July 4th has always been a special holiday ya’ll in the Martha household. Not only are we celebratin’ the birth of our great nation, but we’re celebratin’ our family with two birthdays- mine and Liberty Belle’s. The celebration of family and the birth of our nation, got me thinkin’ about how similar it is. Parenting a country and a family is hard work- if only there were some rules to live by… I wonder-
Raisin’ Children by the Bill of Rights;
- Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition- I think ya’ll that if children are gonna grow up to be somebody they ought to have the right to speak their minds. But more importantly we ought to listen. A child who feels respected grows up to respect others.
- Right to keep and bear arms- bein’ a military/country family we own and have a healthy respect for firearms. Each child (even the youngest) is taught fire arm safety, that a weapon ain’t a toy, and that violence is never an answer to a problem that ain’t life threatenin’. Ya’ll can argue and ya’ll feel free to give peace a chance, I like knowin’ my young uns got yer back if that don’t work out!
- Conditions for quarters of soldiers- As a military family, we take great pride in openin’ our home and our hearts to fellow military members. Our children are raised up in how to be good hosts. They know first hand the sacrifices of military members and their families… anything we can do to ease the burden, we’ll do.
- Right of search and seizure- this is a touchy subject, I do understand ya’ll. There was a time when our oldest son seemed to be doin’ drugs. He wasn’t sleepin’, was moody, he’d come home late and behave like two bricks short of a load. As parents we debated searchin’ his room, his cell phone, and readin’ his journals to find evidence. We didn’t- we chose trust and prayer, decidin’ to give it some time. Turn out it was love had him wrapped around the axel. After a time he came to us, because we had trusted him. Have faith in your parentin’ skills- and so will yer kids!
- Provisions concerning prosecution- “innocent until proven guilty”- By havin’ faith in our oldest, not cussin’ him out we kept his trust. To raise up an honest and trustworthy child ya’ll is just about treatin‘ them that way. The key is consistent structure-by knowin‘ the rules, knowin‘ what happens when they get broke, kids don’t grow up afraid of the truth. Lie to yer kids they’re gonna lie right back to ya.
- Right to a speedy trial- Parents should have a time out, count to 10 so we’re not re-actin’ out of anger, but actin’ responsible about discipline. But responsibility goes both ways, our kids know the rules, they know the punishment for breakin’ them. The longer they wait to reveal a misdeed or if they lie to avoid punishment, the harsher the punishment will be- we keep punishment consistent, and it happens within 24 hours.
- Right to a trial by jury- the jury in the Martha household is Momma and Poppa. Presenting a united front in discipline ya’ll is how we have survived havin’ four children!
- Excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishment- punishment in the Martha household is fair, age appropriate and never excessive. Dependin‘ on age, time-out or grounded is usual. We do spank our children occasionally. Back talkin’, disrespectin’ each other or doin’ something unsafe- all warrant a spankin’. Our rule is if ya don’t need to think about what ya did wrong, you get a spankin’. It’s always open handed, no more than three swats on a clothed behind, and you’re done.
- Rule of construction of Constitution- we use this for our household rules. We don’t use rules to inhibit our children intellectually, emotionally or spiritually. We foster in our children an independent spirit, open minds and lovin’ hearts. Punishment is only in place to cause examination of behavior that goes against our family’s values. We use positive reinforcement far more than punishments- but the structure is really what helps us and the kids.
- Rights of States under Constitution- Our children are individuals. We have monthly family meetings where we shower each child with praise and they are allowed to “air a grievance”. We use this time to talk about family issues, change punishments or rules that may no longer be appropriate. A rule is changed only if the child can articulate a better solution- we encourage free-thinkin’ around here ya’ll!
So just as our nation was founded on principals of fairness, honesty and freedom- so will our children be raised. In the land of the free, and the home of the brave!
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