All Articles Effective Parenting Tools and Techniques

A Great Training Tool for Christian Parents

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Parenting is not easy – we need all the help we can get.  Books, internet searches, and seminars can be helpful but can leave us wondering, “What now?” or “What am I supposed to DO with this information?”  At Cornerstones for Parents, we understand that the desires of a parent’s heart may not always be easily translated into action.  That is why we have developed a concrete parenting tool that will help you address your child’s misbehavior, but more importantly, the condition of her heart.

Consequences (like removing a toy or a time out) don’t always deliver the impact we are after.  Sometimes our children go right back to the misbehavior that earned them their consequence in the first place!  Our Heart of the Matter Parenting Cards will help break this cycle by helping your child:

  • Accept responsibility
  • Identify her wrong behavior
  • Connect her heart attitude to behavior
  • Understand God’s will

Young children are visual learners.  Pictures communicate information better than spoken or written words ever could.  Our cards pictorially depict 5 different common childhood misbehaviors.  It may feel as if the list of misbehaviors is endless, but most behavior problems will fit into these 5 categories:

  • Loss of self-control/ anger outbursts
  • Disrespect towards parents/ backtalk
  • Hurting another person
  • Arguing or refusing to share
  • Not listening

Here’s a sample:

The front of each card depicts the misbehavior while the back of the card shows the desirable behavior.  More importantly, the card allows the parent to have a dialogue (using pictures) about how a person’s heart determines behavior and what God’s Word has to say on such matters.

How to Use:

  • Give an appropriate consequence for the child’s misbehavior
  • Wait until the child is “teachable” (has a soft heart)
  • Spread the cards before the child and have her pick which one(s) best show what she did wrong.
  • Explain that wrong behaviors come from angry,hard hearts
  • Flip the card over and read the Bible verse.
  • Ask the child to describe what she sees (what does she notice different about the heart?)
  • Ask what she can do next time instead
  • Have her make amends if necessary for the wrong committed.

Many parents have found this tool to be a great aid in helping them instill character rather than just compliance in their children.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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About the author

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW

Laura Kuehn, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in children and families. CfP is the place she combines some of her very favorite things: writing, parenting and God's word. She loves encouraging parents to build their families upon Jesus, the one true Cornerstone. She is happily married to a wonderfully supportive husband and is the mother of two delightfully inspiring children.

5 Comments

  • Laura, I love these! I’m going to order some and bring them with me when I speak next. I’ll try to refer to it and also I will have it as a resource for at my resource table!!

    • Thanks Melanie. It is such a simple tool, but having those pictures makes all the differences for little ones. It really helps get to the heart. I am so grateful for our partnership.

      Blessings to you and yours,
      Laura

  • I am a grand parent visitin my grandkids and the kids and the mother of the kids is saved and going to Church with the kids one boy and one girl. The Father of the kids is not a believer and doesn’t go to church. The boy has a lot of anger and out burst and the parents have him see a therapist seems to help a little bit. Can your cards still help him or are there other ways of help this is a very desperate time of need and they have no money to afford to pay for any help. Hat to see our grandkids that do have good hearts with anger problems destroy there life’s.

    • Hi Buddy,

      Thank you for your heart for your grandson. It can be so hard to watch our loved ones struggle. I think the cards are more appropriate for younger children. I would continue to pray for him and you might want to share this article with his mother. There might be some good tools in there she can use. Also, I would suggest looking into some resources on this webpage. They have a biblical approach to parenting and while not free, there is a number to call on the right hand of the page that can connect you to a person that can help you pick the best resources for the child.

      I hope that helps. God bless you,
      Laura

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