Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms
February 2006 Edition

Welcome and Announcements
Blog
Article – Two Questions to Never Ask Your Kids, but We All Do
Final Comments

Welcome and Announcements

Welcome to all you Christian Working Moms, we now have almost 1300 of you. May God give you rest today. I would like to be the first to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you have a special someone or not. Remember God gave us the ultimate show of love and Valentine’s gift, his Son. One more thing, I apologize for, in advance, for the length of today’s article. This idea has been on my heart for sometime and it was difficult to say in a short manner.

I wanted to let you know to be on the lookout for something new that is coming.
Christian Working Mom U, Becoming the Woman God Wants You To Be will be coming soon. Here is just a little information. CWM U will be an online weekly lesson you will receive in an email. There will be a discussion forum and a Library of helpful resources. CWM U is currently in the process of the final stages of being ready. So stay tuned to your email box.

Blog

I have noticed we have a lot of people looking at the blog, but not that many posting. So, don’t be shy, jump in and make a post. I have added a section called Open Comments where you can start a discussion or ask any question. Visit to post how you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your children. You can access the CWM Blog at http://www.kimberlychastain.com/my-journal.

Article – Two Questions To Never Ask Your Kids, But We All Do

We have all been there, the things you said you would never say when you are a parent come flying out of your mouth. We often don’t even realize what we are saying, in our moments of frustration. I want to start with two questions you should never ask your kids and why they are not good questions.

Question #1 to never ask your kids, but we all do. Are you ready? This is a one word question. Why? Why did you hit your sister? Why is your toy in the toilet?
Why did you do ________________? First of all have you ever really gotten a good or acceptable answer to this question? I haven’t. I hit my sister, because she hit me. I like my toy in the toilet!! The problem with this question is it implies in the asking that there is an acceptable reason for the misbehavior. Also, it encourages our children to lie. If our children can come up with an acceptable reason then maybe they will not get disciplined or punished. The focus then become on the why and not the behavior itself. Often as parents we come up with a list of do’s and don’ts we want our kids to follow, which isn’t a bad idea.
As Christian parents, though we need to focus not just on actions, but on the heart and character. We need to go to one step beyond the Why? Look at these questions taken from Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.

What were you feeling when you hit your sister?
What did you sister do to make you mad?
Help me understand how hitting her seemed to make things better?
What was the problem with what she was doing with you?
In what other ways could you have responded?
How do you think your response reflected trust or lack of trust in God’s ability to provide for you?

How different are those questions and yes they take more time, but they get to the heart of the issue. Why is heart so important? “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person.” Proverbs 28:19. “You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart.” Matthew 12: 34 – 36. The words of Jesus are harsh, but accurate. Our words reflect our heart.

So, do we want to raise children who follow the rules to not get in trouble or do we want them to have changed hearts. The Pharisees in the Bible were great at following rules, but they had evil hearts. So, we want not just behavior change in our children, but heart change.

Question #2 to never ask your kids, but we all do. What were your thinking? This question is often asked of teenagers after they have done an irresponsible act. The problem with this question is they were not thinking to begin with, that was the problem. If they had thought about it, maybe they would not have done the stupid action. We have all been impulsive at times and regretted it later. There really is not a good answer to the What were you thinking question. Again, it encourages your child to come up with an acceptable answer in order to avoid punishment. You can instruct them in the future to take time to think before they do something. Give themselves a few minutes to make sure this is something they want to do. Or, tell them they have to talk with you first. That gets them off the hook if it is a peer pressure situation. I have encouraged many teenagers to use their parents as an excuse if they don’t feel they can say No. They can say, “My Mom is so mean she never lets me do anything!” That helps them save face and helps them to begin to be more assertive in saying No.

As I said earlier I have asked both of these questions myself many times and have not received good results. When we encourage our children to look at their actions as God sees them and to look at their hearts we are growing children with character and a deep love for God and what he has done for us. The questions listed above get to the heart of the matter and take more time, but they yield a better result. I encourage you and myself to have children that seek after the heart of God.

Final Comments

Share Valentine stories you remember when you were in school with your children. They will enjoy hearing how it was in the “good ole days”.

Till next time,

Kimberly Chastain

Kimberly Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the author of 2 ebooks that can be found at www.christianworkingmom.com. For a free, initial coaching session send an email to free@kimberlychastain.com with Free Coaching in the subject heading.