top of page

Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say

Have you ever been in a store and heard a parent yelling at their little one saying, "Don't touch that, I told you not to touch that, get over here." Repeating it over and over and over again, meanwhile the child is touching everything in sight, completely ignoring their parent.

Most of us have been in this dilemma at one time or another struggling with our child's behavior. It can make us feel isolated, frustrated and embarrassed with the whole thing. It does not mean you are a bad parent, it could just mean that you have ineffective parenting skills, failing to promote responsibility, accountability or change. When dealing with children, there's a difference between knowing what's wrong, knowing something is wrong, and knowing right from wrong. Knowing what's wrong - gives you the go ahead to then proceed to train and teach your child in that specific area. Knowing something is wrong - you can ask God for wisdom and understanding on how to problem solve. Knowing right from wrong - you can then teach your child to be accountable for his or her actions.

Do not reward disobedience - When your child is having a meltdown, do not say: "If you stop crying and kicking your feet, Mommy will take you and buy you an ice cream cone." When you say: "It is time to go home now", and they start screaming, do not say, "I'll buy you a treat if you stop screaming". If you have to bribe your children to make them do what you want, you have lost the battle, they have won the game.

It is important to use age appropriate consequences for their actions. Consequences should be time-limited and match the misbehavior. It is important that you don't correct your child when you are angry, as this will hinder your results. Take a time out yourself to think about what you are trying to accomplish.

Please note: As parents, we have all gotten angry with our child's behavior at some point and said things we wish we could take back. Just humble yourself and let your child know that Mommy and Daddy were wrong in how we handled your misbehavior. This will keep their heart open to you and they won't put a wall up between you and them.

Consequences will establish a sense of right and wrong. When you lead a horse to water, you don't have to make him drink, you just have to make him thirsty. Consequences should make your child thirsty.

Consistency in following through with the consequences are critical to your child's training. Expect your child to try and to fail from time to time, just as if he were learning how to ride a bike. Be supportive of the small steps toward their progress.


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

You Might Also Like:
bottom of page