- Preschool teacher calls home on several occasions concerned about your child’s behavior
- Extended family members tell you that you have a lot of patience with your kids
- A new church you visited calls you and tells you that they don’t have any room for your 2 year old
- A friend tells you
Well, I wish I could say I got the message above when it happened to me but to be honest, I really didn’t see it. We were brand new Christians when we moved to Georgia and finally found MHCC (formerly called The Church @ West Cobb) it was definitely a “God directed appointment.” After another church that we were visiting handed me my two year old and said they didn’t have any room left, (she was quite a handful!) I knew we needed to find a different church. And this church was offering a parenting class which was suggested that we look into it! It may have been offered just because of us, I’ll never know, but I’m eternally grateful for it.
A little history before I get started. When MHCC was launching a bunch of small groups they were encouraging everyone to plug into one of them and get connected. I really wanted to do a marriage bible study but my husband wanted to do a parenting bible study. We had a very “child focused” home and I thought our marriage could use some attention. However, I let my husband decide since I was so grateful we were doing something together! One of the first lessons we learned in good parenting was…..put your marriage first ☺ Isn’t God good! If you’re looking for more on marriage, check out the marriage blog!
Our parenting Bible Study was based on the book called, Love Them, Discipline Them by Betty N. Chase and of course, the Bible. In the very first week my husband and I had learned so much and realized that we had not been doing or known to do any of the suggested parenting tools that were based on biblical principles in the 10 years since we had become parents. I was devastated and with that, and I started to cry in front of everyone because I thought it was too late. I was quickly comforted by all the members of the small group and I distinctly remember one Dad telling me it’s never too late with God and that God will meet us where we are and He will help us. And that, He did indeed!
Consistent discipline is biblical, necessary and a gift to you and your children! The form of discipline may vary from child to child and age of the child, however don’t neglect God’s wisdom in the Proverbs. Proverbs 13:24 he who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 22:6 train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Here are some simple guidelines to help you stay in control and have the upper hand.
- Daddy & Mommy are always united (at least in front of the children) If one parent says “yes” and the other says “no” then you will have chaos. Always be united in front of the kids and discuss the differences later in private.
- Maintain a schedule/routine and stick with it! Children thrive with structure and a daily routine i.e. dinner, bath, bed (bedtime is very important, it requires a lot of follow through and hard work on the parents end, but it is necessary for good health and good behavior. Once a routine is established, it won’t be so difficult to follow and eventually they will automatically comply.
- There are 3 basic areas that require discipline –if the child’s behavior falls under this umbrella of behavior it must be addressed every time.
Don’t let any of these behaviors go undisciplined. The earlier you start with your children the easier it is for you as they get older. The more consistent you are with following through, the easier your life will be. It’s tiring and you will be tested, but persevere and don’t give up, because the prize awaits you and is worth it!