Thursday, August 2, 2012

Disciplining Your Child

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

The Bible makes it very clear that we should train our children and yes, the Bible is our guide book in doing that. I wrote a post about a year ago about Train, Teach, Correct. I talk about what we are suppose to train our children in, what to do in various child-raising situations, and what I do as a parent.

And yes, while the Bible is very specific and a great guide for parents, it doesn't get into individual personalities and how to discipline them. If you are a parent to multiple children, or if you've just been around a group of kids, you know that not one kid is the same as the other! Even if they have a similar personality, they won't be identical.

What's a parent to do?

Always parent in love and this includes discipline. Never discipline out of anger or frustration.

"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:26-27

This principle applies to everyone. Children, friends, spouses, enemies. The danger doesn't lie in being angry, the danger lies in the sin that comes from anger. Remember, your children don't need a parent who is going to yell, scream, and belittle them in the heat of the moment.

So, what's the best way to discipline different personalities?

Know your child: Spanking, not spanking, taking away privileges, manual labor, time-outs, grace-based parenting, the list goes on and on. Discipline is a big topic in child-rearing books, parents, and parenting websites, but here's the thing... They aren't all going to work, they aren't all going to be based on God's plan, and they aren't going to be for every family. Know your child and why they are acting up. Do they need extra attention? Do they need a little extra love? Are they tired? Sick? Stressed? Hear me out! There is no reason for a child to be disobedient, no matter how tired they are, but it changes the way we discipline. For instance, if your child is disobeying out of rebellion, you are going to discipline that exact rebellion. If your child is disobeying out of sleepiness, you are going to discipline in a way that helps teach them how to react in times of tiredness.

Hand out punishments: You are doing nobody any good by ignoring the facts. Don't spare the rod, because you will spoil the child.
"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth..." Hebrews 12:6
Even God disciplines us when we act up. One size punishments do not fit all, though. This will be a learning process, though! Of my four children, one way of punishing does not work. We need to be diligent

Don't expect perfection: Why? Because we're sinners, of course, and we are ALL going to make mistakes.

It isn't an overnight procedure, either! If you haven't been consistent in disciplining, don't expect instant results. It will take time to train your child through discipline to get them to the point to where they know what to expect!

Allow God to guide your every move as a parent, even during discipline. God extends His grace to us, yet still chastises us when we do wrong! How do you handle different personalities and prevent from "one size fits all" punishments?"

I've linked to: Your Thriving Family


bethany said...

Thanks for posting this. Allowing my oldest to pick from a choice of about three punishments works best for my oldest. Our daughter has to be given labor picking up sticks in the she has time to think about what she did. Spanking doesn't work for her as she views the crime worth the spanking. And my oldest at 14 is to old to spank.

The Barbers said...

Thank you for thoughts on this. I am a huge advocate for taking the time to train and prepare my kids for situations. Dish out the discipline, absolutely. I am encouraged to remember that anger in itself is not sin, it's how we work out our anger that can lead to sin. Also, Amen to not expecting perfection. Wow, it's so easy to do, yet so unrealistic. God certainly doesn't expect perfection from me, so why do I put that onto my own kids sometimes?! Consistency is key, because it gives our kids confidence to know what to expect from me as a parent, but I must somehow balance it with Grace, grace, grace!


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