Think a minute . . . Yesterday we learned from the boiling frog that it is easy to become so accustomed and comfortable with our emotionally and spiritually unhealthy parenting habits that we do not see the dangerous direction we are leading our kids. Before it is too late, we need to start changing the negative, hurtful ways we may be raising and teaching them. First, we learned not to use anger, yelling and nagging to train our children. It does not truly work, nor does it make a happy family.
Second, we parents must earn our child’s respect. It is easy to get your child to fear you, but it will take your time and love to earn their true respect. This is greatly important, because your child’s respect for your authority is going to determine his respect for all other kinds of authority: his school teachers, bosses, laws and government, along with everyone else he will live and work with. If you want your children to accept your authority and values when they are teenagers, you must first earn their respect by your daily good example during their younger years. As an expert family counselor says: “Rules without relationship bring rebellion.”
We parents can damage, even destroy, our children through overly strict, harsh and unloving punishment that hurts them emotionally through cruel, unkind words or even physical harm to our kids. A child should never be laughed at and his feelings not valued and cared about by his or her father and mother. A parent who regularly hurts and humiliates their child will eventually lose their child’s love and respect for them. The child will fear you enough to obey you when they are young, but later as a young adult they may deeply resent you for years, even their lifetime.
A third important principle is to show your love to your child after you have needed to discipline and punish him. Let him know that you will always accept him, even if you do not approve of his bad behavior and attitude. Remember, punishment is not something we do TO our child, but something we do FOR our child, so he can build real happiness and success from his good character we have helped him develop. That is how we communicate to our child: “I love you too much to let you think and behave wrongly.”Love should be the reason for everything we say and do with our child.
Today, won’t you ask Jesus to forgive you for your mistakes as a parent? Then ask Him to help you love and teach your children the way they need and are designed for. Just think a minute . . .
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