We’ve talked about the concept of loving discipline during the past two weeks. To give you a practical summary of our ideas, here are the six basic steps to implementing good discipline at home.
First: Define the boundaries clearly and in advance. If you haven’t spelled them out, don’t try to enforce them! Second: Once a child understands what is expected, hold him accountable. This may lead to a contest of wills—be sure to win those confrontations when they occur. Third: Distinguish between willful defiance and childish irresponsibility. Forgetting, losing, and spilling things are not challenges to adult leadership. Fourth: Reassure and teach as soon as a time of confrontation is over. By all means, hold your child close and explain lovingly what has just occurred. Fifth: Avoid impossible demands. Be sure that your child is capable of delivering what you require. And sixth: Let love be your guide! You will make mistakes with your child, but a relationship characterized by affection and grounded in God’s love is certain to be healthy and successful.
These basic principles are taught throughout Scripture. They bear the wisdom of the Father Himself.
Before you say good night…
- Do you use these six steps with your kids?
- Which step is hardest for you? How can your spouse help you with that?
- Would you add anything to the steps above?
Father, we love our children so much. Strengthen our weaknesses, forgive us for our mistakes, and lead us as parents into healthy lifelong relationships with our kids. Amen.
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.