Leaf blight. Rotting fruit. The bad example extends to every area of life. Any discipline you want your children to have you must exemplify it yourself. You can set a bad example in criticizing others, in carelessness with money, unthankfulness, unkindness, laziness, irresponsibility, and more. Be what you want your children to be and you will be providing the best training possible. This is a biggie. I have observed parents relating to their children in intermittent displeasure and seen the negative effect it is having.
When they ask my advice I have pointed out their destructive tendency to always criticize or show displeasure with their child. They are usually shocked and unbelieving. It is a vicious cycle. I have said it so many times. If you cannot train your children to do as they ought, it is far better to lower your standards and enjoy them as they are than to allow your looks of displeasure to become the norm. A kid may grow up to be undisciplined and self-willed, but there is no reason to add to it a feeling of being unloved and unable to please.
I am not suggesting that there is not a remedy that solves the bad behavior. I have spoken of it elsewhere, especially in my DVD, The Joy of Training , and the article, The Flavor of Joy found in the back of To Train Up A Child , so I will not go into detail here, but suffice to say, child training is causing the child to want to please you and be like you.
They will want to please you only when they find pleasure in your presence. You must become the vital source of their joy if they are going to give up their rebellion and choose to exercise self-discipline and self-denial. The next best way to destroy your children without trying is to fail to enforce boundaries. It is easy to do—to not enforce boundaries. Just love your kids and believe they will turn out OK as long as you do not create any self-loathing or feelings of rejection like we talked about above. Smile and believe in the innate goodness of their sweet little hearts, and trust that someday they will grow up and take responsibility for their actions.
It is easy to avoid enforcing boundaries because it is the path of least resistance. Let them do as they please—free expression, you know—and they will become your average normal reprobate. It is a do nothing job that has been left undone by millions of parents. If children all came into the world disciplined and wise and willing to deny their impulses for the greater good, we could just leave them to free expression, but every parent knows better. All children come to us innocent but fallen.
They are hedonistic, self-indulging hippies in their natural state.
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Left to themselves they will bring their mothers to shame Proverbs Adults are supposed to be mature enough to choose the virtuous path and do what they ought to do even if is contrary to their desires. Children do not see the need for self-denial or self-restraint. They feel desire and they do what feels good. So if a parent does nothing, their children will become quite schooled in the dark arts of self-indulgence.
Therefore, parents must constrain their children to right behavior. In time their moral understanding will develop and they will begin to choose good, even when it is contrary to their carnal desires. Character is formed, and as training continues his character grows stronger until he matures into an adult. Many parents have done a good job in training their young children, and have put them on a path of virtue, but in their early teens they are influenced by their peers and yield to temptation while knowing it is not the right path.
Even well trained children are flesh and are capable of falling into sin—just as is a moral, disciplined adult. Kids are not wise. They do yet understand the consequences of wrong choices. They need guidance and oversight until they are about twenty years old—sometimes a little older. About the time kids graduate from college they are wise enough to discern good from evil. If you disagree with that assessment, explain spring break at the beach, or fraternity initiations. It all starts very young.
You must choose the social circle for your children and guard it. The quickest way to throw your children away is to enroll them in daycare or preschool or first grade. You lose all control over their friends, and they will become part of the social pool, eventually reduced to the lowest common denominator. If your child shares a pool with kids where just one of them has crapped in the water, your kid is swimming in crap.
I cannot remember the good kids in my third grade, but there were a couple bad ones I will never forget. I can remember their foul words and deeds to this day. This is probably the hardest thing for a parent to do. It requires great effort and constant vigilance to sift your social circle. There are times your kids will not understand, and there are times that other parents are offended, but a mother hen should guard her chicks against the foxes and coyotes, regardless.
It may require an adjustment to your lifestyle to protect your kids. A chicken that has roosted under a chicken hawk nest needs to move even if it is inconvenient. If your church is full of public school kids, you will need to keep your children at your side all the time and not allow them to get personal with a child going to public school.
It becomes impossible to limit the social contact of a teenager in such an environment.
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Find a social circle that is righteous and productive where you have nothing to fear from 25 of the teenagers getting together to play soccer or go roller skating together. Remember, they will evolve from you providing their complete social circle to choosing for themselves.
You cannot control them past the age when they grow to be autonomous, so you must train them to wisely chose their friends. For the time will come when what you say has little bearing. Train them before they are ten and you can trust them when they are twenty. It is operating under the assumption that somehow everything will work out. You are best suited to the task of training your children when you work under the assumption that they are destined to ruin unless you get proactive and do some things much better than the average parent.
Responsible action is the duty of all people, and accountability is the inevitable result of being part of a society where the principle of cause and effect is well understood. Seek to advance the wealth of your neighbor. You should give your children responsibility according to their ability. A child who can walk should be held responsible to pick up his dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket, clean up spills, and place his toy and books back where they belong. This is the foundation of all future responsible actions.
As they get older, they should be responsible to do their share in domestic chores. They should be held responsible to keep up with their boots and shoes if they take them off outdoors. If a kid loses his shoes he should have to work to make the money to buy a used pair at the second hand store. Even a five-year-old can appreciate the value of responsible action when he has to pay the price for irresponsibility. If a teenager throws a ball through the window he should pay to have it repaired.
Accountability is what you demand and exact when they are caused to answer for the way they have handled their responsibility. If you fail to hold them accountable, they are in fact not responsible. It is much easier to do it ourselves, but the children must learn, and the burden falls on us to stay involved for their sakes. I have observed a beautiful principle. The children most accountable to act responsibly are the happiest and most secure in love and grounded in good will. You learn to love your neighbor one act of caring at a time.
This could have been a list of ten or fifteen ways parents destroy their children without trying, but these six are about all we can stand in one dose. I know there has been a movement to disbelieve the passage as the Holy Spirit inspired it, but the fact remains that when they are trained right they stay right without interruption until they are old.
I am an example of right training, as is my wife. My five children were trained in the way they should go and I now see all twenty of my grandchildren more on the way being trained that way. I will not lower the standard, and you should not lower your expectations because of the poor results others are experiencing. Those who fail should not deny the standard but humbly admit their failure to have trained properly.
They can analyze the reasons for their failure and have added wisdom to contribute to those parents who are still in the game training their kids. Humbly ask your wayward son where you went wrong. If you cannot let go of the anger and resentment toward him or you spouse, and you cannot humble yourself enough to listen to him instead of condemn, then truly there is no hope for the rest of your children.
I have seen families lose their first child to the world, but take it as a wakeup call, and revive their hearts and efforts, resulting in saving the other children from the same fate. Your Website URL : optional e. Views expressed in the Comments section are not necessarily the views of No Greater Joy Ministries, and are in no way endorsed by us.
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Keeping our kids out of the hands of depression, anger, porn, gluttony, gambling, alcohol, sexual impurity and the like is no easy task. Temptations lure them in every direction. It takes pure honesty so that the child can solve the problem of foolishness in his or her own self. Being raised in a public school was a challenge. Did my parents know better? Fools beget fools. When the process of understanding how noah fit all those animals on the ark is examined thoroughly and joyfully, our society will quit littering the minds of our youngsters with greed and unnecessary baggage and murdering to fill the minds and hearts of our society.
Our children were never spanked. The results was three wonderful, intelligent, and loving adults the youngest is I know of several families where children were spanked, and the result was complete and utter chaos.
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The answer is treating you children as responsible beings from as soon as the are capable of making their own decisions, no matter how small. Let them grow by learning and being as independent as they are able to be for their age. I was spanked, and I turned out fine. I know many people who were not spanked and they are some of the most spoiled rotten adult-children I have ever met, and they disrespect their parents and spouses in ways that I never would have dreamed talking to my own parents, or my wife. You should not break off a large rigid tree branch and beat and bruise your child to death, but it may be appropriate to swat him a few times with a bare hand and flick of the wrist.
If discipline is administered out of love Prv ; Heb , he will not die Prv Watch out for advocates of postmodern psychology who liberally reinterpret and replace biblical teachings with new age ideas like an alleged biblical prohibition on spanking. Is that why pregnant, unmarried girls were shipped off to maternity homes? Is that why every other wedding was a shotgun wedding?
Is that why some kids came to school with bruises from beatings? Is that why Valium became a household word? What about the Dads who came home home late almost every night, after first stopping off for a few drinks at the bar? What about the Moms who nursed their drinks all day long, hiding the bottles under the kitchen sink? I thought that paragraph was describing the TV programs of that era which were idealistic , as opposed to actual society at the time. You misunderstood the article. It did NOT say that 50 yrs ago there were none of those problems.
It specifically compares TV programs and movies!! Smiling many times a day at my children and not responding in constant displeasure has certainly changed our home life recently. I grew up with permissive parents who shamed and manipulated us into obeying. They are a great encouragement to keep it up. I enjoyed this article. I would love to see it re-written from the positive standpoint though — and it would be easy to while still explaining the destructive tendency of failures in these areas.
In fact some of these were such timely reminders for me that I took the six headings and re-wrote them positively to put them on a stickie note on my computer:. Make time for her. Be an example. Express pleasure in her frequently! Enforce boundaries. Be closely involved in her choices of friends. Give her responsibility and hold her accountable. I really enjoyed these hard truths. As I can appreciate the 6 ways parents destroy their children without knowing it as the title, because the negative examples allow for us to identify and relate easily with where we most definitely feel we have gone wrong.
I say this as if I raised adult children of my own but in fact I am the adult child reading this article to understand where my parents went wrong. My parents are certainly ones that I believe have failed in all 6 ways withOut a doubt. To mist people what they faced in marriage was very normal and all they needed was classes to learn how to get to a healthier loving relationship where they learned the godly way to be husband and wife. But both stopped seeking God, house was out of order. And so my sister and I suffered for it.
Always growing up with anger …almost exactly as the author in this article wrote in one of the beginning paragraphs. I pray against this generational curse in the name of Jesus Christ. I will not abandon my kids the way my parents have, I have already been dealing with self pity and regret because I feel like I am not meant to be a parent at my young age. I feel robbed of my freedom. But the Lord is making me stronger and wiser and I am seeking the Lord to help me correct all my wrongs and to help me learn and manage being a 26 year old single mother of 4 kids because I have no idea how to raise these kids.
I praise God for giving me this chance to be a good woman who is wise to build up her home, and not be like my mom who tore it down with her own hands. Please pray for me if you are reading this. Blessings to you all. These headings are perfect for positive reminders! You have to write the headings with that tone to make sense with the title, so they could not be rewritten. The title is very catching too and made me want to stop and read the article when I have very little time for that these days!
When I read people expound on that verse, I always think of a certain family. They did everything right. But they modeled everything you discussed in this article. They associated with other families who did the same. Families whose adult children are a credit to their parents. They homeschooled.
They spent time with their kids. They set a good example in every way. And their two daughters never rebelled. Their son is a different story. He rebelled. But not right away. At age 20 there was no inkling—at least, none that outsiders could see. He was taking college classes, but still living at home. His dream was to fly, and eventually he left home to go to a flight school in another state. Then I heard rumors that he was listening to worldly music. But then I saw him at a camp meeting and he seemed fine. It was not easy, apparently, to depart from the way he had been raised.
But at some point, he exercised his freewill and left God and family behind. He got a job as a model and tried to get onto the acting scene. He basically tried to get as far from his upbringing as possible. And now I sense that he is beginning the process of repentance. This family is part of a family-oriented ministry not unlike NGJ. They have a very public profile. I was friends with their daughters. And I knew their closest friends and ministry associates. The other three families that they were most closely associated with in ministry have all had no rebellion problems so far.
Their adult children are all examples of godly young adults. One family has teenagers, and they are the happiest teens you could ever want to meet, not a hint of rebellion anywhere in them. These are the people this young man associated with growing up. I honestly believe the parents did the right thing.
Yet he rebelled after he left home. I once saw a study that said the 1 reason why kids rebel is the attraction of the world. Adam and Eve chose to fall, even in the best environment possible. My point is, sometimes it happens. Sometimes parents do all the right things and the kids still rebel—not while they are at home, but later.
But the blessing is that their upbringing will shape them nonetheless and make it easier to repent later. I agree with this article for the most part. Not every public school child is bad, just like not every homeschooled or private schooled child is good. Thank you, Noelle! We are a God-fearing family of six and do not enjoy circumstances which allow me to homeschool. I was agreeing with so much until that point…then it gave me a horrible taste in my mouth. I am certain that there will always be children we should keep our own children from keeping company with, both in public school, AND in Christian schools and home schools.
What you stated there is wrong, and I am saddened to know this as it will turn a lot of people away from what is otherwise really good information. How sad and biased. What is wrong with Public School? Would that not be an great time for children to set an example and show others the love of God? So that maybe they can be an example of good, and all the right upbringing that they are receiving?
Or witness to a child who otherwise may not get the message of God?
I agree with you Sandy. My children are in public school and at school conferences their teachers always comment on what a joy they are to have in the classroom. What a true testimony to being raised in a Christian home these public school children can be to teachers, staff and other children. I was offended by the implication that somehow because my children are in public school that I would not know who their friends are.
I do happen to know who their friends are and some of their non-Christian friends have better manners and upbringing than do their other friends. Yes, my children do hang out with non-Christian children…and when they come over they see how our Christian family lives. Jesus dined with sinners…. Actually Christians are supposed to judge, but judge righteously and not hypocritically. We are to be set apart from the world and this does include home schooling if one has the ability to home school. Keep in mind, Jesus did not come to bring peace, but division.
Lots of churches also fail to teach repentance. Agree with Noelle. I want to homeschool, in fact we used to homeschool, but my husband wants them in public school. I loved this article and found it both convicting as well as encouraging. I grew up with fighting and divorce so I had bad examples. Thank you for the reminder of voicing displeasure often. You have made me more aware of my attitude and words and even facial expressions toward my son.
I know he longs for my approval and to see me pleased with his efforts. All my nieces and nephews have gone to public schools and sometimes at the park there are less than kind and friendly children. After all, but for His grace, we are ALL unlovely! Thank you so much for this article! I struggle with showing displeasure to my oldest 12yrs old. I have two children and I have started homeschooling this year. It has been a process of undoing all the outward influences mainly- in my daughter. She is incredibly bright and very intelligent. I find myself often saying something positive about her followed by a ,But… I can also reflect on my past as a pre-teen and see that I was lazy, stubborn and afraid to try.
My mother spent alot of time showing frustration with me and yelling. She has some of my old short comings. So now, I guess I feel that its my call of duty to push her since, I was never pushed. But, push her to try when she feels less confident. She has a melt down every time complete with tears and drama.
I lose my temper most of the time. I blew it again!! Now what God? Not all Christian parents can reasonably afford to send their children to private schools, and who is to say that all private school kids are more well-behaved? Same with private school kids in Australia where I now live.
My mother taught me to read at the age of three. By 6th grade, I had a 12th grade reading comprehension. And these were college level books- I only realized later. My mother taught me by example, that if you can read you can learn anything you want, and that was a great liberating thing. This was her desire to learn. She taught herself the Navajo language out of a book, just because she wanted to. When you train your kids that learning is fun, they will choose to do the right thing with their reading gift.
And they go step by step, and lay all the rules out plainly. It was such a good program I remembered it for many years, even today, and I am The old school teachers taught real phonics and dipthongs, and greek and latin roots. And the books they used had all these. For me it was just review and detail of the history of words, but I always loved words and always love to learn more. Hi there! My husband is a youth pastor and I have seen one bad apple spoil the bunch on more than one occasion, but that bad apple could be from a homeschool family, a private Christian school, or public school.
I have known many Christian school kids that were a horrible influence. I have known many public school kids that endeavored to stand out above the crowd for the cause of Christ. And vice versa. We are ALL sinners. We all have to make the conscious decision to follow Christ or our flesh. Circumstances that they probably have not chosen. Are these the kind of people that we want to be? Is this the next generation of the Church? Where is the love in this? Look on the heart, not on the school id. They are easily swayed by their peers.
There is huge difference between carefully guiding our children toward wise, godly friends made known by fruit in their lives and making sweeping judgements about people groups. Jesus was a great example for us regarding friendships. Luke 7 tells us that he was a friend of publicans and sinners. He loved them. He taught them. He ate with them. I understand the desire to protect our children. Really, I do. I have two little ones and will most definitely monitor their friendships.
But I will not teach them to exclude others because of where they attend school. Proverbs is not a book of promises, It is a book of precepts. Each person has a free will to choose how they will go. They are not automatons who must serve God because their parents trained them properly. This article is so sad. A faith that only works in sheltered sub-cultures of the christian world is bollocks. Perhaps so many children leave because they see parents walking in fear and legalism. Keep on drawing the reigns tighter and tighter, you will make your children despise Christianity and turn their backs on Jesus.
I have learned to look at the fruit when people write things like this. His grandchildren are headed in the same direction. There are a lot of reasons to keep kids out of public schools—enough that if everyone knew them, no one would send their kids to public schools. Honestly, when my children are young and impresionable, I am very concerned about influences. When they grow older and show maturity in their faith, they will have plenty of chances to interact with those who hold a different standard.
But in the formative years, I want to shelter them and give them the best opportunities I can to grow spiritually. And public school will work to undo everything I want to do. I agree with a few of these points. But, for the most part, I do not. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with public school… Especially a diverse one. Are all parents capable of homeschooling, or affording private school? For some people public school is the only option… As well as spending an extended time away providing for their children.
Why are they not informed on the different ideologies of life? They are not incapable of choice. To always be a helping hand, to love myself, to educate myself, to smile, and to treat people how I would want them to treat me. The question I have for you is…. Thank you so much for this post; such a help to me! As I read it, it reminded me of a book my parents used raising me, To Train Up a Child, so I checked who wrote this article — neat!!
And just for a testimony, my parents got a hold of this book when I was a toddler and they used it and reread for the past twenty years or so! We are independent baptists and were raised believing the KJV is the perfect Word of God and should be practiced. My 20 year old brother just got back from the Philippines on a 5 week missions trip, and came home with the wonderful news that God called him to preach!
This article, like many of your articles scares the living daylights out of me! My kids look up to, and are already emulating these snobs. So, despite my best efforts at respecting my husband, loving my children, living Christ before my children, am I fighting a losing battle against this strong current? Its easy as pie to someone who can relate back to a rich childhood toinstruct coming from that experience.
Try for a moment to imagine a childhood that , apart from a monthy visit to a grandarent seemed to be lived in a vacuum. No experiences. Truly, we enjoy reading our bible, missionary books, classic books that are full of morally good characters, working together in and around the home, nature walking, hymn singing, visiting the elderly, roughing around with Dad, but my sweet innocent kids seem enamoured by these neighbour kids and I feel like I can never compete no matter how hard I try! So, I try to get them to play here where I can be present but their cocky attitude really is dominant, even in front of an adult!
What practical ways can I combat this — please do respond. I discovered you guys at the beginning of getting saved and starting a family. We emigrated to the far corner of the earth from our home church and I have no one to ask these pertinent questions to. Please do take pity and provide practical advice on HOW! Thank you. Any cousins of theirs or yours nearby? If not find an organized group or even just a few other parents to meet with routinely who demonstrate the values you are hoping to pass on.
Community Education, 4H kids as young as Kindergarten , Girl Scouts, and of course any church groups. I am primarily responding to give you encouragement and to say that your words spoke to me too. In my case it is not the peer group that seems impossible to achieve, it is the idea that I should not use expressing my disapproval as a tool to train up my child. Establishing boundaries, holding her accountable and giving her gradually more responsibilities is NOT going well with my 6 year old. Any small reward given is lamented over with yelling and crying and uncooperative behavior once the allotted time, show, game, event is over.
Whatever it is she seems sadder and more distraught that the reward is over that I have considered doing away with them entirely. He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Isaiah , TLB. What are we going to do? How are we going to make it through this? He promises to give us strength. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. It takes a great deal of strength to raise godly children in a sinful world. Trusting in ourselves, we can grow weary and lose heart, especially when our child has disappointed us and broken our hearts.
But God has not called us to this awesome task in our own strength. He calls us to depend on Him because through His power, when we are weak, then we are strong. In Him we found the strength to face our circumstances. We found the strength to reach out to others with the truth. And we found the strength to love, forgive, and encourage our daughter, and point her to Christ. He promises to honor humility. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James Humility is one of the most important virtues that I gained through our difficult circumstances.
Initially, we were both angry, but I was full of pride. We were angry because we had equipped our daughter to make better choices, and her disobedience to God had resulted in consequences that would affect not only her life, but our entire family. What I was really dealing with was a pride problem. I was deeply concerned about what others might think or say, and about what might happen to our reputations, and hers.
But through the work of the Holy Spirit, I came to acknowledge that as Christians we are called to please God, not man, and to be humble. I learned that true humility allows others the opportunity to see God at work in our lives when we are facing a trial, which in turn frees them to be open and honest about their own circumstances. This type of humility allows the Christian community to function as God intended—loving one another, bearing with one another, forgiving one another, and helping one another; which is what I experienced once I humbled myself regarding our circumstances.
I was then blessed in ways that I will never forget. He promises to give us wisdom. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs We had to stop and ask ourselves some questions regarding the way we were relating to our daughter and handling her pregnancy. God promises to give us wisdom if we will just ask see James It was wisdom that helped us to move our family toward healing, wholeness, and reconciliation.
He promises to give us hope for a brighter future. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah But God never gives up on us. In Him there is always hope. Think about it. He thinks of each child constantly and loves him or her perfectly. God is working in the heart of your child right now. So never give up! Continue in prayer and trust God.
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He is working everything out for good Romans Knowing this, you can quietly and confidently rest in His arms and hope in Him. It has been almost seven years since we faced that difficult trial with our daughter. We exist to help you succeed in the three most important relationships in life. God, Spouse, Kids.
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