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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Raising Godly Tomatoes

Have you checked out Elizabeth Krueger's Raising Godly Tomatoes site?

I discovered it shortly after our first daughter turned one years old during a time that I was desperate for some advice on discipline!

The Raising Godly Tomatoes site and book offers parents a biblical approach to discipline and dealing with issues of the heart with our children. Kruegar writes in a no-nonsense, practical tone that allows parents to easily grasp her point and suggestions.

Soon after discovering the site, I employed the very practical techniques that are outlined and saw results right away! I have gone back to refer to the site on various occasions and have directed others to it.

Below is a short excerpt from the site.

7 Quick Steps to Toddler Obedience

Okay, now that you’ve pondered some underlying principles, and prepared yourself somewhat for the task of parenting, here’s the stripped down, shortcut method for teaching toddler obedience. If you have a toddler who is old enough to understand you, and who is capable of following your instructions, you can and should teach him to obey. In almost every case, the following general steps are all it takes:

1. Watch your child and notice when he is doing something you disapprove of. Each time this happens, stop what you are doing and call him over to you. Make EYE CONTACT.

2. Tell him clearly what you expect him to do or not to do. SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.

3. WATCH to see that your instructions are carried out.

4. Correct him (with some immediate, negative consequence like a firm “No”, or a small swat on the bottom) upon the FIRST refusal to obey. MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.

5. Direct your child to repeat what you asked him to do, correctly this time.

6. Repeat all of the above as many times as it takes, until the child obeys with a good attitude - one of cooperativeness and willingness to obey. OUTLAST him. This is mandatory.

7. Keep your child with you and watch him diligently, correcting every future misbehavior of any kind, in similar fashion. Be CONSISTENT.

Now those are the bare bones basics. I'm going to tell you many more things to help you along the way, but if you keep your toddler with you and follow these few short steps each time there is a conflict, you’ll be well on your way to success in no time. Always remember to encourage and enjoy your child whenever he is responding well to you and living as a godly child should.

But above all, my brethren,...let your yes be yes, and your no, no... - James 5:12


  1. thanks for this site... ir eally need this right now!

    we've never had many problems w/ brycen listening until lately... guess it's to be expected a little since he is almost 5 now... but i really like this straight forward site.

  2. Great post, I wonder..... does this work with potty training also? I am now a follwer and will be back to visit often!

  3. After leaving the cult that Mrs. Krueger belongs to, I was confused, depressed, and suicidal. I believed that God was an angry God who despised me for not reaching His standards of perfection. I learned nothing about grace through this experience. Thank God, I discovered it after I left, and realized that God does not treat us like Joe LaQuiere and Mrs. Krueger do their children: punishing every crime and dealing out justice until we are perfect. Instead, He already provided the perfect righteousness that we can never achieve through Jesus, and gave us in one fell swoop, a perfect record and status with him, and complete forgiveness of all sins, past and future! He doesn't demand perfect performance from us to gain His acceptance. We are not "spanked" until we learn to obey Him instantly, with no questions, and with a false smile. Instead, He loves on us, extravagantly, and at great personal cost to Himself, in order to draw us to LOVE. LOVE is what calls us to CHOOSE to obey Him - not repeated punishment, or the fear that He will only "enjoy us" as long as we fulfill the letter of His law. THIS is how we need to treat our children: with the same mercy and grace that God showers on us. To follow Mrs. Krueger's method instead will give our children an outward layer of "goodness", on which they think their acceptance by God depends, while inwardly they remain full of sin and darkness, needing God's redeeming love and GRACE to flood in and wash them clean! Mrs. Krueger's book and methods create little Pharisees: looking pretty good on the outside, but with aching hearts inside, knowing the misery of never being "good enough". Thank God we don't HAVE to be "good enough" for Him: we already are, thanks to the sacrifice He made for us!

    Please PLEASE do not recommend this book to your readers: encourage them instead to try something like "Families where Grace is in Place", or "Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Children with the Love of Jesus" both EXCELLENT books!

    If you have any questions, or would like to ask me specifics about why Mrs. Krueger's methods are so damaging, please feel free to email me back! I'd love to talk with you :)

    Wishing you all the best,

    Sarah Dutko

    1. Sarah,

      Thank you for sharing your story and perspective. I was not raised in a family that used materials from the Krueger's, but I did find some of her suggestions very helpful. At the same time, I did not employ them with every child in the same way. And I totally agree that we, as parents need to show both firmness as well as lots of love and mercy- Jesus is both the lion and the lamb. Thank you again! -LaSandra


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