Articles for Parents
Have you ever been in a public place and seen a child doing whatever they please? You may have seen a child throwing tantrums to get their way, talking back to parents, disrespecting others, getting into places or things that are clearly dangerous, and so on. All the while the parents are standing idly by, not wanting to damage their child’s self-esteem and saying things like “Boys will be boys”, “That’s just a part of being a kid”, or simply ignoring the child altogether. Kids do need to be allowed to be kids, but how much freedom can a child handle? As Christian parents, we need to let our kids know how much we love them by disciplining them.
Discipline is a big part of discipleship. Our kids need to know the rules and the boundaries as we help them to follow Christ. Think of a football field for a moment. The field has yard lines, a goal line, and sidelines. These are in place to keep the players within the boundaries of the game. A player may make a spectacular one-handed off the helmet pirouette catch, but it doesn’t count because he landed out of bounds. Our children also need clear boundaries. Kids learn most of their sense of right and wrong and what is permissible from their parents. Kids will test and challenge boundaries often, so it is vital that parents stand strong and don’t give in to manipulation or guilt.
We also must adjust the boundaries when necessary. The rules in the NFL are different from Upward flag football. As players grow older and gain more experience, the rules need to be adjusted. As your children grow older and begin their own walk with the Lord, the boundaries and rules will also need to be adjusted. What worked very well when your child was 2 will likely not be effective at all when he or she is 10. Be flexible and allow the boundaries to grow with your kids.
Proverbs 22:15 says “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” Left to themselves, kids will do foolish things. Clearly God does not have a problem with spanking when appropriate, but there are many forms of discipline that can be effective. We must be consistent without being overbearing. I highly recommend that all parents read “Shepherding A Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp and take the discipleship class here at the Creek. In fact, it's not too late to join the class being offered currently on Sunday nights! Check our website at www.richlandcreek.com for more details.
Let your kids know you love them by disciplining them!