Disobedience can have a variety of causes. At times, it is due to unreasonable parental expectations.The defiance and laziness of unbelieving parents I can understand. I have biblical categories of the behavior of the spiritually blind. But the neglect of Christian parents perplexes me. What is behind the failure to require and receive obedience? I’m not sure. As parents, the first step toward helping our child change his/her behavior is to know or determine the reasons behind his/her frustrations.
Why don’t we use reverse psychology? We can help them through positive reinforcement. Because I was so happy with what he did, I kissed him and said, “Very good. I love you son.” By doing this, he was also very happy that he’d like to impress me more by showing his grades aside from doing household chores and he’s only 10 years old. Imagine that? From there I realized that these positive efforts will always be more successful than punishment.The key is early identification and treatment. It’s funny how that works isn’t it? Allow me to enumerate the reasons behind our children’s disobedience.
1. We are giving them too many chances. Mean what you say and say what you mean. EXPECT obedience the first time. Yes, I know that counting gets them moving but you are missing the point. If you find that you really feel compelled to give some sort of reminder with a very young child, try saying something like “I need you to obey.” This will remind them that there is indeed a consequence coming if they cannot get off the “fence” about your command.
2. We give confusing, conflicting, or hypocritical commands. Make sure your words make sense and don’t contradict themselves. A silly one would be “close your mouth and eat.” I’ve been guilty of saying this one and we always laugh because it’s impossible to do that! We also want to avoid hypocritical commands.
3. We are not considering their developmental ability. Don’t forget to consider your child’s ability here.
4. We have no authority. As our children grow into the moral reasoning stage (approximately ages 6-12) we better come up with something better than “because I said so.” If they don’t throw that out in these years, they will certainly do so in the teen years. We have more authority than that and we should use it. Sit down with our kids and show them in the Bible where God commands parents to train their children and discipline them Don’t do this when they are in trouble. Do this as a teaching time when things are calm.
Not that I make excuses but requiring obedience takes energy, both physically and emotionally especially if you are a single parent. I know that parents who do not teach their children to obey prepare them for a life out of step with God’s word. Children nowadays are very clever. They can easily sense if we are about to explode.
Parenting seems exhausting when our children do not obey us. All we want for our kids is for them to be obedient and courteous. Sad to say that sometimes, the opposite happens. I really feel depressed because of guilt. I keep on blaming myself because of my kids’ inappropriate behaviors. However, blaming ourselves won’t solve anything because gracious parenting leads children from external compliance to joyful willingness.
This article is about how we can discipline our kids with love. We can use the Bible as our source for teaching our kids on how to be obedient.