Proverbs 13:24 ~ "A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them. "
I always shy away on talking about disciplining children because I don't want people to think that I think I'm perfect. Believe me, I've made plenty of mistakes in my lifetime. Nor do I think my children are perfect. They are not and they mess up as well. But I felt compelled to share today and I'm participating in Loving our Children Tuesday at my friend Kate's blog (click on the link above).
I'm often complimented on how nice my teens are. And I usually agree with the person who is complimenting them by saying, "Yes, they are very good kids!" I think sometimes people think they are that way because they are easy going or because somehow by being pastor's kids they must automatically be born good. That always makes me laugh!
I know that the reason my kids are well behaved is because Dan & I have truly tried to live out this verse in Proverbs. We have tried to teach our children from the time they were old enough to understand that when we said something, we meant it.
All children are born with their own little wills. And they learn very quickly to try and exercise that will to get EXACTLY what they want EXACTLY when they want it! You don't have to teach a toddler to throw a temper tantrum. They seem to instinctively know what to do! :-)
But, the key is in helping your precious one to realize that the world does not revolve around them and their wishes. Not everything is going to go their way. They can't always have what they want. They sometimes have to hear the word, "No." And that one little word can change your little cherub's face into a contorted, reddened mass of wrinkles very quickly!
With our children we consistently stuck with what we said would happen if they didn't do what we asked. We were fair and we laid down the ground rules ahead of time. We always explained why something was off limits or why they couldn't do something. But they were not allowed to throw a fit. They were not allowed to argue back about it. They were not allowed to stamp and slam doors. We taught first time obedience.
I honestly think I may have had to punish my children only a handful of times when they were younger for disobeying. But because I consistently kept my word and stood my ground, those times were very few and far apart. The wonderful thing now is that my kids are nice people to be around. They are respectful to adults. They are kind. They are generous. They are likeable.
When I hear children arguing back with their parents or huffing and puffing or stomping off and slamming doors it always makes me sad. The reason is that the poor parents are usually angry, frustrated, and embarrassed. Their lives are not peaceful. Their lack of discipline ends up making their own lives so much harder.
Love your child by teaching them to listen. Love them by showing them the value of discipline. Love them by allowing them to understand that the world does not revolve around them. That they are not the center of the universe. Love them by teaching them right from wrong.
Your child will be happy, you will be happy and those around you will be happy! You will have children that others want to be around.