The book of Proverbs calls parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go…” Well, how should children be trained? In today’s culture, training and discipline are almost frowned upon. In some cases, it’s even been called child abuse. In this episode, Dale and Veronica share the wisdom that’s been given to them about training young children. Together, they share five core principles that have helped them raise up fruitful, pleasant, and delightful toddlers.
Key Takeaways From This Episode
1. Training and Discipline are Good Things
- Training and disciplining are different; training is proactive and disciplining is reactive. It is necessary to use both in order to raise an obedient child.
- Discipline is love while sparing discipline is hate. Be aware though, that unbiblical discipline out of anger is also hate, so it is crucial that you show love through controlled, stern, and compassionate discipline.
2. Win Their Hearts, Not Just Their Obedience
- “All behavior is linked to attitudes of the heart. Therefore, discipline must address the attitudes of the heart.” ~Tedd Tripp, Shepherding a Child’s Heart
- This means that the behavior adjustment you’re looking for as a parent must always come first from a heart adjustment in your child.
- As parents, we are not simply looking to raise self-disciplined children who can force themselves to modify their behavior. We are looking to raise love-motivated children who can choose to change their heart because they want to do their parent’s will.
3. Break Their Will Without Breaking Their Spirit
- In Parenting, your aim is to help your child yield their will to you. This is the training ground for adulthood. If your children can’t listen to you when they’re young, how will they ever be able to listen to God when they’re grown?
- You’re aiming to challenge your child, not to defeat your child. You can exasperate a child easily, so be sure to offer them grace and mercy without being licentious.
4. The 90/10 Rule
- One of the best ways you protect against breaking a child’s spirit is the 90/10 rule; 90% affirmation 10% discipline.
- This means if you’re in a heavy season of discipline and training, you have to look for ways to affirm your child.
5. Consistency Beats Frequency
- Avoid bursts of training and discipline and instead be prepared to provide long, consistent waves over months and years.
- We also need to be consistent not just with how we discipline, but why we discipline. This means that we need to create a consistent standard so that our children know what to expect, so the day’s circumstances and our stress level do not influence and change the responses, standards, and consequences that come from us.
- It is important we are consistent as parents because we are representing the role of God in their life before they are old enough to spiritually experience the role of God themselves. God is consistent. If mom and dad are unpredictable, children will carry that into their presupposed view of God.
- The last form of consistency is follow-through. If a toddler learns that “stop” doesn’t actually mean “stop,” or that “don’t do that again” doesn’t actually mean “don’t do that again,” then you have actually trained them to not believe that you mean what you say. Instead, if you give an instruction, you must follow through. If they don’t do it, then you teach them that there are consequences for not listening, whether that’s a time-out, a privilege is taken away, or a spank (however your family has chosen to carry out consequences). Your children need to know that you mean what you say. The quickest way to earn a child’s trust is to set an expectation, communicate the consequence for not meeting the expectation, and following through the very first time they fail to listen.
- Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
- Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”
- Hebrews 12:6-8 “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
- Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Trip
After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.