10 Habits to Develop for Correcting Your Children

10 Habits to Develop for Correcting Your Children



Every parent struggles with the right approach towards disciplining their children.  Since correcting our children is unpleasant, it is easier for us to simply ignore sinful behavior. Then when our children make us angry or embarrass us we have a tendency to lash out at them.  Both behaviors are harmful.
Frequently the biggest barriers to biblical parenting are the experiences we had as children.  We tend to do what was done to us. Our job becomes more complicated by the world’s approach to parenting. Many will tell you that disciplining your child is abuse and will report you to authorities.  They may be right.  If you allow your emotions to lead you rather than scripture, you may be guilty of child abuse.
What are some important things for parents to remember as we correct our children?  What are some tips to help us obey scripture, avoid child abuse, and lay a strong foundation in our child’s life?
Correcting your child is an important part of a discipleship lifestyle. Scripture has much to share about confronting and correcting sinful behavior.  Here are some Biblical patterns to develop when correcting your children:
1.       Begin with the right perspective. You discipline for your child’s protection and blessing.  Ephesians 6:2 repeats the commandment that children must obey and honor their father and mother because it comes with a promise.  That promise is “long life and that things will go well with them.”  Since you want only the very best for your children (a long and blessed life), you must correct and discipline them.  If you don’t discipline your children in essence you are shortening and cursing their life. Your correction also protects them from harm.  An example of this is disciplining your child for playing on a busy street.
2.       Develop your relationship first, and keep the relationship the main thing. Lay the foundation of your parental discipleship approach with praise, affection and expressions of love. Spend a lot of time with your child. Listen carefully to your children; give them your undivided attention. Let them know that what they have to say is important. Spend one-on-one time with each child.
3.       Approach correction like a sports coach. Like Jesus did with His disciples, good sports coaches constantly observe their players and make corrections. My daughter is a ballet dancer. When she is not being corrected, she feels like her teacher does not value her. Children who are loved know they are being corrected because their parents care for them. Teach your children what Bible says about correction; remind them that they are being disciplined because you love them.
4.       Discipline for sin, not for mistakes. Be sure that you have identified the sinful behavior of your child so that you can clearly point to scripture and discuss the sin. Never discipline your child for making a mistake, such as breaking a dish or spilling a drink.  That is not sin. That is an accident!  A child being annoying or embarrassing is not necessarily a sin; it might point to your own sin of neglect.  Instead, keep your eyes open for issues of the heart. Some examples might include selfishness (fighting over toys… you have two sinners), deceit, disobedience, covetousness, etc.
5.       Communicate your regret for having to discipline your child.Your child needs to understand that correction is an unpleasant task for you, that you take no pleasure in administering correction.  Help them understand that you must obey the Lord. He commands you to correct your child.  Always speak to your child in a kind manner during correction.
6.       Teach your child to self-diagnose the sin in their heart, with the help of the Holy Spirit. This is a very important aspect of discipline.  Since sin separates us from God, we need to quickly repent so that we can be restored.  The sooner your child learns to recognize their sins and repent the better.  When you correct your children, ask them what sin they have committed.  Teach them to ask the Holy Spirit to help them look into their hearts and know when they have sinned.
7.       Select the appropriate means of correction. Rebellion may require corporeal discipline for younger children.  But some children may only need to be rebuked or admonished.  Vary your approach.  Losing privileges can be effective for younger and older children.  Try to link the consequences to the sin.  For example not getting homework done might result in the loss of a game or extracurricular activity for a period of time, since that is a distraction to the child from doing his homework.
8.       Discipline your child promptly and privately, but only when you are completely calm. Never administer discipline when you are angry! If you are tempted to lash out at your child, wait until your anger has passed before you administer correction. However, ignoring your child’s sin is harmful to your child. Be consistent and prompt in dealing with your child’s sin. Lead them to repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Pray for your child. Finally, correct your child in private. You may choose to follow Matthew 18:15-17 for rebellious behavior, but keep it within the family.
9.       Confess your own sins, past and present. Help your children to see that you are a sinner just like them. Ask your children to forgive you when you sin or wrong them in some way.  Show your children that we all sin and are in need of the gospel (Romans 3:23).  Share testimonies of how the Lord gave you victory over specific sins.
10.   Restore your child and never mention the sin again. The 23rdPsalm tells us that Jesus the Shepherd “restores my soul.” Restoration is our goal with correction. Hug your children and tell them that you love them. At that point all is forgiven and forgotten.
As we examine the life of Jesus, there were many times when He corrected His disciples for wrong or sinful behavior.  Jesus showed us that correction is an important aspect of discipleship. We are told in James 12:6 that “the Father chastens those whom He loves.”  Fix your eyes upon Jesus and He will show you the way!
Article from Disciple Like Jesus