Combatting Selfishness... with a Free Printable to Help :)
Maybe a month or two ago, I became very frustrated with the way my girls were behaving on a daily basis at home. It felt like as a family we had unknowingly slipped into a rut of apathy, problem avoidance, and prevailing SELFISHNESS. yuck. My girls were always fighting... complaining that someone else wasn't doing what they wanted.... complaining that they didn't get to do something they wanted.... complaining that they had to do something they didn't want to do... on and on and on it went. It was time to address these heart issues that some how I had allowed to take over our home!
Selfishness along with a very bad attitude was the main problem... I determined that loving each other and obeying me without complaining were the prevailing issues.
I discipline for defiant disobedience or sinful behavior... (for more about disciplining, the way the Bible intended it to be used, I would recommend reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart", by Tedd Tripp and "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman )... but I felt like I needed a dual approach on this ugly matter. So I decided to try a reward system.
I made two kinds of tickets, one for each of the issues at hand: loving each other and obeying mom and dad... The ticket would allow them to earn points that they could redeem for sweet treats every Friday. (They don't get a lot of sugary treats, so this was very special for them.... I also didn't want the reward to be a material item/ toy because they struggle enough with materialism as it is!!)
So I sat down with the girls and we had a talk... about the troubles we'd been having... about what the Bible says about loving each other and about obeying our parents.... and about what we were going to try to do to correct the problem and start behaving in a way that pleases God!
Basically, I explained that I would be watching for times when I saw one of them do something loving (instead of selfish) for a sibling. I would also watch for an especially obedient and respectful attitude towards their father and me. I was careful to explain also, that this wasn't about performing or doing contrived acts in order to earn something... rather the reward would be for a genuine display of love or obedience that flowed from the heart.
Fast forward a month or so... and it's going pretty well. It hasn't been magical by any means, but we are going in the right direction! They tend to receive more obedience tickets than love tickets :( Which to me reveals so much about their little hearts. I know selfishness is a central aspect of immature little hearts, but I just hate it! I want them to have genuine compassion for one another...
But we will keep working, and keep memorizing our little verses that serve as excellent reminders of how Christ wants us to act... and this does help.
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
What do you do to encourage heart change in your children? ..... to combat selfishness?
I'd love to hear :)
Meanwhile, if you think it might be useful in your home, please download our tickets and give it a try! Blessings to you as you strive to raise your little ones up in God's truth :)
DOWNLOAD FILE HERE
****As always...File and finished product for personal use only... not for resale or profit of any kind.