One of the most popular posts on this blog has been Three Things You Don’t See in Well Behaved Children. If you haven’t read that yet, please check it out! In that post I shared that one of the things you don’t see in those children is the work it takes to train them. Training children is HARD work. It doesn’t happen overnight, and honestly….it’s exhausting. It’s easier to give them what they want, let them rule the roost, and not argue with them. But, that is not the right thing to do. The Bible says to “Train up a child”. It is our job as parents to raise well-rounded children, teach them to behave, and release them as adults capable of making decisions and functioning in society.
Now, I don’t have all the answers. My oldest just turned 10. But, I do know a few things I have done so far with my kids, and they seem to work. Most of the time 😉
Do you have rules in your home? Most of us do. Some of ours include not being allowed to take electronics into church, walking with the buggy at the store, and pick up after yourself. These rules are constant. If they are not allowed to take electronics to church, we don’t “give in” just this once. If I expect them to throw their dirty clothes in the hamper every day, I am not going to do it for them “every now and then”. I am going to call for them and have them do it themselves. Is it easier to pick it up myself? Yes. But, if it is a rule in our home, we must be consistent.
Think about the rules you and your husband have in place for your children. Are you consistent with them? If not, talk to each other and hold each other accountable for consistency.
Have a United Front
My husband and I are united in discipline. If he makes a call on how to discipline our children, I back him up. 100%, even IF I don’t agree with it. Why? Because he is their father, and if the kids see us disagree over discipline they will second guess us each and every time after. In return he has the same respect for me.
Parents, you must agree on disciplining your children. A united front is important for the health of your marriage, and for properly raising your children.
Speaking of discipline, one of the most important aspects of training up a child is to follow through with discipline measures. DO NOT MAKE EMPTY THREATS. Here’s a scenario for you, you are at the store and the kids are acting wild, you look at them and say “If you do that one more time, I am taking you out of here, and you will NOT be happy”. Five minutes later they do it again, you threaten again. You just lost your footing. You didn’t follow through. Now, the easiest thing to do is make the threats, then maybe later discipline them for not listening at Wal-Mart. But, the right thing to do is follow through. Right there. In the store. Will it make a scene? Probably. But, I promise you the next time you make a threat you will be taken more seriously.
I used to threaten the kids that I would bag up their toys if they left them out. I threatened, over and over again. One time, I actually followed through. They cried. There were some expensive items in that bag. But, I had to do it. Guess what? They don’t mess around at clean up time anymore….
Let me end with this. All children have bad days, just like adults do. However, if you truly feel like your kids are out of control, try these steps. Be consistent, be united and follow through. Training up a child is hard work, but one that we as parents were given the job to do. So, do it well!
Do you have anything to add to this list? What are some ways you have learned to train up your children?
One thing that has helped us in recent months is Skill Trek. Focusing on those real-life skills we often times forget to teach. Including character 😉