The New Strong-Willed Child

The New Strong-Willed Child

by James Dobson


– Children can and will be defiant towards their parents, but we have to remember that this is nothing new since Adam and Eve did the same thing with God.

– If there are multiple children in the household, one is likely to be defiant and the other compliant. Why this works out this way no one knows, but it is usually the case.

– If the strong-willed child’s will is not brought under subjection as a child, he/she will only bring more trouble and later be subjected in a harsher way.

– To a degree, children see their parental authority as they will see God’s authority. They must learn to obey authority.

– Distinguish boundaries of what is permitted and not permitted for the child.

– The will (them wanting to get their own way) must be broken without breaking their spirit.

– The will must be guided, shaped and brought under the parental subjection.

– Be very careful with your words (comparing your children, saying they are dumb, fat, lazy, not smart, etc.) because a child’s will can be broken by a parents words.

– If you say something to your children that can hurt them, be quick to apologize and mend things.

– You do not need anger to control children, you do need strategic action.

– Discipline is important, but discipline in love is more important.

– Spanking should not be enforced on impulse or when a parent is out of control.

– Spanking should be used for the purpose of teaching in love, never in or for revenge or hatred.

– Spanking should always be done in private and not in public.

– Spanking should be followed up by an embrace and reassurance of the parent’s love.

– Spanking should happen after the warning was given and the child knows it is coming as a result of disobedience.

– Middle school time is one of the most difficult times for a young person. Parents need to be there for children at every stage in life, but especially this one.

– Love means freedom. A relationship where someone holds the loved one so close will, will end up in losing them. Our God could force us to serve him but he gives us freedom. So we as parents must allow our children freedom and not try to hold them so tight.

– Bathe our kids in prayer every day. We cannot raise our children alone.

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