We are currently right in the middle of a series on parenting at our Church and this topic is drawing a lot of attention and sparking many conversations with our congregation. It is a touchy subject. It seems like everywhere you turn there is a book, a CD, a DVD, a TV program, someone’s ideas, opinions or a new practice to help parents to raise their children. Yet amongst all of this advice, of parenting material, the younger generation today are known as some of the most self centred, self focused and out of control people to have ever walked the face of planet earth.
So what’s the problem?
A lot of today’s parenting practices aim to deal with the fruit and not the root.
What do I mean by this? The fruit is the behaviour, it is what you actually see, and the root is what is actually causing the behaviour.
If we cannot deal with the root cause..... we cannot deal with the fruit caused.
Dealing with.... and or trying to manage the fruit....just will not do!
I mean....look at a fruit tree.....to try and manage bad fruit, you have to check what is causing it....no use trying to “fix” the fruit.
It needs a more intense check as to why the fruit is not as good as it should be.....if you let it go altogether, you will eventually have to toss the fruit and chop the tree down.
The bible is incredible in so many ways and it also gives us parent’s insight into parenting our children .
If we look at Proverbs 3:11-12 and Hebrews 12:5-6 we can see that God disciplines us because He loves us, because we belong to Him.
The fact that God would discipline us shows, what He actually sees in us......
and that He wants the best for us.
It is the same for us as parents relating to our children. Sometimes the greatest love is shown through discipline. Proverbs 19:18 says discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives. A good working definition of discipline is, correction driven by love.
Discipline is not something you do to your child but something you do for your child.
One of the root causes of poor behaviour is a lack of discipline. Discipline has slowly but surely been removed from society and also from the family home.
The bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 (NLV) "Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it."
Note the use of the word SHOULD. It says the way he should go not the way he wants to, or thinks.... he should go.
As a parent it is our responsibility to set the way that our children should go and it is discipline that assists this process.
Discipline has been replaced by Negotiation. It will not work....why?
A child is not a small adult....a child just does not have the maturity to speak, think and reason as an adult (1 Cor 13:11).
If we replace discipline with negotiation we will end up with an outcome that is part adult and part child, part the way they should go and part the way they think they should go.
Negotiation is also known as reaching a compromise. If we replace discipline with negotiation we raise children who believe that there is always a compromise to be found. This will have a lasting effect on how they do life, relationships, employment and also the way that they relate to God and His church. They grow up compromising their beliefs.
Discipline has been replaced by Redirection.
Techniques like "redirecting the child" are used in childcare centres where they do not have the authority that a parent has.
These are not techniques to be used in the home by a parent, because you are the parent and you do have the authority.
I have heard a parent say that because their children go to school, they will learn discipline at school so they, the parents don’t have to do it....they could not be more wrong!
Redirecting a child from one poor behaviour to the next in place of discipline does nothing to teach the child that that kind of behaviour is unacceptable.
Galatians 5 verses 22 to 24 talk about the fruits of the Spirit and the last one that is mentioned is self control.
Replacing discipline with redirection does not teach the child self control behaviour and will lead to greater self control issues as they get older. We can clearly see the lack of self control in society these days.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Zig Ziglar.
He said, “A child who has not been disciplined with love by his little world will be disciplined without love by the great big world.”
thank you Scott...