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Making Children Mind without Losing Yours

Christian Parenting Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours - Kevin

Making Children Mind without Losing Yours

by Dr. Kevin Leman

  • Step up to the plate parents and do your job. It is not the communities or governments responsibility to be a parent, it is yours.
  • You will never be a perfect parent, but you can be a good parent.
  • For discipline to work, a child must first be loved.
  • Establish authority – God has given you as the parents the authority to raise the children. Kids need parents to be parents. If you do not establish your parental roll, no one else will – not the schools, not the government, not society, etc.
  • Hold your children accountable for their actions. There are consequences for actions, some positive and some negative. Do not bail kids out of every mess they get into. Teach them and show them that their actions matter.
  • Look for teachable moments when you can allow reality to teach lessons. You do not have to be scared of or run from reality, they could be lesson times. Your home should be a place where your kids can fail but still learn.
  • Teach more with actions than with words. Your kids can probably say what you’re thinking better than you can say it – “don’t make me say this again”, “don’t be late”, etc. – but quit repeating and start doing.
  • Stick to your guns, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot. When you say you’re going to do something, follow through.
  • Relationship comes before rules. Rules find their true value when there’s a relationship that backs it up. Rules without relationships will lead to rebellion. You cannot just have a list of rules and expect for everything to happen, you must be there for them and have a relationship with them.
  • Live by your values. Society is teaching our kids… and they are very bad example. Kids are watching, so live in the right way, live what you believe. When the attractive person of the opposite sex walks by you, what will your kids see you do? When someone cuts you off in traffic, what will your kids see you do?
  • When parents don’t step up: kids running around, cussing like sailors, misbehaving, stealing, throwing temper tantrum’s, etc. Where are their parents? The kids might be thinking the same thing.
  • Take the job of being a parent serious. Don’t leave it to the schools, neighbors, society or others.
  • Every rebellious act is a plea. Kids want to be treated like you are their parents, so do not ignore or neglect that.
  • Don’t let the experts raise your kids for you – you don’t want that and they really don’t know how to do it. It is not as difficult as they make it seem, just decide to take the job and become a parent.
  • The stronger that you are as a husband and wife, the better parent you will be.
  • Children that are given love without discipline are often disrespectful or too dependent.
  • If you want disaster and chaos in your life, do everything for your child. Give them a chance to stand on their own 2 feet, to learn responsibility and to learn accountability.
  • Home should be a place where children can try out and even fail in areas.
  • Authoritarian parents hinder their children because they do not let them make mistakes or think for themselves.
  • Permissive parents do their child a disservice by not teaching them or just caving into them. Love is not giving children everything they want.
  • Parents should give of themselves to their children instead of giving things. Your children do not need money, toys or things, they need you as a parent. Kids need of your time. Don’t worry so much about the quality of the time, give them all of the time that you can.
  • Be honest with your children as soon as possible. Some parents don’t think that children need to hear the truth, but they do, they’re not too young to hear the truth.
  • When you give children the truth, they will respect it because you’re giving insight to your life and they see that you are not perfect.
  • Be careful with reward giving. If children only do things because you pay them or because you are going to give them something, then you are hurting them in the long run.
  • Love based on performance is conditional love. We do not love our children because of what they can do or should do.
  • Our children need to know that they are loved regardless of how they perform. We must love without any if’s, and’s or but’s.
  • There’s a difference between punishment and discipline – discipline is based on love and punishment is based on bad performance.
  • The perfect example of discipline is our Lord Jesus. He never hit his disciples over the head or screamed or yelled at them.
  • We misuse the Proverb that teaches about the rod. The rod is what the shepherd used to guide his sheep, not beat them over the head. Psalm 23 teaches us that his rod and staff lead and guide us, not beat us.
  • Training up a child takes time. We train up our children more by our actions than our words.
  • Teach responsibility. Chores, allowance, etc. It should be understood that allowance is not only for a chore, that’s still their responsibility. An allowance should provide a lesson on how to spend and save money (giving to God, saving and spending).
  • The training ground should be the home. Teach responsibility and accountability. Children should learn at home so they are prepared for later in life.
  • Pull out the rug. Sometimes it is important for the parents to make a decision and show where authority lies. Pulling out the rug on plans doesn’t sound very nice, but it might be just what children need to know, that mom and dad are still in charge.
  • There are right and wrong ways to spank a child; the key is to be in charge of your own emotions. Spanking must be done in love. There should be a follow up time, things said and done after the child receives a spanking. Both the parent and the child can learn from the situation. Let the child know that you love him or her. The key to spanking is doing it with love.
  • See your children as a gift from God, not as a tax break, slaves or burden.
  • When talking or with your children, make sure to look them in the eyes.
  • Physical contact to show love is important for a child – Putting your hand on the shoulder, sitting close together, a hug, etc. all speak love to a child.
  • Respond to your children – get down on their level, take time and respond to them. Do not ignore them.
  • Spend time with your children. Pray, walk, play, shop and make memories with them. Games, picnic, zoo, park, etc. Use your time wisely and spend it with your children.
  • Spend time with your children now and they will listen to you later in life.
  • While spanking is one of the forms of discipline, it should not be the first.
  • Let a child learn to make choices by their self – maybe with clothes to wear or get rid of, etc. This will show that you respect them and intern they will respect you for it.
  • Don’t demand respect, earn it. You can demand respect, but that is temporary and not real. You cannot cook up respect in a microwave, it takes time. But start earning respect now and later your children will respect your opinions.
  • It is never easy to discipline your children and it takes courage, but it pays off.
  • Erroneous ideas that a “super Parent” thinks he has:
    • I am in charge – no, our children belong to Lord and He has loaned them to us.
    • I am the judge and jury – the only judge is God himself and He is the one who would judge one day. Parents are not infallible.
    • My children can’t fail – Yes our children can fail and they should fail in order to learn. If we have an attitude that they can never fail, they will perceive our love as performance-based love.
    • I am boss, and I say what goes – In reality God is the boss and we are only managers. The super parent idea thinks that we have everything under control. Some parents try to decide what job their child will have, where they will go to school, career they will have, and even who they will marry. This control will cause much heart ache.
  • Every family has problems and denying that will only make it worse. It is not so much if we have problems as much as it is how we handle those problems.
  • How do I teach my children about God and to use their lives for Him? Children must see our actions and not our mere words. Yes we are human and mess up, but that is no reason to be hypocritical.
  • Pray with our children – Children should not hear us thanking God for our perfection rather asking God to help us in our weakness. Be open before God and before children. Prayer time can be one of the most precious times of the day. Hold your children during prayer time, take time, open your heart and stay away from memorized prayers that have very little meaning.
  • Always keep short accounts. The child should be forgiven and the parent should talk to the children about the situation.
  • A parent should use their natural ally, which is natural consequences. They reap what they sow so let them learn lessons by natural consequences. The parents can use these times as teaching points. Teach that life doesn’t always give a 2nd chance.
  • Remorse is good but it is not enough. Children still need to suffer the consequences for what they’ve done. Remorse sometimes can be used as a manipulative tool by children. Remorse is good, but it is not enough.
  • Never force your children into submission. Remember that the shepherds rod was to guide him not beat him.
  • Consequence should be fit for the offense.
  • Let your kids know that they are good and loved, even though they do not always act like it or obey.
  • When you get married, there are actually six people getting married – you and your spouse along with her parents and your parents. Your spouse has been raised a certain way, has a set of thoughts about discipline, fun and family.
  • Talk to your children about their fears. Never make fun of them or belittle them. Share how you have been afraid at different times in life and help them through their fears.
  • Be careful with TV. There’s so many bad things on TV, but many times it is not what is portrayed on rather what is not portrayed on TV that makes it bad. Faithfulness, masculinity and other important characteristics are not portrayed on TV.
  • Limit the time your children watch TV. Make sure they finish homework, chores and whatever else before watching TV.
  • Know what they are watching on TV, Select the programs they can watch.
  • When on the road instead of letting children watch TV the entire time you can do other things: bring some games, take a recorder so they can record themselves, Color forms (plastic stickers that you can put on your window that are easily taken off), etc.
  • Should I get angry? The answer is yes. But get angry at the right things and respond correctly with your anger.
  • Comfort. If your children get bad grades or do something that you disapprove of, let them know what or how to do better, but that you still love him/her. Your love for them will never change. Physical touch can be very comforting for a child.


  • 8 Rules of Communication with your children:
    • Think before you speak
    • Stress the positive – make the positive things a second nature to your conversation.
    • When you have to deal with the negative, do it in a positive matter of fact way
    • Take time with your child – each week, each individual child. Is a lot but worth it.
    • You don’t always have to like what your child does, but always communicate that you love them.
    • When you feel you blow it with your children, ask their forgiveness – 1st you will get forgiveness from your children and 2nd you will model forgiveness for your children.
    • Keep in mind that results are not always the best in the long run.
    • Ask for God’s guidance daily, in your own life and your child’s
  • Love. Loving your children and expressing it is super important. To show them love: discipline them when needed, verbally express it daily and physical touch (hug, etc.)
  • Nagging. Teach your children that what you say the first time is important, you do not need to continue saying it until you get mad. Say it once and if not heeded to than the needed discipline will happen.
  • Children not only want to be a part of your family but they need to be a part of your family. Love them, enjoy them and discipline them – but remember that discipline is not something that you do rather the way that you live.

Jeffrey Bush

Jeff Bush became the General Director of Vision Baptist Mission in May 2012. Prior to this assignment the Bush family faithfully served the Lord for 8 years in Argentina, South America. During their time in Argentina, God blessed their efforts resulting in five churches, a radio ministry, and a Bible college to train those called to the ministry.

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