Kids Out of Control

Have you ever been around children who were out of control?  And did you notice they acted even worse when the parents were around? 

Believe it or not, children not only need boundaries, but they actually respect them.  David said it well in Psalm 51:5, “In sin did my mother conceive me…”  Those cute little bundles of joy soon grow into older children who need to be trained and guided.  We see the sin nature begin to manifest early on!  Children must be taught to understand and obey righteous and reasonable boundaries from a very young age.  If parents don’t establish proper boundaries, the children will establish their own, and the end results will produce out-of-control children.

Forget about those humanistic teachers who say that boundaries destroy the child’s potential and creative flow.  If you let your child talk back to you and disrespect you at three years of age, you may very well be visiting him or her in jail at 23!  Once you give boundaries to a child and enforce the consequences of breaking those boundaries, carry through with your “promise.”  Don’t say, “I’m going to only tell you one more time” (for the fifth time!).  Children need consistency!  Also parents, never allow your children to pit you against one another.  After you come to a mutual decision, support one another.  Your child will soon learn that he cannot manipulate you.

God gives us children and trusts us to help shape their character and behavior and most important, lead them to the Savior.  We do this through instruction, lots of love and godly discipline.  We must be careful not to break their spirit, but we must break their will.  Remember too, there’s a difference between disciplining and shaming a child.  Don’t say, “You’re no good.”  Instead say, “Your behavior is not acceptable.”  Obedience is learned, and some obedience is learned through suffering.  It worked that way with Jesus.  “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

Remember, parents can’t wait until their children are 10-12 years old to begin this process. Training begins during infancy.  All four of my children were taught boundaries from the time they learned to crawl.  We never moved our household trinkets up higher to avoid breakage. The children received a smack on their hands if they touched them.  If I said, “No, no,” that’s what I meant, and when they defied the order, they paid the consequences.

Did we spank?  Yes we did!  Reasonably and on their back side!  Pain is a teacher!  Controlled and intentional spanking not driven by anger does not constitute abuse.  It is perhaps unwise to exercise spanking in public, so “minister” to your child in a private place!  Again, humanistic mindsets have many parents afraid to touch their children, so unfortunately many children are growing up without boundaries.  Many children today control their homes and sadly their school classrooms because of this unscriptural practice.  Sometimes I wonder, “Who’s the parent and who’s the child?”  Reasonable boundaries, an understanding of and love for authority, and the teaching of respect and godliness need to be re-introduced to our children.

Telling parents to “Shut up,” rolling of the eyes, temper-tantrums, the raising of voices, and blatant disobedience all constitute disrespect and eventually produce rebellious kids.  I’m not recommending abuse, of course, but I do recommend that parents start training their children during their formative years.  Don’t work to be their friend; be their parent first!

  

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