Three formulas for Millenial parents who want obedient kids
From boomers to millennials—it isn’t easy to be parents today. Kids are smarter because of better technology. They also learn a lot by just letting them watch YouTube. As a result, they’re mostly impatient and overconfident.
All these undermine a parent’s authority, and three basic rules have helped me cope with early discipline.
1. House Rules – Ephesians 6:1
Any civilized society has rules. Without it, there’s anarchy. The same goes for every household. The reason parents are to “train” their children (Proverbs 22:6). The lesser the rules, the easier to remember.
- Leisure – I only allow leisure (games, outdoor, or TV) on weekends. It develops patience.
- Eating – We have a “no leftovers policy” at home. As a result, my kids eat vegetables because they got used to them. In addition, a clean plate teaches stewardship.
- Study – Weekdays are exclusively for studying. The “No Game No TV” rule during weekdays is critical. Keep in mind that all these should be done in love, not control.
These should be done in love, not control.
“The unspoken rule”
Daily prayer and devotion (Quiet Time) is an “unspoken” rule in our home. Some parents use this to indoctrinate religion; it shouldn’t be. What we want is for them to develop the habit of talking to God and reading His words. I often quote Joshua 1:8 to inspire them.
→ Why I regret allowing my kids to own gadgets.
2. Teach Consequences Now – Hebrews 12:11
Responsibility is taught when we experience the consequences of a bad decision. For each wrong action my kids did, they ‘faced the wall’ for it, and in a few instances ‘spanked in the butt’ as corporal punishment.
Likewise, children should also experience positive consequences for every good action. My kids knew having “high grades” in school meant simple rewards, NOT expensive gifts.
Words of affirmation and kind gestures are very important. It’s the little things they often remember, and positive words shape their confidence.
→ Bible verses that children should know by heart
3. Use 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!
Conversations, not sermons
Too many words doesn’t work, kids might even resent you, especially teenagers. A son or daughter at this age can think better because of their brain’s synaptic pruning.
Ultimately, there are only two things that are most important: Teach them God’s words and to pray for them constantly. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
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“