Category: Parenting Tools
As a parent, you may have doubts about your parenting skills and your effectiveness as a role model. You probably also have concerns whether your child will grow to be a conscientious and productive individual. How can you be firm when it is necessary, and still be tender and loving? How do you avoid overindulging your child, or know when they need an extra helping of attention?
Balancing discipline with love is a challenging task, but with consistency, calmness, and prayer you will find success!
Why do I get so frustrated?
As parents, we find ourselves bordering on panic and discouragement for different reasons, and during most stages of our child’s development. Panic leads to overreaction. We feel guilty when we lose our patience, and wonder how our child will ever develop into a successful and fulfilled adult. Often doubt can be avoided by using some preventative “medicine”.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help give you a realistic view of the situation:
1. Does my value of my child as a person depend upon their outward success?
2. Am I completely honest with myself and before my child?
3. Am I able to keep rules simple and flexible?
4. Do I avoid making promises I can’t or won’t keep?
5. Do I have tools for dealing with stress before it controls my reactions?
6. Am I aware that I do not have all the answers and am not threatened by it?
7. Do I say “no” too often, or do I say “yes” too often?
Steps to help my child avoid misbehavior.
1. Ensure that you are providing the appropriate amount of supervision for your child.
2. Ensure your own behavior reflects the type of behavior you desire your child to have.
3. Keep a general but flexible schedule for you and your child’s daily activities.
4. Provide activity options for your child that you can participate in with them.
5. Take time to teach and demonstrate activities for your child.
6. Encourage exploration of new and varied activities so your child will gain tools to reach their full potential.
Determining how and when to discipline:
1. Do I have unrealistic expectations?
2. Do I avoid “sermonizing”?
3. Do I give clear instructions?
4. Do I have too many rules?
5. Do I rely too heavily on punishment instead of redirection?
6. Do I allow my child opportunities to participate in simple choices? (“Do you want your bath before or after supper?”) This gives ownership in cooperation
7. Do I fail to give warnings or give too many warnings?
8. Do I discipline or punish while still angry?
9. Do I follow through consistently with discipline?
10. Do I overreact by the severity or duration of punishment? (Match the punishment to the offence).
11. Do I use discipline and punishment appropriately? (See the end of this article)
Loving my child more than perfection.
· I will show my child unconditional love without demands (as Christ loves me).
· I will pray daily for my child and with my child.
· I will praise my child more than I correct them.
· I will listen to and learn from my child.
· I will avoid belittling my child.
· I will consistently give positive reinforcement for my child’s successes.
· I truly forgive my child and leave the past in the past.
· I understand my child’s fears, hopes, strengths, and struggles.
Proverbs 22:6 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”
Prayer: “God, I know I sometimes have not been the Christian parent that I intend to be. I believe that you love me and forgive my sin. Help me to use your example to love and forgive my child.”
Many people are confused by, or even fearful of, the terms “Punishment” and “Discipline”.
In this pamphlet we define the terms as follows:
Punishment is a consequence for a misbehavior with the purpose of getting a child’s attention.
(Example: Taking away a privilege ,or giving a “time out” for a younger child, or grounding an older child).
Discipline is a redirection or a growth-producing activity to teach and produce good habits
(Example: Calling someone to give an apology, or using their allowance to replace a broken item).
Discipline can also be an on-going activity to create family harmony, cooperation, and to teach personal responsibility. (Example: Helping with a chore).