It’s difficult to raise kids today. Many people, as parents, are confused about the conflict between disciplining our kids to do what we believe to be “correct behavior” and giving them the space they want by yielding to their feelings. (also see “Second Thoughts“)This is true in just about every aspect of their upbringing, particularly starting in the teen years. There is so much negative and improper outside stimulus that the conflict can grow more difficult on a daily basis.
For me, I feared my parents as a small child and I will tell you right now, before you judge, there is NOTHING wrong with that. You see, that fear evolved through my teen years and by the time I was a young man, it had become RESPECT. This is something many teens are going into adulthood without. Many young people have grown and learned to have no respect for their parents, other adults or God. This is dangerous behavior. What can be done?
PROVERBS 22:15 states: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.” Now before you berate me thinking we should all beat our children with sticks, let me explain how I read this scripture. First of all, this is the word of God and CANNOT be disputed. As per dictionary.com, folly is “the state or quality of being foolish; lack of understanding or sense.” This verse states up front that foolishness and lacking sense is basically inherent in children, it is “bound up in the heart of a child”. It’s bound up, it’s tied to a child’s heart. It’s how they are, naturally.
Now, forget the word rod for a moment and let’s focus on “discipline”. Because, discipline does not necessarily mean hitting your kids with anything. Discipline IS the “rod” we need when raising our children. Dictionary.com says discipline means all or some of the following:
1. “training to act in accordance with rules; drill”
2. “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training”
3. “punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.”
4. “the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.”
OK, then it would be the responsibility of all of the people bombarding outside stimuli upon children, using some or all of these methods to “drive far away” all the inherent properties of folly. Some of these people would be parents, teachers, day care workers, clergy, scout leaders, etc. We need to “train to act in accordance with rules” using “a regimen that develops or improves a skill(or understanding)” using “punishment inflicted by way of correction and training” resulting in “the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity”. Or, guess what folks, we could simply TALK TO THEM!
In many cases, “good” upbringing has resulted in failed results. I don’t think parents of school shooters, convicted rapists and child molesters wanted their kids to be how they turned out. It is my belief that these types of things happen when kids are left alone too much. This opens a door for satan to move in and begin his work. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, satan is for real and he will take every opportunity to grab your kids and swiftly carry them away from you.
You need to communicate with them, folks. Talk about God, Jesus, music, sports, television, what’s trending on the Internet etc; SOMETHING! Keep them occupied so that door never unlatches. Keep satan locked out! Stay aware of what they look at on the Internet and television. Watch with them. And don’t think those video war games are good for your child, because they will emulate any and all outside stimuli at any given time. This is the nature of growing up. Stay in touch, stay aware, stay involved!