Firm but Fair – Lost Cool
Key Bible Verse: Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying. – Colossians 3:21
Bonus Reading: Ephesians 6:4,9
Our kids need the courage to be imperfect—to make mistakes and then learn from them instead of having their self-image undermined. When they make a mistake that looks careless or thoughtless, it’s so easy to come down with all four feet, which only makes them feel more of a failure.
For example, Dad finds his tools spread from one end of the workbench to the other. He can see that little Jason has been trying to fix his bike, but now the place is a disaster, and Jason is nowhere to be found.
After storming into the house, Dad finds Jason playing Nintendo. He grabs him by the arm, marches him out to the garage, and says, “What is all this? How many times have I told you to put away the tools when you use them?”
Jason is mortified (not to mention petrified). Now he remembers. He’d been working on his bike when Mom called him into the house to answer a phone call from a friend. After hanging up, he forgot about his bike and decided to play Nintendo.
But how can he tell Dad that? Instead, Jason just tells himself, “I made Daddy mad. I guess I just can’t do anything right.”
—Kevin Leman in Bringing Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down
My Response: How does my disciplining style make allowance for my kids’ learning curve?
Adapted from Bringing Up Kids Without Tearing Them Down (Nelson, 1995)
Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, help me to reflect Your justice and mercy in the way I discipline my children.