“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Never keep doing something that doesn’t work. As parents, we are faced with challenges as our kids reach new stages of growth and development. Each new period of a child’s life presents different questions about how to effectively guide him or her into becoming a mature and reasonable adult. Not only do developmental stages require that we change methods of guidance from time to time, but differences between children themselves also direct how we teach them.
With one of my children, I could explain things gently in a low voice and he would respond obediently. With the other child, explanations were never enough. I usually had to threaten—and sometimes deliver—a spanking.
Children’s temperaments determine how we deal with them. Be willing to change your methods if they don’t work. Try to adjust the rules, depending on a child’s character.
Take homework, for instance. If you tell your child to start his homework and he refuses, consider taking away all TV privileges until he obeys the first time you ask. If your 5-year-old won’t eat his food, consider limiting between-meal snacks. Remember, never make threats unless you intend to carry them out. You absolutely must do what you say you will do.
From time to time, it’s good to take a hard look at the way you are parenting each of your children. Evaluate yourself, and if some of your methods aren’t effective, change them. Then, try again. Be encouraged—you will find the best way to deal with each child. God will help.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.