By DR. TEENA WELBORN
There is “no other” chaos like children who are not disciplined. As leaders of anything, you’ve probably seen that employees, children, members of committees — whoever is being led — are happier if there is some type of discipline in place. Are there boundaries, expectations and consequences?
In my opinion, there is more harmony and peace in a place where there is more Christian love and consistent discipline, including the family unit. As I have witnessed time and time again in the school setting, disciplined children were happier children, whether the discipline came from home or in the school setting. Similarly, when great leaders place boundaries on their employees and leaders are consistent, the workplace is a much happier place to be.
In our homes, as parents, we want our family life to be peaceful as well. God wants our homes to be joyous, peaceful and loving. In the Bible, God tells us to use discipline where our children are concerned, just as He uses discipline and consequences on us when we are not in His will. “The Lord disciplines those he loves as a father disciplines his son.” – Proverbs 3:12.
Consider the behaviors, morals and values for children in 2023 — have they changed? Even though the world around us wants Christians to believe that God’s standards have changed, they have not. God still wants discipline and order in the family, as He always has. As a parent, you can always know that loving discipline for your children brings “hope” of an amazing child and an incredible adult one day! God specifically tells us that if we follow His standards, we will have more behaved and pleasant children. “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” – Proverbs 19:18.
Even though we look at our sweet newborns as being the most precious beings on earth, God tells us “lack of sense, foolishness, and evil (folly) is bound up in the heart of a child.” It is our responsibility as the leader of the family to remove this folly by following God’s instructions (Proverbs 22:15).
We should always welcome discipline and correction if it comes from a loving place. God said only a fool will despise correction (Proverbs 1:7). We do not want our children to despise correction at school, from us as parents, or in their future workplaces, so teach them young that discipline is a good thing.
There are many types of discipline because we know every child responds differently. Some children only need verbal correction; however, when verbal correction does not produce positive results, parents need to move to the next source of discipline.
James Dobson wrote in his book “Dare to Discipline”:
“Parenting is not about harshness, rejection, ridicule, criticism, and anger. Children deserve to grow up in an environment of safety, acceptance, and warmth. In the absence of adult leadership, the child is his own master from his earliest babyhood. He thinks the world revolves around him and is often disrespectful to those ‘closest’ to him. Chaos reigns in his home, and his mother is often the most nervous, frustrated woman on her block. The mother is stranded at home because she is too embarrassed to take her little spitfire anywhere.”
Be that leader who lovingly and consistently disciplines your child. We parents have a great sense of emotional wellness when others compliment the behaviors of our children.
Dr. Teena Welborn is a retired educator and author of “Raising Whosoevers to Be the Heart of Our Schools.” Dr. Welborn and her husband of 37 years, Cliff, live in Florence, Mississippi, where they raised their three boys. They are members of First Baptist Florence. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.