What is your typical reaction to the subject of discipline? Is it usually “Oh no, here we go again!”
Disciplining our children is one of the most challenging parts of being a parent. We have to be consistent, and we have to be firm. And it seems like it’s something we have to do nearly every single day!
Sometimes we get tired of hearing about it; other times we get tired of dealing with it. As a result, we can get harsh in our discipline. When you use loving discipline with your child it will help you stay calm, while remembering that discipline is an opportunity to train your kids — NOT an interruption to your plans.
We hear a great deal about discipline, but that’s because the Bible is full of discipline. (Check Proverbs out and you’ll see!).
How To Use Loving Discipline With Your Child
1. If you are going to teach and train your kids correctly, you have to work at it hard.
Discipline is defined in the dictionary as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” So true discipline, or training, is going to take work. Perhaps you feel like you already discipline your kids and it’s really no big deal. But, I’m not talking about sitting in the chair with your feet up, yelling “Junior, stop hitting your brother right now! Both of you quit fighting and be quiet! I’m trying to read!”
Nor am I talking about grabbing your child and smacking him in anger as you yell and carry on. That just doesn’t get the job done! It may work temporarily, but it will not produce lasting results. You must be consistent in your discipline and address the heart issue, rather than being frustrated and responding wrong.
2. When your kids are young and just learning, much of your time will be taken up with training and teaching correct behavior.
The harder your work on this the first 4 to 5 years, the easier the next 13 years will be. We wouldn’t need to spend NEAR as much time on discipline if we would spend more time on teaching and training in right behavior. The harder you work on this the first 4 to 5 years, the easier the next 13 years will be.
What you need to decide is whether you’re willing to make the sacrifice to do right.
Is it important enough to you?
Unfortunately, we say we believe the Bible, but often we don’t do what God says about training our children and bringing them up as we should.
3. Our kids need to know that we will be consistent in loving discipline.
What is the cost? Perhaps it’s just stopping whatever we’re doing to get up and correct our children, or maybe it’s cutting a phone call with a friend short because our kids aren’t obeying. (That’s when my kids ALWAYS acted the worst!) I guess overall it means giving up what I want to do to take care of disobedience or wrong attitudes and actions immediately. It means always being aware of what they’re doing, how they’re treating their siblings, what their attitudes are like, etc.
It takes being vigilant and aware.
When we see a wrong reaction or hear unkind words from them, what do we do? The normal response is to either ignore it, or give them a good scolding (which they often tune out!). When we ignore a wrong reaction or behavior, we are wasting an opportunity to train our child from God’s Word.
Yelling at him may help vent my frustration, but it doesn’t help train him. It simply just stops him till the next time. The reason for that is because I’ve done nothing to get to the heart issue. All discipline should be approached with the question of what heart issue needs to be dealt with here? Is it pride, selfishness, anger, etc?
4. The best tool is always the Word of God.
The next time your kids are speaking unkindly, rather than telling them to be quiet or sending them to their rooms, tell them to get their Bibles and come to the kitchen table. Explain to them that the Bible has an answer to all our problems, and since they’re having a problem with their tongue, it would be helpful to see what the Bible says about that.
Share some verses with them, and maybe have them choose a couple to write down. Give them a special notebook and next time there’s a problem in another area, put verses on a separate page for that. Pray with them asking God to help them with this problem, and have them memorize one of the verses.
It will amaze you how your kids respond to this! God’s Word is powerful, and does SO much more than our scoldings and rantings!
It definitely takes longer than yelling at them, but it’s worth the time. It also keeps your mind on God’s Word. I need that as a mom, and my kids need it too, so we all benefit. By the way, you can use the Word of God with your very little ones too. When they disobey, remind them that the Bibles says “Children obey your parents.”, or when they’re mean remind them that it says to be kind.
Rather than getting frustrated when our kids misbehave, let’s ask God to help us use those opportunities to teach our children God’s answers to their problems.
Decide that you will use loving discipline with your child, and take the time to train them in God’s Word, then stick with your commitment.
It’s not always convenient, but God will reward your efforts.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall NOT return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
When you use loving discipline with your child and Scripture as your tool, it will accomplish what it is supposed to!
If you struggle with anger in your parenting, grab this free download with tips on how to respond to your anger, and Scripture cards that you can print and post in prominent places to encourage you throughout the day.