Monday, March 22, 2010

Stop IT

Stop It!

"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." Hebrews 12:11(NIV)

In all my years of working with kids, it doesn't take me very long to determine which kids have no discipline and usually it's based on parents/grandparents who spoil or do not correct their children/grandchildren. Now there are situations where children don't have proper supervision or parents and they lack the love and support of a loving home, but in many cases, love and support are not the problems with kids, but it's parents/grandparents who can't say "NO", or who do not correct behaviors, enforce rules, or look the other way when kids are disrespectful, rude, obnoxious, throw temper tantrums, or misbehave.

Children do not have to be taught how to be bad, it is in their nature. What children do need to be taught is right from wrong, respect, apprecation, sharing, thankfulness, and they also need to learn the value of money, gifts, and generosity. Giving a kid everything is not showing them love, it teaching them to expect everything for nothing. Never telling a child "NO" is not showing them love, it is teaching them they will always get their way and if they don't, they manipulate, beg, pout, throw a fit, cause a scence, or use guilt to get what they want.

It is our job as parents, grandparents, teachers, and adults who have oversight or authority over children to show them true love and that is the type of love God shows and that is unconditional love and that includes a love that sometimes says "NO", sometimes disciplines, corrects, and follows through with correction and discipline. It is a love that they needs, that gives them direction, balance.

Spoiling is not love, it's selfish. It is selfish because we spoil a child for our own reasons. It may be to give them what we didn't have as a child, or to get them to show love back to us, or gain their loyalty, or even be the "favorite" parent or grandparent. Children are sometimes going to be mad at you, not like you, or even act out because they are disciplined, corrected, or told "NO" and guess what? They will survive, they will get over it, and they eventually will learn the concept and over time appreciate the consistency.

Most importantly, you are no longer crippling their attitude and behavior, but you are helping them grow and mature. They learn the value of things, and learn to appreciate gifts, and when they do hear "YES", and they also learn to respect your authority and love you because of "who you are" not because of what you give them or think you do for them.

Godly love for our children is a love that discplines, corrects, follows through with discpline and correction, and learns to say "NO" at times and help a kid develop, mature, grow, and have a realistic view of love, authority, respect, and life. Just think if God gave us everything we wanted or never told us "NO" or never corrected or disciplined us? Would we appreciate Him? Would we appreciate grace? Would we be healthy spiritually? Would we be mature and grow in our faith? Something to think about the next time that kid smarts you off, back talks, or throws a fit when they want something and you are ready to give in.

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