When you have small children, and you want to train them up in a way that pleases God, you’re going to need to remind yourself of some basic principles pretty often. I still remember going over these and going over them again to keep my bearings.
1. Pick your battles carefully and always win. I can remember talking with Doug about some little habit or behavior in the children that I was concerned about, and we would decide together whether it was really worth making an issue over it. Let’s say nail biting. If I say, “You may not do that,” I have to be willing to enforce it now. What happens if the nail gets bitten after I have issued a command? If nothing happens, then I have just undermined my own authority. We decided to let that kind of thing go, and teach on it without laying down any law. But if it was an issue of more importance, like hitting your sister, that was a battle I had to win.
2. Obedience must be in the little things and the big things. This goes back to being very careful about issuing commands. If I say, “Pick up your toys,” but the child wanders off and I forget about it, I have just taught the child that obedience doesn’t really matter. It is so easy for parents to fire off commands one after another and then ignore whether the children are obeying or not. Better to not issue any commands! If you don’t establish your authority clearly, you won’t have any.
3. Mothers can be tempted to go soft. You issued a command, the child disobeyed, and then you start making excuses for the child. When you told the child to do the thing, you did not take into account what you would do if he didn’t obey. And now you’re sorry you said it! Either quit Continue reading ‘A Mother’s Law’