Thursday, July 30, 2009

4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 1]

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 8:31 PM
I have studied parenting for years, as a student and family counselor, long before becoming a parent myself. Then I became a parent myself and delved into parenting magazines and books. Throughout all of this research and learning, there are four themes that are necessary for effective parenting which have stood out and been repeated time and time again. They are: Love, Discipline, Consistency and Flexibility. It is keeping these characteristics in balance, along with a foundational relationship with God, which will help us be successful parents.

At first glance it may seem that these characteristics of parenting are somewhat contradictory. There are many beliefs about parenting in our world, and some of them believe that if you love your child you should not discipline him. Others promote strict discipline and warn parents not to be too affectionate with their children, lest they become spoiled. Reliable and well-respected research on parenting supports the theory that a balance between love and discipline is the most effective way to parent (Santrock, 1999.) Scripture actually tells us that if we love our children we will discipline them. Proverbs 3:12 states that, “… the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (NIV.) Just as God disciplines us to keep us focused on Him and His plan, He calls on us as parents to use discipline to keep our children on the right path. But even more than that, God’s Word says that “If you refuse to discipline your son, it proves you don’t love him; for if you love him you will be prompt to punish him.” (Proverbs 13:24, TLB.)

We don’t discipline out of obligation or because someone (or everyone) says we should. We discipline because we love. That also means that we are to discipline with love. Throughout the Bible there are numerous accounts of God disciplining His children. He tailors each act of discipline according to the infraction and child being chastised. The common factor, however, was that each correction was given in love. We are to follow the examples that God has given us through scripture. According to God’s Word, love is: patient, kind, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8.) This is the definition of the kind of love that we are to live out as we discipline our children. Discipline is applied with the best interest of the child in mind. It is meant to protect our children and guide them along the path that God has laid out for them.

1 comments on "4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 1]"

bluecottonmemory on July 30, 2009 at 8:55 PM said...

I have learned, through 5 sons and their peers, that discipline = love. The consistency of the discipline magnifies that love.

I've also seen children in the school system who cry out for that discipline by being so totally undisciplined. A lack of discipline = a lack of interest and engagement.

What a great post!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 1]

I have studied parenting for years, as a student and family counselor, long before becoming a parent myself. Then I became a parent myself and delved into parenting magazines and books. Throughout all of this research and learning, there are four themes that are necessary for effective parenting which have stood out and been repeated time and time again. They are: Love, Discipline, Consistency and Flexibility. It is keeping these characteristics in balance, along with a foundational relationship with God, which will help us be successful parents.

At first glance it may seem that these characteristics of parenting are somewhat contradictory. There are many beliefs about parenting in our world, and some of them believe that if you love your child you should not discipline him. Others promote strict discipline and warn parents not to be too affectionate with their children, lest they become spoiled. Reliable and well-respected research on parenting supports the theory that a balance between love and discipline is the most effective way to parent (Santrock, 1999.) Scripture actually tells us that if we love our children we will discipline them. Proverbs 3:12 states that, “… the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (NIV.) Just as God disciplines us to keep us focused on Him and His plan, He calls on us as parents to use discipline to keep our children on the right path. But even more than that, God’s Word says that “If you refuse to discipline your son, it proves you don’t love him; for if you love him you will be prompt to punish him.” (Proverbs 13:24, TLB.)

We don’t discipline out of obligation or because someone (or everyone) says we should. We discipline because we love. That also means that we are to discipline with love. Throughout the Bible there are numerous accounts of God disciplining His children. He tailors each act of discipline according to the infraction and child being chastised. The common factor, however, was that each correction was given in love. We are to follow the examples that God has given us through scripture. According to God’s Word, love is: patient, kind, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8.) This is the definition of the kind of love that we are to live out as we discipline our children. Discipline is applied with the best interest of the child in mind. It is meant to protect our children and guide them along the path that God has laid out for them.

1 comments:

bluecottonmemory said...

I have learned, through 5 sons and their peers, that discipline = love. The consistency of the discipline magnifies that love.

I've also seen children in the school system who cry out for that discipline by being so totally undisciplined. A lack of discipline = a lack of interest and engagement.

What a great post!

 

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