Tag Archives: discipline

What Just Happened!!mp

Have you ever seen that “Friends” episode where Rachel decides that Monica is going to make all of the decisions for her life.  Because of some bad choices she was making in her life, Rachel decided that was a good idea.

Unfortunately in my line of business, I see this happening quite frequently with parents and children.   Some of the conversations go like this…”Johnny doesn’t want to go to Extended Care today but I need him to go because I have an important thing I have to do and I can’t bring him.  But he doesn’t want to go.  I don’t know what to do”.  Put on the brakes!!  Stop the presses!  What?!?  Here’s what I saw and heard.  An adult person needs to do something important and can’t bring her child with her but asks her child what he wants to do.   What does a child know about important meetings and adult needs.

Here’s another one I hear.  “Sally, don’t run.  It’s a parking lot, you might get run over.  Sally!  Sally!  You need to hold my hand.  Sally!  Sally!  If you don’t want to hold my hand then you can’t run.  Sally!  Sally!”  Put on the brakes!!  Stop the presses!  Here’s what I saw and heard.  An adult person reasoning with a child about their safety.  What does a child know about keeping themselves safe.?

Does this make sense in anyone’s world?  A child does not have the capability to make the right decisions for his/her life.  And a child certainly doesn’t have the capability to make the right decisions for an adult.  God fashioned children to rely on their parents for guidance and discipline.  Hebrews 12:5-11  This is the BEST scripture about discipline.  It says that as father/mothers we discipline our children because we love them, as God disciplines us because He loves us. Proverbs 3:11-12 says it too.  So does Dueteronomy 8:5.  I’m sure there are many more.  It’s in the Bible so many times because God wants us to get it right.  It directly correlates to how a child will grow up, be respectful of others and then will be able to pass on this legacy to his/her children.

Does that mean we never give children the right to choose.  Of course not!  We do it all the time here at the Preschool.  “What color would you like to paint your picture?”  “Do you want to play on the swings first or the monkey bars?”  “Would you rather sit in Mrs.T’s office or play on the playground with your friends?” “Which choice do you want to make?”

At home, the choice could be, “Billy, why don’t you pick where we eat tonight, Chuckie Cheese or Perkins”.  Well, we know how that would go, don’t we?  Or how about, “Tonight, Bobby, I’ll read 3 books before bedtime.  Which books do you want me to read?”  “Do you want to help unload the dishwasher or help fold the clothes.”  “Do you want green beans or broccoli with your meal?”  “Would you like to go to the park or go to the mall?”  “Sally, which dress do you want to wear to church?”  The sky is the limit on ways you can empower your child to make choices.  To help him/her make decisions about their life and take a turn making decisions for the family.  But NEVER decisions that usurp the authority of the adult.  This is a slippery slope and one you do not want to start sliding down.

I’ve raised 2 of my own children and one older teenager and had experience with almost 2000 children in my 20 years of working in childcare.  I know children!  I know what works and what doesn’t.  And when I can’t figure something out about children I go to experts to help me.  If you’re having problems, let me help!  I know together we can work out a solution.

Parents, don’t abdicate your authority to children.  Lead them, guide them, encourage them, discipline them.  This is your right and your duty.  God made it that and he said so in His Word and that’s enough for me!

To Spare or Not to Spare, is that a question?

I am trying to read the Bible everyday and today as I was reading Proverbs 13:24 I read, “Whoever spares the rod, hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”  I was sort of pondering on that this morning.  I went and looked in other translations and the majority of them said the same thing, if you don’t use the rod, then you hate your children.  Wow, those are strong words.

In our society people have read that verse to mean that you must spank your children,  the rod equals punishment.  So, as I was thinking about that I dug a little and found that in the Bible the rod was used by those who herded sheep.  Now, they didn’t hit the sheep over the heads with the rod, they used it to gently tap them to go where they wanted them to go,  They led them to the right places, the safe places.  If a sheep got out of the herd, the rod was used to lead it back to the safety of the herd, never to hit it.  Moses had a staff, or rod.  He used it to lead the Hebrews out of slavery.  He held it up high so that the Hebrews could see it and it would guide them as they were leaving Egypt, to go to a better place.

Spare the Rod

Spare the Rod (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both those examples don’t have anything to do with punishment but with discipline, something our society is woefully lacking.   I have seen so many children that have not been disciplined by parents and so these children are making unsafe decisions with their lives.  In an effort to be a friend to their children they are failing to lead them, to guide them, to keep them safe.

It’s sometimes the easy path to let a child go their own way, somehow thinking that we’ll just be friends and that will work or that they need to make their own decisions and that will help them.  But that is not what the Bible says.  It says, if you spare the rod of discipline then you hate your child.  It says that the one who disciplines their child loves that child.  They really are strong words but I think God has it right.  We would do well to listen to Him.

Have a great day and remember, don’t spare that rod!