I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I saw a post by John Obidi on parenting. He said, “you think you’re okay the way you were trained by your parents, but the truth is if you check well, you’re not okay.” (paraphrased). Prior to him making this post, he shared the story of a boy and his mother at an airport, and how it was manifestly written on the boy’s face that he was embarrassed by his mother shouting at him in public. The moral of the story shared was to promote better parenting.
The way many in our generation were trained was adopted from how our parents were trained. In essence, it is a generational mode of training. The Bible was not silent on child training/discipline. In fact, it clearly stated “spare the rod and spoil the child, and foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” While many parents have used this as a strong reason for the way they discipline their child(ren), I believe they’ve erred in the context. I made a post about it here.
My focus for this post is my own generation who will become parents in a couple of years. Will you adopt the same way you were brought up in training your own children? I hope you don’t. You might not see anything wrong with how you were brought up, at least you’re okay. Wait, if you look within, deep down in your heart of hearts, are you really okay? Is your emotional tank not drained? Are you not broken in some areas? Aren’t there some negative traits (low self-esteem, violent tendencies etc) in you? Will you want to pass this down to your children? What was done to you in ignorance should not be done to your children now that you know better.What was done to you in ignorance should not be done to your children now that you know better. Click To Tweet
I was reading a Christian magazine some months back and they talked on Discipline: Break the Will, not the Child. The mode of discipline adopted by many parents (particularly in my clime) breaks the child, but seldom breaks the will, because in many cases, the child rebels and the will becomes stronger. And when they are able to make some decisions without parental influence, you see the will manifesting through a broken adult.
Some ways of breaking the negative cycle includes:
1) Be a role model to your child. What you don’t want your children to do, don’t do it. Children learn more by watching your steps. If you follow the do as I say but not as I do rule, you’re simply a hypocrite.
2) Use the rod. The rod here is not necessarily cane. The rod is used figuratively for discipline. Like I mentioned in the post I linked to earlier, the other rods available are: love, words, denial of privileges and the Bible. Enough of indiscriminate deafening slaps and reckless use of canes. Do all you can to DISCIPLINE the child, but make sure the child is not broken, but the will
3) Correct the child privately, not publicly. Public correction has a way of denting a child’s self-esteem. When I read through the comment section of the post I talked about earlier, I read many people’s experience of how public correction made them feel less of themselves. You may say it did not affect you. It sure did. It is psychological.
4) Give rewards as much as you give punishments. It’s terrible to always dish out criticisms and mete out punishments for wrongs done, without giving out appropriate commendations and rewards for the good thing a child does. Use the carrot and stick approach in disciplining your child.
5) In all, let love lead. It is love that makes a parent discipline the child when they err. Even our heavenly Father disciplines us when we err, but it is out of love. It is also love that makes parent put into consideration several factors before determining the kind of punishment or reward given for a wrong or good behaviour.
Jesus at the center makes the home godly and happy.
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