In part one we looked at the foundations of disciplining children. Since discipline is designed to teach a child, there must be a teacher. This responsibility historically and legally is held by the parents. It comes from Christian-Judeo teaching that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Children are also taught to “hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother”.
In Old Testament times Jewish parents were commanded to take their unruly children to the tribal elders. The elders would check to see if the parents were training their children properly. If proper training was taking place and the child was rebelling to the point that they were out of control the elders were commanded to take the child outside the camp and to stone them to death. This practice was quite harsh and unfortunately some cultures still see killing children as a solution to disobedience. However, this illustrates how serious some cultures are about not tolerating rebellion.
Where does a parent begin? First, parents must have standards that are consistent and age appropriate. Second, parents must model the standards in a way that show they have integrity. A parent who does not model consistent standards of behavior or changes the standards causes confusion in their children. Eventually the parents are seen as hypocrites and the children seek out other role models. They stop seeing their parents as a family unit they want to be part of. This is one of the top reasons children join gangs or get caught up in pop culture fads that lead to destructive behaviors and habits.
A parent who thinks he or she can hide their hypocrisy from their children is seriously deceived. Ask any teacher and they will tell you unbelievable stories that they hear from their students about their parents. So, a parent has to walk the talk. If a parent is unable to do that, they must seek help not only for him or herself, but help in learning how to create a discipline plan that works for their child.
In part three we will look at the standards necessary to begin a discipline plan. If you have any questions you would like addressed or need more information about child discipline go to www.selahmountain.com or www.wisdom4today.org.