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Doctrine of Rearing Children

July 26, 2011

THE DOCTRINE OF REARING CHILDREN
1 Kings 1:6   And his father [King David] had never crossed him [Adonijah]                      at any time by asking, “Why have you done so?”

INTRODUCTION
1.    Babies come in every shape, size and color.  Some are cuter than others and some have more personality than others, but they all have one thing in common:  all are born with a very active Old Sin Nature.
2.    No one has to teach them how to be arrogant or how to misbehave.  They all want to have things their way all the time and will do anything and everything they can to get what they want.  They want to run the show.
3.    Parents must realize this so that they can fulfill their jobs as parents.  What’s that job?  It is to teach their children to respect authority and to develop genuine humility.
4.    The importance of parents fulfilling this job cannot be overstated.  The fate of the child, the family, and the nation depends on how well parents do their job, I Sam. 2:12, 23-25, 3:13.
5.    It is amazing that a person can graduate from high school, college, and even graduate school without learning a thing about rearing children.  Parents can be quite intelligent and well-educated yet have no clue about the proper way to train their children.
6.    Arrogance is the enemy; Genuine humility is the goal that can only be reached through enforced humility.  Make no mistake about this, there is no other way to overcome arrogance and be genuinely humble.  What is genuine humility?  Self-control, self-discipline.  It is obeying rules and submitting to authority, not because you are forced into it, but because you want to do it. Parents are failures if their children have not acquired this humility by the time they leave the nest.
7.    What is enforced humility?   It is humility forced upon the child by measures taken by the parents to remove arrogance.  Notice that the word “force” is found in enforced humility.  This force should be used only when necessary and employed in love, never in anger.
8.    Some may think that force and love do not go together, but they do,  Prov. 13:24.
9.    The first thing parents need to do is to make rules for their children, what each child is to do and what they will not be allowed to do.  These rules must be communicated to the children so that they are clear.  Make sure they have no questions about them.  They must know where the boundaries are, what is permissible, and what is not.
11. Each parent may have his own ideas about what should be on the “rules list,” but it is imperative that a list be made.  Why?  Proverbs 22:6  – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.  How can training occur without information, rules, and boundaries?

REARING  CHILDREN

GOAL                   –           GENUINE HUMILITY
ACHIEVED BY    –        ENFORCED HUMILITY

METHODS

RULES AND BOUNDARIES
STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE
PRAISE AND ENCOURAGEMENT
CORRECTION AND DISCIPLINE
AFFECTION AND REASSURANCE

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RULES / BOUNDARIES suggestions:
WHAT THE CHILD IS TO DO:
1)    Always obey your parents!   Eph. 6:1 –  Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Col. 3:20  –  Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Children will always ask, “why?”   “Because I said so!”  The parents word is the Law!
2)    Show proper respect when speaking to adults by using honorifics like “Yes sir, ”Mr. Smith. . .”
“Yeah,” and “Nawh” are four letter words that should not be tolerated, ever.
5th Commandment:  Ex. 20:12,  Eph. 6:2-3  –  Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),  3 that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
3)    Always show proper manners
a.   Say “thank you”, “please”, and “please excuse me.”
b.      Use proper table manners, eating without smacking, talking without food in the mouth, sitting up straight.
c.      Be courteous.  Look people in the eye when you greet them, and give them a firm handshake.  Adults are drawn to children who are courteous, and they avoid children who are not.  Be thoughtful.  Always use the “Golden Rule,” Matt. 7:12.  Use unconditional love towards all people, no matter how they treat you.
d.      When you are wrong, admit it.  Don’t make excuses.  Apologize to those you have hurt or wronged.

WHAT THE CHILD IS NOT TO DO:
1)    Don’t talk back or sass (to talk impudently or disrespectfully).  Tone and volume must be respectful.
2)    Don’t roll the eyes  (non-verbal way of showing disrespect).
3)    Don’t interrupt others, especially when adults are talking.
4)    Don’t argue with adults or tell them that they are wrong about something.
5)    Don’t lie (children must learn the importance of earning trust by always telling the truth).
6)    Don’t cheat others or steal from them.
7)    Don’t use foul language  (children who curse are not cute).
8)    Don’t tattletale on someone  (this allows children to derive +H out of someone else’s -H).
9)    Don’t bully, push, hit, shove, spit or throw a fit to get your way.
10)    Don’t snoop, meddle with someone else’s property, or invade their privacy.
11)    Don’t whine, pout, sulk, or mope.
Deuteronomy 6:1-9

STRUCTURE /  ROUTINE
1)    Children need structure in their lives. They need a routine and a schedule to follow!
2)    The routine should be designed to develop a healthy work ethic and a sense of responsibility that will engender pride in a job well done. This means that every child should have chores to do.
3)    The routine should also include time for learning both secular and spiritual information.  Hands-on instruction as well as reading to children or along with them is important.  Strive to make learning enjoyable by being interested and excited about things you are teaching yourself.
4)    The routine must include scheduled fun time, like playing outside, a little time for video games or TV, games and sports where the whole family plays together, like dodge ball, playing board games, a baseball game, taking a nature hike… Every family should have at least one hour a week of play time together, teens included.
5)    Parents must be alert to update the routine, making needed changes as the child grows and matures.
PRAISE / ENCOURAGEMENT
1)    Children need loads of encouragement to stick to their routine.  They need to hear assuring words like, “You can do it!”  Praise for children is like air to the lungs; it is desperately needed.  “Great job!  Way to go!” is music to their ears.  Your confidence in them will help them develop their own self-esteem and confidence in themselves.
2)    Always be on the lookout for something to praise.  God is our example, Matt. 17:5.
3)    Acknowledge good behavior and the effort your child made to please you.
a.    Children may not do things perfectly, but it is their effort to please that is to be rewarded
b.    Their desire and effort to please needs to be noticed and commended.
c.    The goal is for your child to desire to please God and you more than he desires to please himself.
d.    The pain of disappointing you must be more powerful than the lure of succumbing to temptation and peer pressure.  Discipline is then achieved without the parents having to overtly enforce it.
e.      When this occurs, genuine humility becomes a reality.

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4)  Praise and rewards should only be given when deserved, otherwise they will become meaningless (trophies for all).
5)  Find out what they really want to do and what they would really like to have and use them in your arsenal of rewards.  Give incentives!  Incentives incite, move, and motivate proper action (candy, allowance).
6)  Take care not to overdo rewards. You are not paying or bribing them to be good  (“If I do it,  what will I get?”).
7)  A hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, clapping, or “WOW! What a sweet girl you are!” is usually all that is necessary.
8)  This will help to engender a sense of pride, self-worth, and a healthy self-esteem like nothing else will.

CORRECTION / DISCIPLINE
1)  Why discipline is necessary:
a.    God commands it, Prov. 3:11-12, 19:18, 23:13-14, 29:17, Heb. 12:6-10.
b.    What good are rules and boundaries if they are not enforced?
c.    Prov. 1:4-5;  Children are naive and need knowledge and discretion.
d.    Prov. 7:7;  They lack sense.
e.    Prov. 22:15;  Foolishness is bound up in their hearts.
f.    Prov. 29:15;  An untrained child becomes a source of humiliation and embarrassment
g.    Discipline brings an end to the child’s guilt.  Psa. 23:4   –  Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
2)  NEVER discipline in anger!
a.    Stay calm, keep your voice very calm, and don’t lose control.  You cannot teach your children to control themselves if you can’t control yourself.
b.    Never shout or scream. Remember, you are training your child, not taking revenge.
c.    Take time off to cool down if necessary before administering discipline.
3)  If discipline is to be effective, it MUST BE CONSISTENT!
a.    Never, never, never issue a command or a warning without carrying it through.
b.    Parents should expect instant obedience from their children.  Instant obedience will only be gained from the fruit of instant and consistent correction.  Don’t fall into the following traps:
Ø    Repeating commands to your children two, three, or four times before they finally give in and obey.
Ø    Repeating your child’s name over and over before taking disciplinary action.
Ø    Raising your voice in order to force their compliance with your commands.
Ø    Saying, “You better mind me by the time I count to three!”
c.    The child must know without a doubt that he will be disciplined when he breaks the rules. He must learn that it would be foolish for him to risk being disobedient.
d.    Don’t discipline your child for something today and let him get by with it tomorrow.  This will cause him to become frustrated and confused.
e.    Don’t get discouraged if your attempts at disciplining don’t seem to be working.  Don’t give up!  Our job as parents is to continue to do what God says and to leave the results to him,  Prov. 3:5.
f.    Both parents must be consistent and active in disciplining their children, and they must be in agreement.  A child should learn that if he gets a “No” from his mother, he better not try to get a “Yes” from his father.
g.    “Wait till your father gets home and then see what happens!”   Making Dad the only disciplinarian in the home undermines Mom‘s authority and makes Dad into a terrible monster.
h.    Discipline must be consistent regardless of whether the child is tired, ill, or bored.  “Oh, he’s just misbehaving because he’s had a long day and is tired.”  That is no excuse.
i.    Discipline must be carried out outside of the home also, in public, in social settings, at church (you may use my office).  Excuse yourself, then take the child somewhere private so that others will not be disturbed.
4) Make absolutely sure that the child is guilty before you discipline him.  Consider the mitigating circumstances.
5) Explain to him why he is being disciplined. Ask him if he understands why, and have him explain it to you.
6) For young children, get down on their eye-level, make them look at you while you speak to them, and change your tone to one that is slow, low, and intensely SERIOUS.
7) The purpose of discipline is to humble the child so that he will admit his wrongdoing.
8) The discipline must match the infraction. It should be creative: stand him in the corner, have him write, “I will not talk back to my mother” one hundred times, wash out his mouth with soap.  (One illustration is a picture that was on the internet of a black mom who made her son stand on the side of a street and hold up a sign that said, “Hi, I’m 13 yrs. old.  I STEAL.   I want to go to prison to be with my dad.”  She was sitting in a lawn chair nearby overseeing his punishment. )

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9)  CORPORAL PUNISHMENT     “TO SPANK OR NOT TO SPANK?”, THAT IS THE QUESTION.
First, a few facts:
Ø    Spanking and violence are not the same.  Def. VIOLENCE is exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse; intense, turbulent, or furious, often destructive action or force.

SPANKING                   VIOLENCE
The Act        A few swats to the bottom.    To punch, kick, strike, or choke
The Intent    Training, to correct bad behavior     To injure, hurt, abuse
The Attitude    Love and concern    Anger, malice, cruelty
The Effects    Behavioral correction    Emotional or physical injury

Ø    According to a recent Voter/Consumer Research poll commissioned by the Family Research Council, 76% of the more than 1,000 Americans surveyed said that spanking was an effective form of discipline in their homes when they were children.
Ø    When effective spanking is removed from a parent’s disciplinary repertoire and  the primary disciplinary measures have failed, he or she is left with nagging, begging, belittling, or yelling.
Ø    Spanking is supported by history, research, and a majority of primary care physicians.

a. What does the Bible say?  It often speaks of THE ROD:  The rod is the biblical symbol for authority and discipline that included disease, famine, military defeat, flood, earthquake, spanking, and execution.
b.  God and THE ROD:
Job 9:34   –  Let Him remove His rod from me, and let not dread of Him terrify me.
Psalm 89:32  –  Then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Hosea 6:1  –  Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
Lamentations 3:1 –  I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
Psalm 23:4  – . . . thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Heb.12:6 – For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
c. Spiritual authority and THE ROD:
1 Corinthians 4:21 –  What do you desire? Shall I  [Paul]  come to you with a rod or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
d. Civil authority and THE ROD:   Sometimes the rod is not symbolic but literal.
Proverbs 26:3  – A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.
2 Samuel 7:14  –  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men.
Psalm 89:32   –  I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;
Proverbs 10:13  –  On the lips of the discerning, wisdom is found, But a rod is for the back of him who lacks understanding.
Proverbs 14:3  –  A fool’s talk brings a rod to his back, but the lips of the wise protect them.
e. Parental authority and THE ROD:
Proverbs 22:15  –  Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13  –  Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you beat him with the rod, he will not die.
Proverbs 23:14  –  You shall beat him with the rod, And deliver his soul from Sheol.
Proverbs 13:24  –  He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
Proverbs 20:30  –  Stripes that wound scour away evil, And strokes reach the innermost parts.
Proverbs 29:15  –  The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.
10)  Spanking is not necessary for every act of disobedience, but certainly, it should be used when there is open defiance. For very compliant children, milder forms of correction will suffice and spanking may never be needed.  The discipline must match the infraction.  Discipline, especially spanking, would not be necessary for the following:
a.    Spilt milk                         c.  Exploring his/her sexuality          e.  Failure to make the team,
b.    Poor grades            d.  Making mistakes or errors               or win the trophy, etc.

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11)  Mechanics of spanking:  Proverbs 23:13  –  Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you beat him with the rod, he will not die.   BEAT, Heb. NAKAH  (hk’n”_)  Hiphil, to smite, strike, beat, scourge, clap, applaud, give a thrust.  English Def.: to strike or hit repeatedly in order to inflict pain.  It is not used here in the sense of beating up someone, thrashing, battering, abusing, or injuring them.  Nor would punching, kicking, biting, stabbing, or shooting apply.
a.  THE ROD:  SHEBET  (jb,ve)  rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, scepter;  notice that the hand is not to be the instrument of discipline.  The rod could be a switch, a ping-pong paddle, a ruler, a belt, a serving spoon, etc.  The target must always be the child’s bottom, never the face.  Slapping is not permissible  because it is usually done impulsively, done in anger, is insulting, and can easily injure the child.
b.  The idea is to inflict pain but not to injure.  Temporary redness or whelps are OK but not bruises. Children will cry and sometimes scream to make you think that you are killing them so that you will stop.  The time to stop is as soon as the child is humble.  Not too hard and not too easy.  Don’t overdo it or underdo it.
c.   It is best to train the child to bend over;  hence came the warning, “I’ll bend you over my knee!”  The child may need to be restrained if he tries to wiggle away, but he must understand that his discipline will be worse if he resists.
12)  Some parents say that they could never spank their children because they love them too much to hurt them.  These parents need to understand:
a.  Spanking is not an option;  it is a command,  Prov. 23:14  – You shall beat him with the rod.
b.  Parents who will not spank their children in reality hate them,  Proverbs 13:24  –  He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
c.  In most cases, if a parent is doing his job correctly, spanking will rarely, if ever, be required.
13)  How serious is God about instilling respect for authority in children?
Exodus 21:15  –  And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
Leviticus 20:9  –  If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21  –  If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them,  19 then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his home town.  20 “And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’  21 “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear of it and fear.
Proverbs 30:17  –  The eye that mocks a father, and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.
14)  A nation is in trouble when parents refuse to discipline their children.  Everyone suffers. Crime rates soar, streets become unsafe, the number of prisons increase, riots, looting, and insurrection become commonplace.

AFFECTION / REASSURANCE
1)  When the discipline is over, get on the child’s eye-level, make eye contact, make him acknowledge that he did wrong, and have him apologize to anyone he wronged or harmed.  Then dry his tears, give him a hug, and tell him that you love him.  Tell him how great he is for taking responsibility for his behavior and not excusing it.
2)  Children must realize that punishment is not retaliation or revenge.  They have to understand that their parents are not getting even with them but are training them.  Tell them that you didn’t want to discipline them but that you had no choice.  If you didn’t discipline them, then God would discipline you.
3)  When discipline is over, it’s over.  Tell them it’s over and then show them that it’s over by not harboring a grudge or a bad attitude against them. It’s time to move on and for the incident to become ancient history.
4)  Don’t allow your children to pout, sulk, or mope after their discipline.  If they see that you have put it behind you and are moving on, it will help them to do the same.  They will not be prone to mope and brood if you have told them that you still love them and that everything is fine now.
5)  Reassure them that they will never again be disciplined for what they did unless they try it again.

GENERAL ADVICE
1.    There are two aspects to the issue of TIME and ATTENTION given to children:
1)  Rearing children properly takes time.  So, spend time with your children;  you’ll never regret it.
a.    Don’t just set aside a segment of time to be with them and call it “quality time”.  Be part of their life, go to their baseball games, swimming meets, tennis matches, school plays, etc.
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b.    Take them fishing, hunting, shopping, hiking, and skiing with you.
c.    Know your child well enough to recognize when something is wrong, and then talk to him to find out what it is so you can help him deal with it by applying doctrine and using divine viewpoint.
2)    A couple once asked a pastor what the best way was to discipline a two year old?
The pastor said, “Pay more attention to your marriage than you do to your child.”
a.    Children must understand that the parents are the center of attention in the family, not the children.
b.    The parent must teach the child, “When I want your attention, you have no choice but to give it to me.  But when you want my attention, I have a choice whether to give it to you or not.”
c.    If the child truly needs the parent’s attention, he should receive it, but if he only wants attention, there is a distinct possibility that he will have to do without it.
d.    Translation: “I am the center of your attention.  You are NOT the center of mine.”
e.    If access to parental attention is unlimited, and if a child can demand his parents’ attention, then in the child’s view, there are no limits to what he can demand and receive.
f.    When the child calls for his mother, the mother is not required to come running, but when the mother calls the child, the child should drop everything he is doing and run to her.
g.    The child learns to be more independent and develops self-esteem when mommy and daddy are NOT at his beck and call.
2.    Parents should always know where their children are and what they are doing.  Remember when the nightly news program started with, “It’s 10:00 o’clock, where are your children?”  If you have to invade their privacy to find out what is going on, do it!
3.    Show your children that you love them, and tell them that you love them.
4.    Be ready to apologize to your children if you have wronged them in some way.
5.    Don’t be overprotective.  Let your children experience defeat and rejection but always comfort and encourage them.
6.    What about the disciplining of your children by someone other than you?  This can be a very sensitive and emotional issue.
1)   Grandparents
a.    Grandparents are notorious for spoiling their grandchildren and then turning them back over to the parents to deal with. They should know better, should learn what the rules are, and should enforce them.
b.    Grandchildren should show the same respect and obedience to their grandparents that they show to their parents.
2)    Friends
a.    If you leave your children in the care of a friend, it is best to discuss disciplinary procedures before you leave.  Ex. “If Johnny misbehaves, you have my permission to spank him.”
b.    If you are keeping someone else’s child and he misbehaves, you should inform the parents about what the child did and what disciplinary action you took.
c.   What do you do if your friends and their children visit you, their children misbehave in your home, and the parents do nothing to keep them from tearing up your property or mistreating your pets?   Tell your friends in a cordial tone that you do not allow children to do that in your home.  Be very specific.
3)    At school
a.    Most schools employ corporal punishment.  The state of Texas allows it although some schools send for the parents’ authorization to use the paddle on their children as a courtesy.
c.    Some schools give students the option of “swats” or detention.  Many times the students will take swats in order to get the punishment over with.
4)    At church
a.  Children at CBC are taught the importance of obeying the rules and behaving themselves.
b.  As soon as church is over, children are back under the supervision of their parents and the parents are to make sure that they demonstrate proper manners and decorum.
7.    Don’t be a hypocrite to your children, like telling them not to smoke because it is a nasty habit as you are buffing on a cigarette.
8.    When parents do their job of instilling genuine humility in their children, they have an easier time adjusting to all of life’s relationships and responsibilities.  People will like them, and more importantly, they will like themselves.
9.    Some parents are afraid that if they discipline their children, their children will not love them. The truth is that children  cannot love their parents unless they first respect them.  Respect comes before love and respect comes from enforcing humility.