All parents want to be as good at parenting as they can and Christian parents are no exception. They aim to not only help their children grow into loving and kind young adults but also to teach their children about God and His place in their lives.
This is the basic difference with a Christian parent. As well as wanting all the things every parent wants for their child, a Christian parent wants to explain and impart the teachings of Jesus.
In following the teachings laid out in the bible, a Christian parent will establish the status of parental authority. While Jesus encouraged children to come to him and urged parents to let them do so, Jesus also stressed the need for children to love and honor their parents. A Christian parent in explaining the position and love of God to their child, will also explain how the parent is the person in authority in a Christian home and the child is expected to do as they are told.
So as a parent you are in authority but that carries certain responsibilities. First you must be clear in all your decisions regarding the behavior of your child. A child needs and wants direction. They appreciate knowing the boundaries but all these things must be clearly understood. Parents should study their tactics and ensure they are communicating in a way the child can easily understand and follow.
Then there must be consistency. The rules you make must be applied fairly and consistently. Certainly one child cannot be favored over another and all rules, if broken, must have the appropriate response. Making idle threats is a breakdown in the authority of the parent.
Don’t fall for the old trap of loud equals power. Raising your voice is as much a sign of the parent’s lack of control as of anything else. In fact, if you wish to exert your authority, using a lower volume and certainly using your eyes can be more effective in bringing order to chaos. Your body language is more important than the volume of your voice.
A child needs to understand reward and punishment. The child needs to know that by behaving a certain way they will be rewarded and by doing the opposite they will be punished. Discipline is not only fair it is vital. A child who disobeys without any consequences will never develop self-discipline. So Christian parents need to be firm, fair and, at times flexible.
Raising a child is a long-term project. Giving a child a second chance is not the end of the world and shows that them that love is as important as discipline. Be prepared to bend a little but do not allow your child to disobey without suffering the consequences.
Praise is often more valuable than chastisement. If your child does well or does the right thing, praise is a wonderful tool to boost self-confidence and strengthen the bond between parent and child.
Whatever the situation, the most important aspect in rising a child is the development of a loving and trusting relationship with their parents. By all means have rules and use techniques to benefit your child but always work towards the development of an on-going and loving relationship.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in:
Parenting Advice: Avoid these Most Common Parenting Mistakes