Not Provoking Our Children – Way #8

Way #1 – Don’t expect more of them than they are capable of doing or giving.

Way #2 – Be careful how you reprimand them.

Way #3 – Practice what you preach and avoid double standards.

Way #4 - Teach them proper values.

Way #5 – Have good times with your kids.

Way #6 – Communicate affirmation, appreciation and encouragement.

Way #7 – Allow them to make mistakes.

Way #8 – Make known expectations, rules and regulations.

One of the things that can really irritate and provoke children is holding them accountable for expectations, rules or regulations without first informing them that expectations, rules or regulations even exist.  Parent will hear their children say, “I didn’t know!”  

I realize that sometimes it is a matter of children either forgetting or not listening, but ultimately, expectations, rules and regulations have to be made clear.  Making things clear for children means articulating them more than once in concrete ways. 

God gave His people the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) so that they would know His laws and His expectations.  He then proceeded to make things even clearer in the first five books of the Bible. 

When Jesus came He gave us the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), the New Commandment (John 13:34) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) so that we would know how we are to obey Him.

In raising children, it would be totally unfair to reprimand them for something that they were unaware was an infraction. 

For example, let’s say that they take food into your bedroom to watch a DVD and you get upset with them when, in fact, you never told them not to take food into your bedroom. 

Perhaps, we should ask ourselves the question; do we ever hold our child accountable for something that they were not aware was an act of disobedience?  Have they ever said to us, “I didn’t know?” 

Something to think about…