If you haven’t read part 1, click here.
The 2nd point I wanted to comment on from the video presentation was this:
Punishment and rewards are the biggest time-wasters and the least effective ways to get any child to really listen and respect you.
On the contrary, I think it is very dangerous not to let our kids experience the consequences of their actions because it is not like that in the real world.
Again, there are many new parenting methods that come out every year, and in the 14 years of parenting experience I’ve had, I still see that the old, time and tested ways of the Bible is what works the best.
Eph 6: 1-3 says “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
The Bible often talks about promises that accompany those who obey God’s commandments. God rewards His obedient children.
On the other hand, the Bible is clear too about the place of discipline and punishment whenever there is disobedience.
Heb 6: 6 says “because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Proverbs 13: 24 says “He who spares the rod hates his son but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
An important principle our kids should learn at an early age is that there are always consequences to our decisions and actions. That’s just how it is. Everything we do has a consequence. If my toddler keeps on insisting to touch the stove, I will swat his hand, rather than let his hand be burned. If he associates the swatting with the touching of the stove, he will eventually learn that he is not supposed to touch the stove. I would rather be the one to inflict the pain, than see his hand burned, which is far more painful than my swat. If I ask my teenager to clean his room, and he does it without hesitation, I might take him out for coffee or ice cream to reinforce his behavior. Punishment and rewards are great teachers. Not only for a child, but even for an adult. When we allow our kids to suffer or enjoy the consequences of their actions, it is not because we want to manipulate them to do what we want, but it is because we want to equip them to make the right decisions in the future.
Ultimately our goal is for our kids to honor God, obey Him and please Him in everything they do because they love Him. Not because they are afraid of God’s judgment or because they are just after God’s rewards. We also want them to obey us, their parents, out of their love for us, not out of fear or so we will give them what they want. Punishment and rewards, among other things, if used properly and with balance, can help us achieve this.
Hebrews 12: 11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”