- Be reliable and dependable. Your children want to know that you’ll follow through, keep your word and do what you say you will do.
- Be consistent. Just don’t be a hypocrite. Be the same – nothing will undermine a parent quicker than if their children see them as being phony.
- Establish Priorities in the family. Your children may complain, but they will respect your standards.
- Hold the line. Each generation has a tendency to be less strict than the one before them. The saying goes: “What you do in moderation your children will do in excess”.
- If you parent your child now you can be their friend later. Too many parents want to be their child’s buddy. If you raise them as a parent should while they are young, they will be great people to hang around with when they are older.
- Pick your battles wisely. There are some things you cannot make your child do. Make sure you choose wisely when taking a stand.
- Determine your child’s personality. Not all of your children will respond the same and not all of them will be motivated the same.
- Don’t make excuses. Don’t use labels, lack of finances, lack of opportunities or your own failings to be excuses for misbehavior.
- Be realistic. We don’t expect a three year old to behave the same as a ten year old.
- Know your Biblical role. What duties has God given us as parents and know that we will give an account to God for how we have raised our children.
My first rule of parenting – Be consistent in your communication. Say what you mean; mean what you say!
- You cannot exaggerate in your threats. Parents have a tendency to make outlandish sounding threats to their kids to get them to obey or pay attention. As your children become pre-teens and teenagers – they know you. They know what you will or won’t do. You cannot make a threat you have no intention of carrying out. If you tell them that they will lose their iPhone for a week – than it better be gone for 7 days if they disobey. If you tell them they are grounded for a month, then make them stay home for a month. Don’t cave because it is easier for you. You cannot lose this discipline method while they are a teen – it is really all you have.
2. If you tell them you are going to do something – do it! Don’t make excuses. Follow through on your promises. If you tell your son you’re going hunting next weekend – you better be dead if you don’t go. Your teens are now cynical. They have a lot of people letting them down – don’t be one of them.
3. Don’t yell. Yelling does no good. If you yell all the time, it will have no affect upon your teens. It is just how you communicate. Teens respond to authority figures that use few words but really mean what they say. Your home needs to be the peaceful oasis that the rest of the world is not. Don’t yell. Yelling is a cheap replacement for those that don’t have control.
- Pastor Wes Gunther
This article from Reason.com shares important information on how parents today are over-protecting their children. We are raising a “fragile” generation.
Parents today have relinquished control of their families. The children are making the decisions. Instead of telling our children what they are to do we ask them. For example “Jimmy, it is time to clean your room.” Too often today we hear “Jimmy, would you mind tidying up your room?” Big difference. Parents have given up the authority they have. Following is an article I have recommended many times. It is secular – but accurate. I hope this is helpful:
More and more in my ministry I am approached with questions from parents on how to handle or deal with their children. Raising our children is a tremendous God given responsibility and the Word of God has much to say on this topic. While this compact list will not cover the extent of parenting – these tend to be my top five “go-to” topics for parenting advice:
- You are the Parent – not your child’s friend. God holds the parents responsible for raising children that will glorify the Lord. Parents are handed the God-given task of teaching, correcting, disciplining, encouraging, nurturing and providing for their children – not the government, not the schools and not the church. Proverbs 22:6
- Follow through, follow through, follow through. More than any other one area I witness so many parents failing at is this – they do not follow through. They know what the children should do, then communicate that to their children, but they fall short of making sure it is done. I’ve seen parents tell their fourth grader for days on end to “clean up your room” – but the child doesn’t do it and there are no consequences for the action.
- Consequences – not exaggerations. Children need consequences for their actions but so often parents make outlandish exaggerations in the form of threats that they have no intention of carrying out. There needs to be direct, realistic consequences for wrong doing such as: “If you don’t clean up your room you will not be playing video games tonight”, or “since you failed to turn in your homework at school today you will not be getting ice cream after the game tonight”. Reasonable and carried out consequences. I have heard parents at church tell their child “if you don’t get in the car right now I will leave you here”. No they won’t and their child knows it.
- Don’t set a rule you cannot make them carry out. If you make a rule or a command of your child you better be able to carry it out. There will come a time when they are just too big to make them do certain things. If you have done your work when they are young – this won’t be a problem when they are older.
- Pick your battles wisely. Another thing I see all too often are parents correcting their child for frivolous things. Sometimes boys are boys and are going to get dirty or mess things up and sometimes girls are going to cry for no apparent reason. This is who they are. We need to correct behavior and attitudes not be correcting things that we find annoying or loud or just don’t understand.
I have shared this article with a number of people and with my Sunday school class. Very clear and direct points on the problems with current parenting techniques.