I was so excited to receive Doorposts: For Instruction in Righteousness. This is one of the best resources for parents, and I’m so glad that I have the chance to review it and share all about with you. First off, though, I’ll be honest—when I first began looking at this book, as thick as it is, I felt a little overwhelmed! Here’s why: I’m very Type A, so whenever I do anything, I want to go at it gung ho and just do it all the way. Doorposts gives you so many amazing resources, with tons of ideas for ways to teach and implement opportunities for character development, and I wanted to use every single idea!
I’ve discovered the best way to use this resource is to pick and choose between all the options, and there are two specific ways I’m enjoying using this with my children.
The Reactive Method
The first way that I’m using this is what I like to call the Reactive Method. My kids are young, and this is honestly the way I’ve been using Doorposts the most in recent weeks. When there is a discipline issue that comes up, I have the kids take a time out, and I look it up. Let’s say that they have been being disobedient.
I take the book and pick out a reference that is listed. Then, I take the Bible with me so that I can read from it to them directly, so that they understand that this is what God says about their misbehavior (sin). You’ll notice above that Doorposts includes sort of a definition of the sin, the blessings of right behavior, encouraging verses to remember, and then a list of Bible stories that help to drive the point home.
We read the suggested passage/story together, then I will just talk through with the kids what they could have done differently. We role play a few different scenarios. I’ve learned that my kids need to see what it looks like to do the right thing. (That’s one of the reasons that we play The Obey Game.)
They also need to have the opportunity to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing. These teaching times are not a time to reprimand and demean—not at all. These are times when I am stopping whatever I am doing to instruct my children and to encourage them.
The Proactive Method
The second way that I have enjoyed using Doorposts is taking a very proactive method. We take a week or two at a time and pick a character quality that our family in general needs to work on. We look at the stories in the Bible, choosing one each day, and the memory verses. Our goal is to talk about what happened in the story, how the people responded, and how God wants us to respond. By talking about right behavior in this proactive way, I’m hoping to instill in them the resources they need to respond correctly when these issues arise—as they are sure to.
Doorposts also offers a set of laminated cards that enable you and your spouse to predetermine a set of consequences for different occurrences of disobedience. That way, the two of you can discuss and agree on consequences together, rather than in the heat of the moment. I especially loved this option because I know that different families, different kids, and different personalities do not add up to identical consequences. I loved being able to customize this portion of Doorposts.
What character qualities are you working on with your children? What do you find yourself repeatedly having to work on?