One of the Most Dangerous Phrases Used in Parenting

Does anyone else see the massive problem with this? We’re inadvertently training our children to do the exact opposite of what we actually want, by encouraging disobedience through our lack of consistency.

I’m not arguing that you should never give your child a warning. However, establish with them that warnings will be given at your discretion when a violation is unclear or no rules have been previously established.

There are times in every family when a child simply needs instruction or an explanation on why certain things are wrong. That also provides us with the chance for a teachable moment. But let’s also make sure to use it as an opportunity to make the expectation clear for the future.

However, when children are in clear violation of our expectations and multiple threats are given, or the volume of the threats is increased, none of those things accomplish anything positive for the child.

This flawed approach works no better than the “I’m going to count to 3, and you’d better…” which teaches our kids nothing more than delayed obedience.

When we see this becoming so common in our society, it ought to cause us to stop and ask ourselves some honest questions:

• What ever happened to courageous parenting that says what it means and means what it says?

• What ever happened to parents expecting obedience out of their children the first time?

• What ever happened to enforcing consequences when rules are broken without caving in to worry about what your kids or anyone else is going to think of you?

• What ever happened to parents who aren’t afraid to be the parents?

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Proverbs 19:18

When you’re tempted not to enforce a consequence that would otherwise develop obedience and character in your child’s life, remember the future alternative if you don’t.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grevious; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11  

Good, godly and obedient kids don’t raise themselves  Good, godly and obedient parents do.

Are you guilty of falling into the dangerous trap of threat phrase parenting?

This article originally appeared here.

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Andrew Linder
Andrew is a husband, the father of four awesome kids, and a children's pastor at a thriving church. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation. He blogs about kids and family at AndrewScottLinder.com, and provides proven resources for VBS and children's ministry at KidzBlast.com.

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