Child discipline

Problem

Children may be disobedient and/or rebellious toward parent(s), guardians, and/or other authority.

Biblical Statement

When a child is brought up according to scriptural purposes, he will continue to follow these principals later in life. The Bible clearly teaches that parents (or guardians) are responsible for training and the proper discipline of their children until such time as they are no longer dependent upon them (Proverbs 22:6)

Scripture

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 19:18 “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.”

Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

1 Timothy 3:4 “one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence”

Titus 2:4 “that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children”

Counsel

Speak to the children on their own level of understanding. Make it clear to them what you expect of them. Do not punish them in anger. Set the example you want them to follow, remembering that what you do will be more effective than what you say. When you establish guidelines for children, stick to them. Take them with you to church and let them see you worship God and pray, then ask the Lord to show you what to do with them. Determine if there is a situation in the home which is directly contributing to the behavior problem of the children, e.g. mother working etc.

Father and mother, if both are in the family must present unified front. No parental disagreement in front of child. Mother’s authority is derived from the father. Don’t be wishy-washy. Be specific in all instructions and discipline.

Recognize that parental responsibility extends over public school education, club, group or any organization’s efforts or influences.

While the attitude of the heart belongs to God, the parents or guardians must be faithful to their responsibility as outlined in the Bible. God will be faithful to His of changing the heart. God will not do the parents job. The parents cannot do His.

Administer discipline according to the age and transgression. The rules of discipline should be:

  • Never in anger.
  • Always with proper explanations.
  • Demonstrate your love afterwards.
  • Always express forgiveness afterwards.
  • Never mention the subject again, treat them as if it never happened.
  • Follow through with discipline; make sure a command is obeyed.
  • Punish disobedience.
  • If you make a mistake, apologize and ask forgiveness. Remember nothing will substitute for spending time with a child.

Prayer

Pray with the counselee encouraging him to join in prayer with you and assure him that you and the other counsellors will pray for him after you hang up. If necessary, lead him in a model prayer.

References

Proverbs 13:24, 22:15 – correction

13:24. “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him.”

Ephesians 6:1-13 – exhortation

“1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3“that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

4And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

Bondservants and Masters
 

5Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

9And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

The Whole Armor of God

10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Proverbs 10:1, 8:32

10:1“The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.”

8:32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways.”

2 Timothy 3:15

“And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

Luke 2:49

“And He said to them, “Why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”