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Creative discipline

Creative discipline

Children may greatly dislike these suggested forms of discipline, but it is important to let your children know, at an early age, that disobedience will be dealt with severely. Try these ideas, or come up with some of your own, but do be sure to demonstrate how much you value obedience.

Loss of privileges

Biblical basis

Ephesians 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on
earth.’ ”

Suggested disciplinary action

When children are obeying, make sure that things “go well” for them. Allow them to participate in activities they enjoy like: play dates, video viewing and games. When children are disobedient, make sure that things do not go well for them. For example, turn down the sucker offered by the grocery clerk when a child has not behaved well in the store. Be sure to let the cashier and the child know why. Remove privileges and treats that your child looks forward to. As a warning, inform him/her of the consequences at the first sign of disobedience.

Affirmation

Encourage the child who has disobeyed by praying with him/her, asking God to help him/her obey in the future. Assure the child that you forgive him/her just as God does when he/she asks. Remind all of your children that you will be watching for ways you can celebrate with them when they obey.

A taste of your disapproval

Biblical basis

Genesis 19:15-29 (the story of Lot’s wife and the pillar of salt)

Suggested disciplinary action

Discipline your child’s disobedience by placing a small quantity of salt on his/her tongue.

Affirmation

Gently remind your children that you do not want to give them awful tasting things to eat. Tell them that you would prefer to give them something good to eat, but that you must follow God’s example by disciplining them for disobedience.

Encourage them with Ephesians 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘That it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.’ ”

Express to your children that you understand that it is hard to obey, but you are looking forward to rewarding them when they do obey. Allow your child to wash the taste out of their mouth with fresh water. Explain that just as the fresh water takes the bad taste away, God promises to wash our sins away when we ask Him to.