The millennial parent’s dilemma
Millennial parents face a daunting task because of technology’s pitfalls. Tech makes life easier because many things can be done much faster than it used to be, but it also produces kids that are more impatient coupled with ‘self-entitlement.’ Gadgets have also produced a new kind of drug, ‘digital cocaine.’ Knowledge on demand that makes kids think they know better than the parents undermines parental authority.
If children fail to submit to authority, discipline collapses. A civilized society is governed by rules, without it, there’s anarchy. The same goes to every household, there must be rules and a leader to govern a family.
1. Obey House Rules – Ephesians 6:1
Stick to simple basic rules and make them memorize it. You can divide house rules into 3 different categories – Study, Eating, and Leisure. For study time, I implemented “no game – no TV” rule during weekdays. For eating, no morsels on the plate. It not only teaches them to finish their vegetables but learn early on that wasting is not good. Leisure is only during weekends. It helped them look forward to something.
Avoid digital gadgets
I allowed them to own video game gadgets at an early age. As a result, they’d rather stay at home than play physical sports outside.
2. Teach Consequences Now – Hebrews 12:11
Being responsible can only be taught if we have experienced the consequence of every action. An adult who fails miserably in paying her credit card debt was not taught the value of saving money at an early age. It’s really simple, for each wrong actions my kids did, they either faced the wall for it, paid it with their allowance, or drop face down for the ultimate consequence which I called “paddle.”
→ To spank or not to spank, that is the question
They should also experience the consequences of every good action. My kids knew that having a good grade meant simple rewards. They get ice cream during weekdays for getting a good score. Words of affirmation and simple gestures that go with it are important. It’s the little things they often remember.
Avoid doing things in anger
I dealt heavily in some of the consequences and they felt I was way too harsh. If I can go back in time, I would likely pronounce the same sentence, but I will refuse to be angry while doing it.
3. Thinking words – Proverbs 22:6
For children, I would think that “words speak louder than action.” Constant use of certain words, better yet Bible verses, is a sure way for them to remember. Should the need for parental instruction arise, they will remember it even if you are no longer with them. The same thing with God’s word, if we constantly hear or read the Bible, the more likely we will obey them.
I have learned a lot from Dr. Charles Fay. In his book, Love and Logic, the importance of using the right words did work to help me discipline my kids.
→ Bible verses that children should know by heart
Avoid long sermons
My reminders began to sound like a broken record. Too many words of discipline are bad, especially if they are into puberty. Kids at this age can think and process better. If you are to emphasize a point, keep it short so as not to exasperate them.