Blog  /  Grace, Grace Based Discipline, Parenting, Teenagers, Toddlers  /  New Book: Grace Based Discipline FREE EXCERPT

Family Matters is proud to present a NEW BOOK, Grace Based Discipline: How to Be at Your Best When Your Kids are at Their Worst by Karis Kimmel Murray.

If you’re a parent who’s ever scratched your head wondering how to discipline your kids with grace, this book is the practical help you’ve been waiting for. Please enjoy this excerpt from Grace Based Discipline.

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Grace Based Discipline“. . . Once when my older daughter was two and my younger one was about six months, we took a fateful trip to Walmart. It was the first time I’d been out of the house with both girls in five weeks. We’d had more than a month of back-to-back viruses, ear infections, and various gastrointestinal crises.

We’d reached the point on Oregon Trail where a bleak line of text rolls across the computer screen to announce: you have died of dysentery.

Also, we were out of supplies. Taking a toddler and a baby on a giant supply haul to Walmart is no one’s idea of fun. Kids have a tolerance fuse for shopping trips, and it’s often lit before you even back down your driveway.

We needed everything: food, diapers, formula, toilet paper, milk, printer toner, shampoo. I was racing my double-wide cart through every section of the store, trapped in my own manic episode of Supermarket Sweep, trying to get all the items on my list before two little bombs exploded.

I would’ve made it if my flip-flop hadn’t snapped. And I would have ignored it and walked out with only one shoe, except it was July in Phoenix. The air was 115 degrees. The surface of the parking lot’s asphalt was approximately eleventy-thousand degrees.

“Mommy needs just one more thing, girls,” I offered, like I imagine doomed sailors dump gold overboard to appease the Kraken.

I hobbled, pushing my load to the shoe department where I’d resolved to grab the first pair of flip-flops I saw. When we got there, I had a moment of weakness and agreed to let Riley, my toddler, out of the blessed confinement of the cart’s buckled child seat.

She was free! She looked at me, and I saw a flash of savage bloodlust in her eyes. She squared her little shoulders at the end of a corridor of footwear, put out both her arms at opposite sides of the shoebox-lined shelves, and walked resolutely to the end—knocking off all the boxes like giant dominoes.

Her fuse had run out, and now the Walmart shoe department looked like a bomb had gone off. Fellow shoppers stared as the shrapnel of laces, sandals, cardboard, and my pride settled into smoke and rubble. It was a miracle that I didn’t leave my kids in the endcap of aisle 9 with Rollback $4.97 price tags taped to their little foreheads.

That day I had to act as a first responder, whether I liked it or not. Since then, I’ve had many more days like it, and I’m sure you have too.

Our kids have a way of igniting our plans, standards, and expectations and then burning them to the ground. Whether the accelerant they use is immaturity, peer pressure, or blatant disobedience, the end result is the same: a crime scene.

Our kids like to mess with us. That’s how it feels, at least. This is real life. These kids we’re raising didn’t come with an instruction manual. Ideally, we’re supposed to respond to their disobedience, rebellion, and immaturity like a cop calmly making a routine traffic stop. Only, we often feel a whole lot more like the hostage who is bound and gagged in our kids’ trunk.

Our standard default mode is to freak out. And that’s exactly what we’ll do unless we are prepared to do something different.

It’s tough to respond rather than react when you feel like, and sometimes are, the victim of your kids’ behavior. Yet God (the Ultimate Parent) tells us how He responds to His children’s behavior: with grace-based discipline. And He also tells us why: “The Lord disciplines the one he loves” (Hebrews 12:6). In this book, I will show you how to use grace-based discipline to respond to your kids the way God responds to us.

 

Just Tell Me What I’m Supposed to Do with These Kids!

Chances are, you picked up this book because you have kids and are trying to figure out how to get them to do what you say. If this describes you, weary parent, then I know how you feel. Never in your wildest dreams did you think a three-year-old could bring you to your knees, but that’s where you find yourself as you tell them for the thirtieth time to stop pushing the buttons on the TV. And who could have known how exhausting it is to have a twelve-year-old critique every request you make of them? If you’re like me, you’re pretty sure that any day now everyone will discover that you have no clue what you’re doing. When you brought your little love bundle home from the hospital or adoption agency, you might have been prepared for sleepless nights, diaper changes, and constant demands. But about the time you first stared into your new child’s eyes, you got throat-punched by the responsibility of guiding that love bundle from the pack ’n play all the way to adulthood. You find yourself asking essential questions like, “How did my tiny three-year-old fit nine raisins in his left nostril?” “Where did she even find that purple Sharpie?” “Why can’t they ever just do what I ask?”

I get it.

Those overwhelming feelings of uncertainty, fear, insufficiency, and exhaustion? I try to keep them shut up, too, but they nag . . . they vibrate across my mind and whisper that I’m not enough.

If you have toddlers or preschool-aged children, I’m just ten minutes up the road. If you have tweens and teens, we’re walking hip to hip. I can give you a heads-up about some loose gravel you’ll likely encounter as we take each holy step along this dusty road of parenthood and grace-based discipline. If we get lost, we can whisper a frantic prayer together.

Then I became one. I came to realize that kids are born with a free will. Turns out, discipline is not as easy as simply telling kids no. Who would have thought?

We all know we need to discipline our kids. I mean, we hear it everywhere—from friends, the media, our parents, and parenting experts. But as we walk the daily road of discipline and try to make the right decisions for our kids, the actual process of discipline gets convoluted.

We just want the 140-character version of what we should do and what we should say when our kids’ behavior scrapes the enamel off our sanity.”[1]

[1] Excerpted: Karis Kimmel Murray, Grace Based Discipline, (Scottsdale: Family Matters Press, 2017), 2-5.

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To learn more about how to discipline with love and grace, order your copy of Grace Based Discipline here.

Karis Kimmel Murray is the author of Grace Based Discipline: How to Be at Your Best When Your Kids Are at Their Worst and the Creative Director of Family Matters®, a ministry who’s internationally hosted parenting and marriage events, radio and television broadcasts, articles, videos, website and best-selling books (written by Karis’ parents and Family Matters’ founders Dr. Tim and Darcy Kimmel,) Grace Based Parenting and Grace Filled Marriage, have been used by God to transform tens of thousands of families into instruments of His restoration and reformation.
Karis writes and speaks for Family Matters as a voice to the next generation of parents. Karis is co-host of The Family Matters Minute, a nationally syndicated one-minute radio segment heard by millions of listeners every weekday.
Karis lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband Mike, their two teenage daughters and a ragamuffin menagerie of pets.

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