Grace-Based Parenting Tip & Giveaway!

*Update* Congrats to Tara. I will email you!

A key element for raising great kids is establishing an atmosphere of grace in your home.
What is the atmosphere in your home?  Is it cold, harsh, rule-oriented?  Or is it wild, rule-free and chaotic? Grace-based parenting is the balance between grace and truth. 
I’ll just give you a little hint about last night’s atmosphere in our home:  it starts with ‘un- and ends with- ruly’.
A grace-based home creates an atmosphere that allows kids the freedom to be different, vulnerable, candid and to make mistakes (Dr. Tim Kimmel elaborates on each of these points in his book, Grace Based Parenting).
I heard Dr. Kimmel share the following story at Family Camp in describing vulnerability.  It really moved me:

“KIMMEL, TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES, leave on your socks, climb up on the trampoline, and follow my instructions,” the coach instructed the 9th grade boy.

He quickly untied his shoes and climbed onto the trampoline for the demonstration.  As he did, he noticed holes in both of his socks.  It wasn’t a big deal until a classmate yelled, “Check out the holes in Kimmel’s socks! Hey, you want to borrow a pair of mine? I’ve got plenty. Or maybe we should take up a collection after class!”

“Knock it off!” the coach commanded, but the damage had already been done. The guys had a good laugh, and they continued to have a good laugh even after the coach told them to be quiet.

Tim Kimmel couldn’t concentrate the rest of the class.  All he could think about was mending every sock he had as soon as he got home. The teasing had drawn attention to his family’s economic status.  “We were a family on the lowest rung of the middle class…”

When class was over, the PE teacher dismissed the kids and Tim put his shoes back on.  On his way out, the PE teacher called his name.  “Tim, I wanted to tell you why I called on you to do that demonstration in class today. It’s because I think you’re the most agile student in my class.”  Then he untied one of his shoes and pulled it off, to reveal two of his toes poking thru a large hole.  “Us agile guys are tough on socks!”

As Tim walked away, he found a dictionary and looked up the word agile:  “moves with speed, ease, elegance and liveliness; mentally alert and quick-witted.” 

This changed his life. (He wondered if the coach had acutally cut those holes in his socks to show him it was okay to be vulnerable).

Grace-Based parenting says we need to give our children the freedom to be different.  They need the freedom to be vulnerable and we need to extend grace to them when they are vulnerable. Our children need the freedom to be candid and the liberty to make mistakes.

I love this quote from the book:  

You have been singled out to do a favor for God. He is asking you to be His representative to a small but vital part of the next generation. He needs someone to be His voice, His arms, and His heart. 
He chose you.

We are learning what this looks like in our home.  Allowing our kids to be more candid in sharing their hearts (without being disrespectful) was the first step we made.  I’m also trying not to fix all my kids problems by letting them learn from their mistakes.  (T
his is much harder for me then for them).
Letting my daughter be herself by not controlling her appearance is not easy for me. (I’m thinking her teachers were wondering about her hair choices this morning). But I’m learning that she has unique style and just because it’s different than what I would choose, doesn’t make it wrong. 
And when we see them struggling with school issues or things at home (like the nearly daily after-school meltdowns we’ve been experiencing), we try to remember their need for vulnerability and even attempt to make ourselves vulnerable by sharing our own struggles.
Most of all, we are still learning what a grace-based home looks like!
Today, I’m giving away the audio CD entitled, “Grace Based Parenting.”  If you’d like to have it, please leave a comment. I will choose a winner by 10 pm (CST) Wednesday night.
For other great tips, visit Works for Me Wednesday.

Comments

  1. 2

    says

    This book sounds awesome. I actually just went to the library yesterday and got 5 different books on parenting, making sure that they are bible based of course. I’m having the hardest time with my middle daughter. She’s 8 years old and wants to be 16. She’s my sweet girl but boy can she be challenging. I’ve been in tears many times this week while praying for patience, grace, knowledge, understanding and forgiveness. We parents need as much inspiration and encouragement as we can get. Great post! Thank you for sharing…I will definitely check it out:) God Bless.

  2. 3

    says

    I need this. There I said it. If you only knew the battle that has been going on between my 12 yo daughter and I. I’ve been searching and I’ve been praying and I was getting ready to go to bed. I realized when posting my Wordless Wednesday I hadn’t visited any blogs this week. I come here and God gives me this. Even if I don’t win the audio cd I definitely need to know where to purchase these. Wow. Thank-you and Thank-You Lord.

  3. 4

    says

    I love this – and feel like I could have written it myself (only not as eloquently as you!). We are trying to create that environment in our home, as well – and I struggle with all the same things you do.

    I posted about parenting this week, too – stop by and check it out if you can…it’s titled “Vision”.

  4. 9

    says

    A lady in my Bible Study read the Grace Based Parenting book and loved it. I really like the idea of balancing grace and truth and modeling our parenting after the way God parents us. I’m really interested in checking it out now.

    Thanks for a great post and giveaway.

    Becky : )

  5. 13

    says

    We are expecting #3 in about 5 weeks. We have a 5 and 3 year old and try to do balance truth and grace in our home. It is a challenge. I am anticipating the need for grace even more in the coming weeks as our home welcomes and adjusts to a new member. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  6. 14

    says

    Of all the posts I’ve read this week, this is the one post I am truly glad I found, and that I needed to read.

    This week, I’ve had to ‘let go’ of a situation my 14yo daughter has with one of her friends, that I don’t feel she should be hanging around with, because she’s hurt my daughter in the past. My daughter forgave her, which is great, I just would like her to choose not be her friend anymore. Maybe there’s a reason why they are friends, that I don’t know the whole story, but by reading your post has helped me realize, that, this is my daughter’s choice, not mine.

    Thank you for the wonderful post, and I would love to win this book. Please add me to your list.
    ~Christine
    http://www.arewethereyetmom.com

  7. 15

    says

    I have been reminding myself on a near daily basis lately to show grace to my kids. I have such a desire for them to be graceful with each other and people they meet, they need to see it modeled from us first.
    Thanks for the encouraging post.
    Tina

  8. 17

    says

    what a great, awesome post. I am trying to concentrate on being a blessing. Today….school ran til 8 p.m., and i’m probably not looking like much of a blessing.

    Love your blog. I’ll be back.

  9. 18

    Boys R Us Mom says

    Sounds like a great book – fit for our family. This very thing has been on my heart. I want to know how to model this more for our children. A grace-based home sounds wonderful!

  10. 19

    says

    It sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for letting us all know about it and for the give away.
    I have bookmared this book, in the case I don’t win.

  11. 20

    KathyM says

    My sister could really use this!
    She has 3 children, a 5 year old, a 20 month old and a 5 month old.
    She is a good Mommy but I think she could use a little more encouragement. Since she works full time outside of the house, a cd would be really great for her to listen to in her office or in the car.
    Thanks!

  12. 22

    says

    My kids are in college (so the damage is done…ha!) but I would love to win this to give to a dear friend who has 4 kids. If I’m not the lucky winner…I just may have to buy it for her!

  13. 26

    says

    I can use all the help I can get! Grace has been a big goal in my life recently… but my kids probably get the least of it. I’m definitely going to order this book!

  14. 28

    MaggieLousMommy says

    I LOVE the quote that you love! I’m trying so hard to be a great SAHM to my two-year old, Maggie. It’s THE hardest job ever. I can use all the help that I can get! I pray now more than ever!

  15. 31

    says

    …crap…this got me right in the gullet. I have read every single book out there that has to do with strong-willed boys, but I still felt like it wasn’t hitting the mark. Grace is the ticket. How simple…how did I miss this?

  16. 32

    says

    I really needed to hear that this morning – thank you! My second grader is really coming into his own and sometimes it’s so hard just to let him – it means I am slowly giving up control. Thanks for the chance to win the CD!

  17. 33

    says

    I too struggle with giving up parental control. More so with my youngest daughter than with my older daughter. The bad thing is that my youngest daughter is 19 and has a child of her own. I struggle daily to remind myself that she is grown and needs to be turned lose to live her own life but I find myself reminding her that she needs to do something different than her intended … just because.

  18. 34

    Anonymous says

    I’ve been hearing alot about Grace based parenting and we really need it in my house. I would love to have the CD. Love your blog! Makes me feel at home!

    Jen M . in Texas

  19. 35

    says

    Oh I loved that story! We are working on this in my home too. Altho I didn’t know it had a name (grace based parenting)
    I am just trying to parent a different direction than I was parented (in many ways). I can commpletely relate to the dd and clothing choices. Mine is 12 and her choices, well, they are certainly different from what I think is ok. modesty is a must..but that is about where we draw the line LOL
    Would love to hear the CD on this.
    thanks for holding another contest!

  20. 36

    says

    What a great story! I hope we are somewhere in the middle of an abundance of grace and too many rules. I guess I need to ask my kids, huh?

    I, too, have a hard time trying not to fix everything and just let them make their own mistakes. A lot of times I do it without even thinking. Thanks for reminding me to take some inventory!!

  21. 38

    says

    please consider my family for this giveaway. I am in tears after reading your post. I know that I am often too hard on my children and I have to remember to let them be themselves, and encourage them to be themselves. Have a great day!!

  22. 46

    says

    “I’m also trying not to fix all my kids problems by letting them learn from their mistakes.”

    I am finding this my hardest thing to do. Especially with Jessie. Its not the simple things of what is she going to wear or what she wants to eat. Its things like she is 18 and is thinking about moving out, or thinking about buying a car, or getting her own cell phone plan. Things like this scare me so bad, they can be BIG mistakes. I know all I can do is guide her and pray that she make well thought out decisions.

  23. 48

    says

    Perfect post for me today.
    Last night seemed to be one of those nights at my house.

    Finally, one of my daughter’s called me on my harsh responses to her. Ouch!

    I realized, yes, I was snapping at her when I talked to her. It was a painful reality slap! Mom-Jerk!

    Love your contest!

  24. 49

    Pixie says

    Kristen,

    SO MANY DAYS I need more grace in my parenting. I am a homeschooling mom with six underfoot all the time (ages 10 down to 20 months). They all have different personalities and to find what works with whose temperament is a never-ending exercise in fun, let me tell ya! LOL. My 8-yr-old daughter is the most like me (like a completely unrefined version of me, that is!)

    So. Would we love the CD? You bet…

    :-) Christa

  25. 52

    says

    I would love to win this!! We are struggling with this very issue in our home right now. Our son is very creative and free-spirited. Hubby and I aren’t….we’re having to learn how to nurture his creative side without driving ourselves crazy! I love reading your blog – thanks for sharing!

  26. 54

    says

    This book sounds excellent! I struggle with letting my kids be themselves while also enforcing boundaries. I could definitely use some help in the grace area. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. 58

    says

    My husband and I went through a Tim Kimmel parenting video series at our church when our first was just a baby. 8 years and two more kids later, we really need this! Thank you for the opportunity.

  28. 59

    says

    So what do you “gracefully” do when you instructed your son to eat his sandwich and this morning the sandwich is on the porch because your dog dug it out from behind the bushes?? I’m going to do a blog on it . . . . I’m letting dad come up with the repercussions son must endure for lying. That was at 7:30 this morning!!

  29. 66

    says

    Had the battle over clothing with my daughter just this morning. I won, b/c after all, she is not even 18 months old! Even at this age, she knows what she wants and I certainly don’t want to stifle who she is in order to save my pride. There is and will be a balance, but, I’m pretty sure I don’t always know what that balance is!

  30. 69

    says

    I wish I would have had these helpful people in my life while raising my children. I don’t think I raised them with the grace you talk about. It was pretty much rule based. That might be why my daughter pushed so hard against the rules, to be herself. She is a great young woman, and just because she isn’t a little “me” she is still a great person. I need to tell her that more often. thank you !

  31. 70

    Mrs. Querido says

    I have been trying to figure out how to cultivate obedience in my children without plowing them over! I have one strong-willed 4 yr old, one “used to be so compliant but not anymore” almost six year old and one 1 yr old daughter who is turning out to be a lot like the four yr old!

    I was raised in an authoritarian household and I really want to learn how to be grace-based.

    Would love to win this giveaway! Thanks for letting us know that we aren’t the only ones who struggle with parenting! :)

  32. 72

    says

    This is such a wonderfully written post. I feel the exact same way. I've gotten better about letting the kids be themselves (especially with my quirky, unique daughter) but I still struggle with that & other things.

    I do have a very very small quibble with the story. While I think it's great the coach took the time to speak to Tim after class, I wish he had shown the whole class the holes in his socks, regardless if they were really there at the time or he did it right then. Sometimes, you just have holey socks, rich or poor. But, I do love how he made Tim feel. Like I said, the point of the message wasn't lost on me, just a minor thing that made me think.

  33. 74

    says

    i need more grace in my parenting too…we have maybe been a tad too relaxed with our boys and now we are having to totally crack down due to serious issues at school.
    i need to crack down without becoming a crackpot…
    steff

  34. 77

    says

    I really appreciate this post.. Some days with my four year..old.. I tell you what!!! I think I need to learn to be more patient..and learn grace parenting. I don’t want to squish his little spirit!

  35. 80

    says

    I am a kindergarten teacher and mother to 2 boys, 2 and 10. I love this book! I have recommended it to many parents, loaned out my copy so much that it looks ragged. I really enjoy reading your blogs. But I think MY family is THAT family!
    Rhonda Turner

  36. 81

    MM says

    Hi Kristen,
    It was great seeing you over at Kara’s tonight. I am going to read all about the family you told me about. :) Definitely need some help with the grace based parenting, too! Sophia picked out her outfit for tomorrow – oh dear!
    Meriann

  37. 82

    says

    WOW!
    I am blown away by this post! And the timing…I’m making it in around 9:15 Central time. Is that the time listed?

    Well, either way….this book sounds AWESOME! Lately, I’ve felt so overwhelmed in the parenting area. It seems at times that I’m just bombing out. I know that a balance must be found. I can’t continue to continue with responses and behaviors of my own that are not only NOT helping–but damaging to my children as well.

    Also, the story of the sock…my old Pastor had a similar story. When he was a teen in a Revival or Camp Meeting at his church, he and the other teens were told to take off their shoes and run around the church…if I remember correctly. His father was the Pastor. I’m thinking this was and exuberant, possibly zealous move at a moment of excitement. He did not want to take off his shoes, but got a “look” from his dad. He had holes in his socks and knew it.

    His effort to handle this situation–he ran around that church kicking up his feet with his toes poking through those holes when he was right in the front.

    I don’t recall his entire point in sharing the story with us years ago…but this sure brought it back to memory.

    And this book sounds like a neccesity in today’s times…

    Rena

  38. 90

    says

    Wow Thank you!!!! I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to the CD!! I need all the help I can right now with my little guy!!

    cloudspassby78 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  39. 92

    says

    I love that post and that story. It is a very true thing and one we are trying to walk in as well. It’s obviously much easier to be a “controlling” parent but that just doesn’t work out very well for our kids.

    We are currently listening to a series by Danny Silk called Loving on Purpose (www.ibethel.org). It is amazing and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it all.

  40. 93

    says

    I was so honored to receive a call from a member of Dr. Kimmel’s staff asking for permission to publish a post I wrote about my daughter after reading his book. (It can be found on my “Communion” devotion blog, entitled “freedom to be different.”)

    I absolutely LOVE the book and its premise! I don’t know if they’ve used the story, but it was such wonderful affirmation to receive unsolicited acknowledgment of something I wrote. Can’t recommend the book enough!

  41. 95

    says

    First of all, thank you for caring about families & for your generosity. I was searching online for the audio CD for this book & found it on amazon.com, but can't afford it. I purchased the book at a marriage conference while we were getting through some miscarriages & I was pregnant with what is now my oldest, my 3 year old son. It's been busy blessings since then & I haven't found the time to read the book, so I'm looking to donate it. Now pregnant with our 3rd, I feel like my hubby & I are on different ends of the spectrum on parenting. In compensating for each others natural instincts (rule-free vs. rule-oriented parenting) I feel like we have lost our connection on our role as parents & it is what has me up, heart-broken & searching for solutions at 3:30a.m. I hope your give away goes to who needs it most, whether that's us or not, I really thank you for the time you have put into this web page & this cause. You have inspired me in the right direction.

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