Christ Centered Character Training Day 3: Complaining!


It’s 5:30pm and we are laying dinner on the table.  My 8 year old comes over and takes one look before turning up his nose and declaring that he doesn’t like it.  Never mind we had it just two weeks ago and he ate well then.  Today, he doesn’t like it!

On the way home from a long day trip exploring some new and cool field trip destination I call to the back of my van… “What was your favorite things today?”  One child declares EVERYTHING!  Another starts listing off the things we happened to miss despite Mommy’s best efforts.  He pouts.

One Thursday morning, after two weeks dotted with nearly nonstop field trips, my six year old asks… “Where are we going today Mommy?”  I exuberantly declare that we are staying HOME for a change, after all we all need rest and down time (especially me).  I get a pout and a foot stomp that staying home is BORING!

All of these instances of complaining are amongst the worse in my book.  They are all about being discontent with the blessings my children have been afforded.  Few things irritate this Mommy more.  My personal knee jerk reaction is to REMOVE all related blessings and let the child feel what it is like to not be blessed at all!  Toss in a some good Mom lectures and we should be good to go, right?  Yeah maybe, but I’d rather shape my children’s character rather than just punish them.

Complaining is a great example of topic to explore during daily Bible study.  For about 2 weeks we spent about ten minutes each and every morning pouring over a related scripture, one per day.  We discussed nearly every word or phrase in each scripture.  I asked them what they thought God meant when he included those words in the Bible.  I brought up times in which they had complained and asked them if they were showing a thankful attitude.  We went over why God would even care about complaining.  We made strategies for teaching ourselves how to curb the complaining.

Philippians 2:14 has become something of a mantra…

14Do everything without grumbling or arguing,

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At the first sign of a complaint I simply had to say… is this grumbling or arguing?  That usually stopped everything right in it’s tracks.

Matthew 12:34 comes up often as well…

34You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I can say… “Is your heart feeling ungrateful because your mouth is showing me that it is.”  That statement can often make my children stop and think.  I usually see a near instant attitude adjustment.

Of course… a Mommy has to be careful.  My eight year old is quite savvy.  Just the other day I myself was complaining about having to deal with car maintenance issues.  He said to me… Mommy your complaining makes you sound like you aren’t grateful we have a car!

SLAM! Who’s the teacher here? My children or me!  Be forewarned, tackling issues of the heart with God’s word will grow your own character.  Your children will make sure of it!

Are you turning to the Bible more this week to help you shape your children’s character?  Tell me about it!

Many members of the TOS Review Crew are blogging about a variety of topics this week.  Please stop by their blogs.  They’ve chosen some fabulous topics to write about for you.
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart ~ Relaxed Homeschooling
Lisa @ A Rup Life ~ Our Favorite Books
Melissa @ Life Off the Paved Road ~ Fit From Home
Michelle @ Faith, Family, and Fridays ~ Clearing Out the Clutter
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Educational Apps
Jenni @ Conversaving ~ Homeschool Cooperatives
Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos ~ Celebrating Lent
Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling ~ Spring Schooling

April Blog Hop


  1. I think I need to be reminding my children more and more about Phil 2:14! I verse to hid in their hearts for sure!

  2. I have been dealing with constant negativity and complaining from my almost 8yo lately…must be the age! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh, I love this post! Copying it for reference and sharing! I have one of those glass half empty kids and this is an area we need a lot of work on. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I have one that likes to whine and complain frequently right now. Thanks for the inspiration to work at this the RIGHT way!

  5. I am sharing this post with my facebook friends. I have been so encouraged by your approach. Thinking I am putting the Child Training Bible on the top of my list.

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