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Posted about 1 year ago
Love and Discipline
Here are some key principles...
Let Love Guide You
Correction is necessary, but if it becomes the focus of every parent-child interaction, it will tax the relationship. Spend plenty of quality and quantity time together. Monitor your conversation with your child to ensure you don’t spend more time correcting, setting rules or dispensing advice than you spend in enjoyable, relaxed conversation. Enjoying the relationship and having fun together is critical to effectively shaping your child’s character. Remember, it’s the bond you have with your child, not the correction that truly promotes change.
Create an Environment for Moral Growth
Provide an environment where your kids can thrive spiritually, physically, and emotionally. For instance, if you often leave your teenagers unsupervised—a time when they are still developing their own convictions—you shouldn’t be surprised if they succumb to peer pressure
Establish Clear Rules and Limits
Kids need to understand what is and what is not acceptable before they can be expected to stay within those limits. When children are punished or corrected for something they didn’t even know was wrong, they get angry and discouraged.
The Reason behind Rules
Teach your child the reasons behind your rules. If you don’t explain “why,” your children won’t really learn anything and will quickly forget your rules. But if you teach them the biblical reasons behind those rules, they will carry with those values with them.
Defiance vs. Irresponsibility
Discern between intentional defiance and childish irresponsibility. Children should be disciplined only for willful defiance, not childhood irresponsibility or normal developmental accidents. There’s a difference between purposely breaking a rule and irresponsibly making an error that violates a rule. Pair your expectations and correction with the age and maturity of your child.
Avoid Making Impossible Demands
Be sure you’re establishing realistic rules and limits. Also, keep in mind that what is impossible for one child may be no big deal for another. Know your child’s personality and abilities so that you can set rules—and discipline—accordingly.
Teach virtues that strengthen and guide behavior. Effective discipline is more than just correcting your children when they’re wrong. It’s also being proactive and teaching important skills. When you teach your kids biblical virtues, they will learn to set their own limits and rules. The final test of true discipline is self-discipline.