Under the heading “Ministries You’ve Probably Never Heard of, but Need to See RIGHT NOW” is Doorposts. Their tagline is “Helping Christian Parents Apply God’s Word to Child Training”, and that’s exactly what they’re doing over there on doorposts.com. I hate the overuse of the word amazing, but I have to use it here. Their resources at Doorposts are amazing.
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NASB)
How I Found This Treasure
We first found out about Doorposts through my sister-in-law, who was ahead of us in parenting experience and was striving to rear her kids in a Christ-centered home. She had a chart called the “If-Then” chart. It had a list of broken rules with kid-friendly illustrations, what the Bible says about them, and a place to put the consequence for them. The chart also has a verse for each rule that points your kids to the Gospel! I ordered one on the double, filled it out with my husband, and put it on the fridge. (If you get the laminated one, you can use dry erase markers to make changes as the kids grow.) With it, our kids knew exactly what would happen when they broke a rule, and the rules weren’t just ours–they were God’s rules.
Here’s a video from Doorposts about using the chart in your home:
It’s important for kids to be able to predict consequences, and it’s so much better for parents not to choose them on the fly. This chart gave us consistency and trained our kids to check themselves when they were considering breaking a rule. Plus, they learned to weigh whether or not it was worth it. Don’t be harsh in the consequences, but definitely make it not worth it! And when possible, match up the consequence to the broken rule. Remember, you’re not just teaching a preschooler, you’re training a heart that will later be an adult under God’s authority.
Balancing the If-Then Chart with the Blessing Chart
Once we discovered the If-Then chart, I started buying them to give away to friends and new parents. Hand-in-hand with the If-Then chart is the Blessing chart. It’s the rewards counterpart to the discipline of the If-Then chart. It lists things that God commends and allows you to set up rewards for doing those things. Yes, you ultimately want kids to do what’s right because, well, it’s right. But early on, you’re training their little hearts.
Keep in mind that younger kids have smaller currency than you might think. You don’t have to reward them with a trip to the movies or even with candy. A long hug, a verbal praise, a round of their favorite game or song–those things will do it. Doorposts even has something to help with rewards- Blessing Chart Patterns. Really, these guys know what’s up.
But Wait! There’s More!
As the kids got older, we found other resources to help us along the way. When I started seriously considering how to disciple Sarah one-on-one, I asked for Polished Cornerstones for Christmas. It’s a whole plan for growing up a godly young woman from the age of five until she leaves your home. You may find some of the activities a little old-fashioned, but they are solid. Don’t let the very traditional flavor turn you away. This book is a fantastic way to get started in discipling your girls, moms. And for boys, there’s Plants Grown Up. (Which I think I need to go order right now!)
Other resources I personally ordered for our home were the Go to the Ant chart (about diligence and laziness) and the Brother Offended Checklist. Transparency moment: Looking back, I wish I had been as on top of things with these as I was with the If-Then and Blessings charts. (I guess I needed that diligence and laziness training!) My advice is not to take on too much at the start, but once you get a rhythm with one, bring another one into your daily life. And keep at it.
I encourage you to meander around their website. There are tons of great products, organized intuitively so it’s easy to get your hands on what you need. They also have a blog to help keep you moving. I have had great experiences in contacting them. Every time I’ve emailed them, I’ve heard right back from someone who was very knowledgeable and very encouraging.
A Freebie for You
To wrap up, here’s a free printable I got from them with one of my orders. They gave me permission to distribute it at will. Print it off and give it a read. It will be a help to you today, and it will give you a feel for who they are as a ministry.
If you order something, please come back and tell me what you got and how you liked it. There’s no way one family can try everything, so be part of the review right here!