Seven Rules for Training Your Children to Honor and Obey
Parents bear the responsibility to training their children to honor them and to obey them. The following are seven rules to remember when training your children to honor and obey you.
Be consistent. If you know you are not going to punish your children, then do not threaten your children. Children learn very little from threats but everything from consequences. The one thing children may learn from empty threats is the following terrible lesson: Mom and dad will not punish me. Without the fear of punishment, young children have less incentive to obey mom and dad. Be consistent with your children as you train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Don’t blame others for your child’s behavior. While it may be true your child learned disobedience from another child, whether or not your child continues in the behavior is completely and solely up to you. Far too many parents are quick to blame other children while excusing their own children’s behavior. Parents should never excuse disobedience on the part of their children. Defiance, disrespect, and disobedience must NEVER be excused or permitted. Parents must take responsibility for their own children’s behavior.
Don’t let your children be smarter than you. Think of everything your child learns within the first three years of life. With proper parental stimulation, interaction and teaching, your child will go from saying single words, mimicking what others say to forming sentence of their own making and design. Now, if children are smart enough to learn this quickly, they are smart enough to learn how to pull your strings and to know when you are blowing smoke with your threats of punishment.
Fathers, you are not the “friend” or the “buddy” of your children. Fathers, you bear the responsibility of training your children to honor and obey both you and their mother. Don’t say to yourself, “It’s no big deal. Kids will be kids.” That is simply a lie to help you feel better about not making your children mind. This is not to say fathers cannot play with their children and have great times together. However, in the end, children need to view their father as the authority figure within the house. If children do not have respect for the word and the authority of their father, then the father has failed in his responsibilities towards his children.
Mothers, you are not your children’s “friend” or “buddy.” You are your children’s mother, the one to whom God has given responsibility for nurturing and shaping your children. Just as you make certain to provide your child’s physical needs, you must also start early to provide for your child’s spiritual needs. Just as the father can have fun with the children, so can the mother. However, children must learn to respect the authority of their mother. If a mother does not discipline her children because she is afraid of being the “mean” parent, then she, too, will lose the respect and obedience of her children.
Disobedience should bring shame on the parent. When your children disobey you, especially in front other people, you, as the parent, should feel ashamed. Your job is to train your children to honor and obey. However, your failure to properly train your children will be manifested in their public disobedience. When most people see a child out of control, they begin to look for the parent responsible for the child. Such attention should be shameful to the responsible parent. How the responsible parent responds to the situation will tell the onlookers whether or not the parent is truly fulfilling their parental responsibilities.
Punishment must equal consequence which in turn discourages disobedience and encourages obedience. Punishment does two things at once. Punishment discourages future disobedience and encourages future obedience. However, punishment threatened but not followed through with is useless. Children will quickly learn whether or not mom or dad will follow through with the punishment. The children also know whether or not mom or dad will lighten the punishment once they “cool down.” If, as a parent, you say to your child, “If you do that one more time, then I will . . .” and you do not follow through with the threat, then your words will be useless and your child will see you as a liar. Discourage disobedience and encourage obedience by exercising your responsibility to punish your children when they disobey your law. As a police officer once told Ronda, parents need to punish their children. If parents fail to punish their children, then one day it will be the police department and the judicial system which will punish their children.
While there may be other rules to consider in training children to honor and obey their parents, these seven rules cover some of the basic and necessary areas of child rearing. Remember, in the end, your children will one day stand before the throne of God. Begin today helping to prepare your children for the day of judgment by training them to honor you and to obey you.