Sunday, September 26, 2010

Parenting Duggar-style

I’ve written briefly before about the Duggars from the TLC program 19 Kids and Counting. I, like I’m sure millions of other people, find this family so inspiring, especially the parents Michelle and Jim-Bob. I would like to share some of the advice they give on both their tv show and their website that I’ve found to have a positive impact on my family.

If you’ve watched 19 kids… even only a few times you may have heard someone mention the family motto “Jesus first, others second, yourself last.” If you look closely you’ll see it’s an acronym for JOY. I’m sure somewhere deep down in my repertoire of Sunday School jargon I have this phrase filed away but since hearing it on 19 Kids… I’ve begun to put it to use. It’s been particularly helpful with my oldest as he’s old enough to understand the concept. I often catch him saying it if he realizes he’s being greedy or inconsiderate. It helps us all to remember to put others above ourselves and that by doing this we are most importantly putting Jesus above all.

Another resource that I’ve just recently begun to use from the Duggars is a list of character qualities they have posted on their website. It’s a chart listing positive qualities that we all hope to instill in our children versus the negative behavior we wish to discourage. You can view it or download it here. The list briefly describes each character quality and refers to a Bible verse that corresponds to each. The emphasis is placed on the positive, not the negative behavior, which the Duggars stress often: “Praise your children 10 times more than you correct them”.

I’ve found this chart most useful in being able to identify and label what it is my children are doing that is good. Rather than just saying “What a good job you did helping to bring the groceries from the car,” I can now say “What a good job you did helping to bring the groceries from the car. When you help me with the groceries like you said you would, you are being very dependable.” The child will not just know they did good, but what it is about their action that was good, in this case the child was being dependable and responsible. The second way I found this chart to be useful is simply that I’m looking for opportunity to praise my children. I’m not sure if the praise is working to encourage my kids to do even more praiseworthy things, or that I am simply noticing the things they always did but didn’t take time to praise them for.

So my final piece of advice is to check out the Duggars website at . In regards to parenting, the FAQ section questions 7 & 14 are particularly helpful, as well as the Duggar House Guidelines. They also explain how they manage their day to keep their household running smoothly (advice I certainly need :) and a list of their favorite recipes. Char out.

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