, going to the grocery store and having your child throw a fit, um, which is very likely probably one of the times when, as parents, we just melt.

Jim: Cringe.

Ellen: Cringe.

Jim: (Laughter)

Ellen: So, um, I’ve tried different things. But one of ‘em - I would simply just drop what I was doing and go out to the car and make it a privilege to be in the grocery store. And it’s a problem for the parent to do that, but sometimes our kids have to know we’re serious because it’s that time where they can really get you. But then, not a lot of words.

Jim: Right. Just action.

Ellen: It’s simply going to the car. And we’d sit in the car, and I would say, you know, are we going to try this again? How are we going to handle it next time? If you want to walk in the grocery store, uh, let’s not try that, or you’ll be riding. You know, there’s just different ways...

Jim: All those things.

Ellen: But not to make it a challenge right there ‘cause you’re gonna lose.

Jim: All right, Erin, now you’ve been described as a, you know, strong-willed child, basically. How about that?

Erin: I know. I’m strong-willed.

Jim: You know that about yourself?

Erin: My - my mom actually said she learned, after she had me, that all the things - ‘cause she had an early education degree...

Jim: (Laughter) You blew all that up?

Erin: And she realized how everything she learned in her degree was not relevant anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

Ellen: It’s exactly right.

Jim: That’s why you were put on this earth. Did you know that?

Erin: I know. I taught her things.

Ellen: Yes.

Jim: To un-teach those things your mom had been taught.

Erin: Exactly.

Jim: (Laughter) That’s so funny. Uh, Ellen, you were in education. What was your field of expertise, and why did you go that direction?

Ellen: It was child development. And I read all the books, and like Erin said, I had all the answers and really found that, with my own children, they weren’t really enough. So I spent a lot of time - I actually was writing a book before I had kids on parenting. That was really a joke.

(LAUGHTER)

Ellen: But I put it aside, and it’s been really fun to have three very different children and to go through those experiences and then leading other parents in this area. I work with parents in education.

Jim: And you’re still doing that.

Ellen: Yeah, yes.

Jim: Yeah, you’ve been in for a few decades, but you’re at it.

Ellen: At it.

Jim: Let me - let me, uh, go back to that comment about three different children - very different. That was true for Jean and I. You know, you think, as a young parent particularly, when you have kids, you know, they’re going to be generally the same. And then the Lord says oh, no they won’t. And they’re going to have their own direction. Erin, you’re seeing that with your little ones right now.

Erin: I am. You know, my first two kids - they’re very different. Boy and a girl - and they both can push the limits. But I felt like I had it pretty under control and pretty figured out. And then God surprised me with a third, and everything I had figured out was no longer figured out. And he has flipped everything on its head.

Jim: I - I - you know, that’s what happens. Now let’s get right to the crux of this disciple versus discipline. I mean, people are saying you have to do both, don’t you?

Erin: You do. We’re not saying versus. We’re saying you need to put it into the discipline because we feel like,as we’ve learned about discipline, it’s always like, “put your kid in timeout,” “count to 10,” you know, all of these rules or strategies, and none of them really work to disciple the child’s heart. So we feel like if you aren’t working to disciple your child’s heart, it’s not discipline. It’s just punishment.

Ellen: Kids quickly learn to obey for their own sake - to get what they want, to get you off their case. And when we’re talking about disciple, we’re wanting to get their hearts to desire to want to obey, and that’s harder.

Jim: Yes.

Ellen: But taking it to a deeper level so it’s not just to get what they want or get out of trouble.

Jim: And here’s the drumroll - how do you do that? (LAUGHTER) You know,OK, this is the secret of parenting, right here. How do you make it so that they want to do the right thing - choose the right thing, rather than be told what to do and then begrudgingly do it, and then you count that as parental success?

Erin: Well, I think that’s the reason that we wrote this book - there’s no set of rules. There’s no four steps that you do to get there. It’s really intentional. It’s prayerful, and it’s working really hard to know your kid’s individual personality, to know the scripture, to know what God wants from your kids. And every single day, saying, how do I disciple my child towards Jesus today?

Ellen: We were talking about different children and how Erin would automatically respond in anger. And so we had to learn what those triggers were that made her angry. I was thinking just this week, my little grandson, Asa, who is 5 - they’re temporarily living in our home as their home is being built, so we have four little children in our home. Mom and dad...

Jim: That’s only eight - nine months. You can hang in there.

Ellen: (Laughter) It’s almost done. But anyway,Asa would continually be caught jumping on the bed. And I would go in there and say, Asa - you know, here he’s at it again, and it looks like just outward defiance. And finally, I kept thinking, this doesn’t make any sense. So you have to delve deeper. And he came to me and he said - I said, so why do you keep jumping on the bed when you know that’s wrong? And he says - I’m not jumping on the bed. I’m jumping off the bed. (laughter) And he’s this detailed little boy that hears words differently. And it’s so important to understand the child’s perspective, and to spend time really hearing them, so you can correct them when it matters.

Jim: I have one of those kids too.

Jim: Erin, you have a specific story, too, about your son, Joey - an incident with an iPad. Now, we’re all goin’ - we all have incidents with the iPad. What happened and what did you do?

Erin: Well, I’m actually really careful with the iPad ‘cause we all hear about all the incidents with the iPad. And so I’m pretty careful not to let him use it. But one day I was cooking dinner and he had a friend over, and it was a friend that I knew well and I trusted, and I knew her mom - his mom - sorry.

Erin: And so I let them play Minecraft on the iPad while I was cooking dinner. They were downstairs. I could see them, but I wasn’t paying attention.

Jim: And Minecraft is, uh, a geometric game. There’s nothing really harmful - nothing at all harmful.

Erin: Right. It’s like learning.

Jim: Right.

Erin: It was educational. But they started looking on YouTube - it was my iPad, which I hadn’t locked down - at football games. And then, there was a flash shot of cheerleaders. And then the two of them thought, well, we watch football with our dads, and we - the cheerleaders are at the football game, so let’s type in hot cheerleaders kissing football players. And a little video comes up. And, um, later that night after they went to bed, I pulled up the iPad and that’s what’s up on my screen.

Jim: So you didn’t know it when they did it.

Erin: I didn’t know it when they did it.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin:And I just panicked. I thought, they will never ever look at iPads again. This is really, like, frightening. I can’t believe that my 11-year-old saw these things. And it - it was a pretty benign video, considering what it was called. But it was still a video about that.

Jim: How did you handle it? What did you do?

Erin: So I called my mom, and - of course, I called my mom - and she said, this is good. And I said, how could this be a good thing? And she’s like, because right now, when the stakes are really, really low, this is when you can disciple his heart and talk to him about all of the important topics that he needs to know because it could have been way worse. And it could have gotten to his heart in a way that was way deeper, when you wouldn’t have ever found out.

So I went upstairs. I pulled the boys out, and I talked to them about some really big topics - things like pornography, you know - it’s really quick, slippery slope from a very somewhat-benign video to something a lot less benign - and about respect, and about using the word hot with women, and about kissing, and all of those things. And the boys were wide-eyed with us. And I said, you know, right now, we’ll talk later about a punishment, but I just want you guys to really pray and think about this.

Jim: How - let me ask you this - how did you keep that perspective ongoing? I mean, you have an incident - so often we as parents make this mistake where we have this situation that flares up, we engage it, and we may engage it really well, and then we don’t engage it again for two years until the next incident. So did you keep the dialogue going?

Erin: Well, I think the next morning he came down. He’s like, I’m never using an iPad again. And his friend was, like, the same way. And I think that’s kind of - we just kept - every time there was an iPad out - hey, remember about that. Let’s talk about what we could do effectively. And I think it scared him a little because we kind of talked about some pretty big topics that were, maybe, big for him. And I think that dialogue kept going. But I also feel like he felt like he could come to us.

Jim: Yeah. Ellen, as you look at older children, you know, move your grandchildren up about four or five years and they’re 14, 15, 16 - that can be a different discussion. It’s not a low bar at that point. Uh, speak to the mom and dad who may be struggling in and out of control. iPad usage in that context, where it’s - it’s trouble.

Ellen: Well, I’m going to take it back, first, to the younger children. That is why it’s so important, at these younger ages, to give them plenty of practice with these tools, in using ‘em correctly, and being monitored when you still can monitor them. And I always say, it’s really not about taking the iPad away, although you have to at times - that’s discipline - it’s looking for the opportunity to give it back so they can practice it well.

Jim: Right.

Ellen: So there’s always hope for them to learn the right use. And with that in place, when the kids are older, it’s better. It’s much more difficult if you wait till when your kids are older. But again, it’s going to the heart and trusting that God has created each of us to want to honor him in our lives, and to always tie it back to who they’re becoming and their reputation, and having to have that conversation that’s not simply about what they’re doing, but who they’re wanting to become.

Jim: Right. And the key here is you’re talking about, uh, bringing discipleship into discipline - that’s the name of the book.

Ellen: Mhm.

Jim: But you, um, can expand that beyond electronics and social media and all that. How do you cast that wider net about decision making, um, with your 8-, 9-, 10-year-old, so that they’re beginning to understand cognitively, OK, this is something I should not do? Speak more broadly to behavior, not just electronics.

Erin: One thing I’ve been working on recently is having these conversations. It’s really easy when my kids do something - throw their backpacks down when they enter the door, or make a mess in their room, or say something rude...

Jim: Your kids do that too?

Erin: I know. Every once in a while. It’s really easy for me to be like, fix this and be done...

Jim: I thought ours were the only ones.

Erin: And it’s that intentional conversation. It’s the making an effort every day to think about how can I disciple what my child’s heart in this? Even something minor, like you said, the backpack. I know. My kids do that every day. Like, how do I disciple their heart? How do I teach them about respect, and honoring the household, and working hard, and being part of a team? And it’s a lot harder. It’s way easier to just be like, put your backpack away.

Jim: And to do it patiently.

Erin: Yeah.

Jim: Um, Ellen, let me ask you this as an educator. I mean, I think the joke for Jean and I is - how many times have we said to say please and thank you? I mean, I think we as parents may say that ten thousand times - right, John?

John: Feels like it. Sure feels like it.

Jim: (Laughter) I’m not kidding. And yet, you’ve got to be persistent and not let emotions get into it. That’s a, you know, a small example, but you might be trying to train them in different ways - courtesies, the appropriate way to treat people, etc. And sometimes, as a young child, it just doesn’t happen immediately, or it happens every fifth time you mention it. How do you maintain that patience, Ellen, where you - you’re gonna say with a good, parental voice, you know, little Johnny, I’ve told you a few times you need to say please and thank you - those are the magic words (laughter) - you know, whatever you’re going to say. But how do you keep that parental attitude that this is in the moment, it’s going to take probably ten thousand more times to go down this path before they get it?

Ellen: One of the things I really recommend that parents do is not make the correction right at the moment because it embarrasses the child, and they’re less likely to speak - is to remember to pre-teach. And then after...

Jim: What does that mean to pre-teach?

Ellen: Remember when adults come to you, it’s really polite to say please and thank you. It’s polite to say, yes ma’am, yes sir. That’s Texas, and maybe not Colorado...

Jim: But you remind them of what the expectation is.

Ellen: Remind them, and this is what I’m looking for. And then afterwards, say, hey, did you remember to do that? Um, how did that feel? You know, what did you say? How could you do it better? So there isn’t this fear of them being corrected or disciplined in front of people.

Jim: That’s good.

Ellen: But it’s really helpful because then you have this conversation with them that’s safe for them.

Jim: Mhm. Not embarrassing or shaming.

Ellen: Not embarrassing and not making them feel shy to talk to adults.

Jim: Hmm.

Ellen: I think sometimes we want to correct them in the moment because we are worried about how it appears for us.

Jim: Right.

John: Well, our guests today on Focus on the Family are Erin MacPherson and her mom Ellen Schuknecht. And, uh, the book they’ve written isPut The Disciple Into Discipline: Parenting With Love And Limits.And we have that and a CD or download of our conversation at focusonthefamily.com/radio, or give us a call and we’ll tell you more - 800-A-FAMILY. And, as we’re talking, um, there are some kids who, whether you’re sensitive to the situation and delay that conversation that - that discipline, sometimes kids are just angry. They’re in the moment, downright angry. How - how do you back up and kind of steal the emotion out of that situation?

Ellen: I’ll address that one because I had to learn that firsthand with my oldest.

Jim: Sitting next to you.

Ellen: Yeah, sitting next to me.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Sorry. That’s why you’re here.

Ellen: And God has given her a child or two that has that same, uh, really full, passionate personality.

Jim: Does this make you happy?

Ellen: Yes.

Jim: (Laughter) I can hear it in your voice.

Erin: I know. You can see how happy she is. And she calls it full, passionate personality.

Ellen: But I love this personality. And in - in her case, it is boys, um - often the case - where they’re just - I think God has created for us boys in this world today that have this passion and drive that’s really going to take ‘em far. But when they’re young, it’s hard. And, uh, Joey, for example - Erin’s 11-year-old - his first response to not getting what he wants or not being understood is to explode in anger and to say rude things.

Jim: Mhm.

Ellen: And I’ve learned - and I know that Erin does a really good job here, too - is to back off for the moment and give him time and space. Because to connect with him at the moment, you’re gonna both say things you regret.

John: But it feels so disrespectful when they’re angry.

Ellen: It does feel - it does feel that way. And so I’ll say to Joey - ‘cause I do the home - day-schooling with him once a week - I’ll say, why don’t you go take a break, and we’ll come back to this. And you think and pray about how you really want to respond.

Jim: And does he go from angry to OK?

Ellen: He does.

Jim: In that few minutes.

Ellen: Well, first he’ll say, “And I’m never coming back!”

(LAUGHTER)

Erin: He likes to run away from home between our houses. We live, like, a hundred feet from each other, so he runs away from home to her house, or he runs away from her to my house.

Jim: I like this little guy.

Ellen: Yes, he’s great.

Jim: He reminds me of me. How many times did you run away from home?

John: I tried once, but I got cold feet.

Erin: Yeah, well he makes it very far, and then...

Ellen: When he - he’s in that point, he can’t think; he’s emotionally flooded. So that’s what you’re gonna get. But afterwards, he’s remorseful, his heart is ready to talk. And I can say, how would you like to do that differently? How did that feel? I don’t try to correct at that point, I try to get it to the heart level of, who does he want to be and how does he want to respond better? And he has all the right answers. And then we’ll pray, and I’ll say, OK, let’s try that again. And we just drop it.

Jim: Yeah. You know, the thing that’s difficult at times, too, is that we’re all sinners saved by grace. Even we as parents don’t have all the tools. And that’s what we’re trying to do here at Focus on the Family is equip you to be a better parent. And there’s no shame in that. It doesn’t come with a manual, or it doesn’t even come in a way that we know what to do in every case, and that’s why our anger goes up when we’re being disrespected, and we don’t know how to handle this in the best of ways. In that regard, Erin, uh, as a parent of a strong-willed angry child at times, and being one when you were little, um, how do two short fuses collide in your home?

Erin: I think it’s really easy for things to escalate.

Jim: Yeah, ‘cause - so just a little flash and you go.

Erin: Yes. And both my boys will escalate really quickly. And I am really intentionally learning to de-escalate because that’s the only way we’re going to get to their hearts. And it’s hard.

Jim: Yes.

Erin: And my mom is right. You walk away, which I want to be like, I can’t believe you said that, you know...

Jim: You want to get in their face.

Erin: ...You’re in so much trouble. I can’t believe you did this. But the conversation is so much stronger and so much better for their hearts - and that’s not to say that there is no punishment later, that’s not to say there is no discipline, but it’s not - doesn’t have to be right then.

Jim: Well, and that’s critical. Again, we’re talking about bringing- for parents to do. I know I blew it many times with my own boys that I had to go back and ask for forgiveness. But hopefully, you get better and better at it. And that’s the goal.

Jim: Ellen, let me turn that to you, uh, as an educator. When parents are coming to you saying, you know, what do I do? I - I am flashing. And I don’t like this, and I’m not handling it well. That’s a first excellent step, actually, that a parent will understand where it’s not working. It’s kind of that thing where if you do the same thing over and over again, it’s not working - that’s not smart. So that’s a brilliant move for a parent to come to you as an educator and say, I’m getting too angry what can I do?

Ellen: And I hear it a lot.

Jim: And - and it’s probably one of the most common things you hear. I flash with anger when my child isn’t doing the right thing. What do you counsel them with?

Ellen: Well, first of all, I do let them know that I struggled with the same thing, because I flashed with anger with Erin until she was older, and finally realized, at that moment, she needed to know she was still OK with me no matter what she was doing.

Jim: Yeah.

Ellen: So I would say things - like, no matter what you say or do I love you - in the midst of the fight so that her heart could settle. And then I talk to parents about looking for triggers - what’s triggering their own heart? - often it’s that respect missile. What could be triggering the child? And to stop and pause and to pray. To ask the Holy Spirit to bring in his fruit into your heart so that you can actually give yourself time to respond in a way that leads them to the Lord and lets him see the grace of Christ in your heart toward them.

Jim: You know, this is one I - I want to ask on behalf of moms - because I think I observe this in moms, I observe it in my wife - that desire to over-engineer social settings. And it’s so critical to know this, I mean, uh, first day of school, mom wants to be there and make sure that she or he is playing with the right friends. And, you know, let’s do a cupcake party, but we’re going to do it this way. And talk about being overly-engineering in your child’s life.

Ellen: That’s another common conversation I have with parents because as moms, we want everything to be so perfect for our kids and we don’t want them to experience the struggles of life.

Jim: No pain.

Ellen: No pain. And so I just remind our parents that they have to gain their own footing, that they have to be able to have a life without them, that they have to be able to let go. And it’s through those social struggles that they learn how not only not to behave, but how to behave because they find out what’s acceptable. If we take that away, we take away the learning process.

Erin: So I did this accidentally. Last summer, my daughter came home from school and wanted to go to camp. And, um, she had a best friend, and they were going to go, and they are going to be in the same cabin, so I signed her up and we put her in the same cabin as her best friend and everything was great. But then another girl wanted to go. So we called the camp and added her to the cabin. And then a fourth wanted to go. Perfect. She can be in the cabin too. But then the fifth wanted to go, and then we found out that they’re - only let you have four in a cabin.

Jim: Now you’ve got a problem.

Erin: So now we had a problem.

Jim: Who’s - who’s not in?

Erin: So I engineered it. I said, OK, we’re going to split it up to three and two and they’ll be great, even though they didn’t really know the fifth girl as well - the four were really good friends and they didn’t know the fifth one. But then another girl came who was best friends with the fifth one. So I was like, oh, perfect she has a friend. We’ll move ours back so they can be together because they’re best friends. And in my mind the whole time I was really trying to make it so all the girls had friends at camp and everything was good. But then, when we got to camp - do - can you guys even follow this story? Do you like how many times we changed the cabin?

Jim: No, I totally get it because I have been to camp. And I did, you know.

Erin: So we’d moved the girls back into the original foursome, and then the two that were left out thought they were going to be with two of ours, and they were upset.

Ellen: And the moms were upset.

Erin: And - and the moms were upset. And of course they were, because, like, everything was confusing. And I should have just left the camp. I mean, I should have literally just signed my daughter up for her cabin with her friend and let everybody else work it out because my engineering just hurt people’s feelings.

Jim: Well, that’s interesting. And a lot of moms are going, that’s me. That’s me. So how do you back out? How do you not engineer a perfect scenario so your kid is, um, you know, experiencing nirvana (laughter)

Erin: And that’s what I told- this year. I said - my daughter ended up not going to camp because we went on a vacation - but I said to myself, we’re going to just let it happen. My daughter can make friends with people, and I’m going to let things happen and I’m not going to hurt people’s feelings. And I’m not going to try to engineer it because I can trust her, as a 10-year-old, to make friends, and I can trust her to pick her cabin mates.

Jim: And as we’re at the end here, the key, for me, is really how do we teach faith in our child’s heart? How do we allow them some valleys so that God can work in their lives? And I think that’s one of the great mistakes we make as parents today in a materialistic happy world that - that is our biggest goal is to keep our children happy, rather than let them experience some difficulty so they can learn character.

Ellen: Well, as I’m listening to you talk, I realize that really, it’s - this is where we disciple our parent’s hearts, too, to get them to desire the greater good for their kids. And that often comes through struggle, and trial and gaining the resolve and the resiliency that you have to learn on your own.

Jim: It’s so true. What about that child who’s asking big questions about the faith? And maybe not at 9 or 10, but more like at 14, 15. And the mom and dad - they’re - they’re struggling. They know that, uh, there’s an off-ramp that they’re seeing their child take. What can they do to say, think about what you’re doing?

Ellen: I believe the most important thing parents can do is to be the place where kids come safely to ask their questions of doubt. Parents are afraid to hear it, but if they could be that safe place and just let their kid express their doubts and their concerns there and do the research and the prayer together. We don’t have to be afraid. The Bible stands on its own. Not to overreact to a natural transition of a child going from the faith of their parents into their own ‘cause it’s a process. And we have to be there for them without overreacting or being afraid.

Jim: Do you remember that, Erin - as you walked through that as an 18-, 19-year-old - with your mom?

Erin: Yeah, I remember going to college and having to realize that, you know, I’d been in church in the same pew every Sunday my whole life. And then going to college and I can pick my own church, or I can pick not to go to church. And I can pick to read my Bible, or I can pick not to. And it was a big transition and I had to think on my own. It’s that whole making your own logic and your own decisions, as opposed to always just doing what you’ve always done.

Jim: Well, Erin and Ellen, you have done a wonderful job with this book,Put The Disciple Into Discipline, and a lot of parents hearing that say, I - I don’t know what to do. This is the perfect resource that we can provide you to begin thinking differently about how you put disciple back into discipline. And, uh, that’s a wonderful word picture as you parent your 5-year-old or your 15-year-old, it applies. And it is so good to have you with us,

Let me turn to you, our listeners and invite you to become a sustaining member of the broadcast by joining our monthly support team. It is a tremendous help to us if you can support the ministry on a monthly basis. When you donate monthly, you allow us to syndicate this program, pay for the creation of the program and get it out to stations across the country so that all who need that marriage help, maybe, that program on depression that can save the life of someone who is contemplating suicide. That has happened a number of times. So if you’ve never considered becoming a monthly supporter, would you become a partner with us? Ask God if it is something that He would want you to do. And when you make a pledge today, I want to say thank you by sending a copy of Erin and Ellen’s book, Put the Disciple into Discipline to you as our way of saying thank you. It’s just one example of the benefits you receive by being a monthly partner to the ministry. Find out more at focusonthefamily.com/radio.

John: Yeah, or you can call 800-A-FAMILY. Let me mention that at the website, we have a free download called “A Parent’s Guide to Technology 2018”. You know, Erin talked a little today about her son’s iPad use and you’re going to appreciate the insights we have in “A Parent’s Guide to Technology 2018”. It’s a free download and we have that for you at focusonthefamily.com/radio.

Jim: Erin and Ellen, uh, let me ask one more question for hope - the sake of hope. That parent that’s at the end of their rope. I mean, they have tried everything, and, uh, it’s just not working. And what would be that one word, even, that they can walk away with after hearing the program today? What’s one thing that they can say, OK, this could change the tide?

Ellen: That God perfects what he’s started, that he loves your kids more than you do, and that he is the one working in their hearts and desiring good for them, and that he’s going to hear your prayers.

Jim: I, you know, to answer that question, I think relax.

Ellen: Yeah.

Jim: And trust God.

Ellen: Exactly.

Jim: Is that a good place to go?

Ellen: Chill out.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I love it. Thanks again for being with us.

Closing:

John: And we hope that you can join us again on Monday when we hear from Carey Casey about building the bridge of racial reconciliation through love.

Teaser:

Carey Casey: You can preach. You can have all the wonderful thoughts and reason. They will know that we are Christian by our love.

End of Teaser

John: On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire Focus on the Family team, thanks for listening. Join us again as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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More Episode Resources

Guest

Erin MacPherson

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Erin MacPherson is an author whose books include Hot Mama: 12 Secrets to a Sizzling Hot Marriage, The Christian Mama's Guide series and Free to Parent. She has been a featured columnist for numerous websites and publications, including MOPS International and MomSense Magazine. Erin and her husband, Cameron, reside in Austin, Texas, with their three children. Learn more about Erin by visiting her website.

Guest

Ellen Schuknecht

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With more than 35 years of working with families in both public and private education, Ellen Schuknecht currently serves as Director of Family Ministries at Veritas Academy, where she mentors parents, teachers and students on a daily basis. She also does private one-on-one parent coaching, group consulting and public speaking through Family Wings, a family support organization of which she and her husband, Glen, are the directors. Ellen has co-authored several books with her daughter Erin MacPherson including Put the Disciple Into Discipline and Free to Parent. Glen and Ellen reside in Austin, Texas, near their three married children and grandchildren.