Friday, July 20, 2007

Child discipline is on my mind today for some reason.

I have seen many parents in fast foods and at parks who thought their small child's disobedience was normal or even cute. By the time the children are in their preschool years they aren't so cute, but the parents are bigger and act like they are long suffering martyrs and "anyway what can you do? this is the way children are."

I find this incredibly sad.

a child only behaves in the way they are taught to behave. If you give in to their whining, you have taught them that whining is the way to get what they want. If you ignore their disobedience you have taught them that obedience is unimportant. and the saddest thing of all, how a child responds to their parent is how they will respond to God as adults.
So look at your child. I mean really look at how they respond to you. would you want them to treat God that way? and more immediately, they won't grow out of any of these behaviors. what they are at two they will be more so at sixteen. Do you really want to deal with a teen that throws fits? It might be cute in a one year old, but a twenty year old????

God told children to obey their parents. parents are fallible, but God knew that when He gave the command. We parents are to teach them to obey us so they will obey God. If they don't obey us they are also disobeying God; they are sinning. It would make me tremble if my children behaved as some I see who throw fits and down right ignore their parents. What will God do to those children when they act that way to Him?
If your child behaves in an inappropriate way (whines, pitches a fit, ignores you, argues, does what you say but with a nasty attitude, grumbles, etc.) give them the opposite of what they want. Make it so uncomfortable for them to choose to behave badly that they will choose to behave correctly. and make no mistakes about it, obedience is a choice even in a small child.

For example, I saw a child throw herself on the floor kicking and screaming because she wanted more french fries. Her father just shrugged and said that is why they weren't having any more children. If I had been him (since this was in a private home and not out in public) I would have paddled her bottom (made her uncomfortable and got her attention) and taken away her hamburger. I would then have explained that the proper way to behave is to ask with a sweet spirit (she was four; more than old enough to understand). I would also watch carefully for any opportunity she gave me to praise politeness and good attitudes. It would only have taken two or three times to change that behavior.
Never, Never give a disobeying child what they want.

I do choose to spank because, when done with love and not in anger, it is the fastest most effective method of discipline. The event is over-with in a matter of minutes and life can go on, unlike corners, time outs and restrictions which make the child be the bad guy for an extended period of time. Spanking should never be done when the parent is angry. It should always be done solely for the child's benefit.

Just like God balances discipline with reward we should also. A hug or a thank you when a child is extra nice will go a long way. Just the "stick" approach will create rebellion. Just the "carrot" approach will create an entitlement attitude. You MUST have both.

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