Children need to know exactly what you expect of them. How do you want your kids to respond when they’re disappointed, corrected, or given an instruction? Instead of saying, “Stop having a bad attitude!” tell your children how to have a good one. Children need practical ideas for handling temptation, dealing with annoying behaviors, and obeying. Parents are the primary source for teaching children to handle life.
It’s much easier to focus on behavior than it is to change the heart, but the heart is the source of lasting growth. You can’t force a change of heart but you can influence children to make heart-level adjustments. Ultimately, God is the one who changes hearts. That means prayer becomes a primary tool for any parent. And then, as you choose discipline strategies, look for ways to influence the heart.
God has given the scriptures to us filled with wisdom that applies to family life. Don’t just limit yourself to the passages that talk about roles and relationships in the family. Look at the entire Bible for practical solutions to relational issues and then apply them to your situation. The Bible talks about handling injustice, overcoming selfishness, appealing to authority when you disagree, obeying when you don’t feel like it, and the consequences of foolishness. God’s Word has strategies and answers for the issues that families face.
You are training your children for the future. The things your kids learn now about obedience, honor, sacrifice, working hard, and handling anger will carry them into adulthood. Many of the problems children face are similar to those that adults are challenged with. Look for adult solutions and then break them down to a child’s developmental stage. Then children can grow into adult solutions instead of growing out of childish ones.
All our resources embrace these four goals and you will find them to be exciting tools to support your family and other families you come in contact with.