What the Bible says about training a child to be obedient
Millennial parents face a daunting task because of technology’s pitfalls. Tech makes life easier but it may cause kids to be more impatient and overconfident. Gadgets have also produced a new kind of drug, ‘digital cocaine.’ Having access to the internet makes kids think they know better. This may undermine a parent’s authority. These three basic rules have helped me cope with early discipline.
1. “LES” House Rules – Ephesians 6:1
The lesser the rules, the easier to remember. The objective is to train them into submitting to an authority. If you fail to teach them this, teenage years will be a nightmare. Any civilized society has rules. Without it, there’s anarchy. The same goes to every household; there must be rules and a leader to implement discipline. Parents are to “train” their child. (Proverbs 22:6)
You can divide house rules into three categories – LEISURE, EATING, and STUDY. The “no game no TV” rule during weekdays is critical. For eating, it’s the “no leftovers policy.” As a result, my kids eat vegetables because they got used to it. In addition, a clean plate teaches stewardship. Leisure should only be towards weekends, it develops patience. Weekdays are exclusively for studying. Keep in mind that all these should be done in love, not control.
These should be done in love, not control.
“The unspoken rule”
→ Why I regret allowing my kids to own gadgets.
2. Teach Consequences Now – Hebrews 12:11
Being responsible can only be taught if we have experienced the consequences of a wrong decision. An adult who is in a credit card debt likely did not learn the value of consequences for wrong decisions. For each wrong actions my kids did, they either faced the wall for it, had corporal punishment, or paid it with their allowance.
Likewise, children should also experience the consequences of every good action. My kids knew that having “high grades” in school meant simple rewards, NOT expensive gifts. Words of affirmation and kind gestures are equally important. It’s the little things they often remember.
→ Bible verses that children should know by heart
3. Thinking words – Proverbs 22:6
I have learned a lot from Dr. Charles Fay. In his book, Love and Logic, the importance of using “thinking words” is more effective than angry or negative words. For example, Dr. Fay teaches that instead of telling your child “stop shouting,” it is more effective to say, “I will be ready to listen when your voice is calm.” It took years for me to curb my temper, this formula helped me.
In addition, instead of using our own words to teach things, citing Bible verses are a succinct way for them to know right from wrong. Remember, God’s word is constant and alive!
→ Inside the mind of a teenager, according to science.
Avoid long sermons
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Examples of “Thinking Words“