I know I should parent with grace (a.k.a. “unmerited favor”). But I struggle with how to combine grace & discipline.

When a little guy smacks his brother upside the head, I don’t want to ignore it or explode over it. But I could use some help with alternative responses to be “my best when my kids are at their worst”.

This week’s guest, Karis Kimmel Murray, grew up in the original grace-based home. Her father, Dr. Tim Kimmel, literally wrote the book on grace-based parenting.** As a mom to two girls, Karis knows the challenges of showing both unmerited favor and appropriate boundaries. Particularly since one of her daughters has been diagnosed with ADHD. (I adore reading parenting books by moms who get it!).


In this episode Karis and I talk through some practical ways to approach misbehavior, like her “Basket Method” and “The 10 Year Rule”.

“Those behaviors come from your child but they don’t define your child. It’s not who they are it’s what they are doing right now.”

We also talk about discovering how each family member is wired, using their Kid’s Flag system. And being clear about the rules and expectations in your home. Not making household preferences on par with Biblical/moral law. Her analogy of being a calm “first responder” will stick with me.

Fortunately, Karis has written all these tips and concepts down in a very relatable and hilarious guide called, “Grace-Based Discipline”.

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What we chat about:

  • The 10-year rule
  • The theology of parenting
  • Legalism vs. License vs. Grace
  • Karis’ fun “mathematician” analogy
  • Handling discipline crises like first responders
  • The Basket Strategy
  • What does atonement have to do with discipline?
  • What country flag does each family member fly?
  • Clarifying family rules
  • Differentiating household rules from moral/Biblical rules
  • Karis’ daughter’s diagnosis of ADHD and how it impacted discipline
  • The level of offense and the “sushi menu” of consequences

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon Affiliate Link

How to listen to the podcast:

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to GodCenteredMom.com and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.