I wanted to share a resource I used ALL the time in teaching and will TOTALLY be using with my children. It's called "Wise Words for Moms." It's pretty much a calendar size pamphlet of verses and heart probing questions about common sin issues with children. One book we've also really liked is "Instructing a Child's Heart" by Ted Trip. It talks A LOT about discipline WITH instruction...instruction that helps them to see the heart issue behind the outward behavior. It's not wise to just behavior modify and discipline without making lasting change by affecting the heart.
It took many months for my 1st and 2nd grade students to figure it out every year, but usually by December/January of the school year, when a child did something wrong and I would talk with them I would ask them what their sin was. At first, they used to say the action they did, such as "I pushed someone out of line." But once they started getting it they would instead say, "I was being selfish." They were learning to see and understand their need for a Savior, for Jesus. The conversation would follow talking about how we are all selfish at times and that Jesus came to save us from our selfishness, etc. Then you discipline for the selfishness, not the "pushing out of line."
It seems like if we just correct the behavior, our children would grow up in a Christian home and never truly understand how desperately they need Jesus to rescue them. They won't see their need for a Savior. They won't see that there is anything they need to be rescued from. This has been truly heart changing and taught me a lot about myself too and recognizing what sin is in my heart, not just outward behaviors I need to "control."
This pamphlet gave me all the questions to ask, the verses, the direction, etc. And it's super cheap! Only $4.00! Mekonen is still a little young for it, but I add in some "heart words" when instructing him such as, "Mekonen, you can't take her toy. That is being selfish." I know he doesn't understand that right now, but hopefully the seed is being planted. I am already starting to memorize them so that when he is older and other siblings come around I am well versed (because in the heat of the moment you tend to forget how to properly instruct, at least I did!). Here is an example of the pamphlet.
Heart Probing Questions to ask (asking these questions and having them answer so they are involved in probing their own heart)
1. Are you putting your brother/sister ahead of yourself or are you being selfish?
2. What would be a kind and generous thing to do?
Reproof ("put off")
1. Phil. 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself.
2. Prov. 3:27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.
Encouragement ("put on")
1. Rom. 12:10 Honor one another above yourself
2. 2 Cor. 9:7b God loves a cheerful giver