Disciplining Children: Making Good Rules – Part One

“Then God spoke all these words, saying…” Exodus 20:1

In Exodus 20, God gives His people the Ten Commandments, which are principles or rules set down by God to guide us in matters of worship and ethics.  If we live out the commandments, we will live a life that is blessed because of obedience.  If we fail to heed the commandments, there are consequences that naturally follow disobedience.

For example, if we obey traffic laws and stop when we come to a red light, we will be safe.  If, however, we choose to disobey the law and run a red light, there could be severe consequences.  Traffic laws are created to help us, not hinder us.

It is important for children to have rules and boundaries to help them live their lives as responsible little people.  Learning to heed rules will help them better cope with life as an adult.  An unbridled child often leads to an unbridled, irresponsible adult.

It is important for parents to make good rules for their children.  Over the next several Thursday blogs, I will share some helpful guidelines in making good rules. 

#1 Set clear boundaries and limits.

Make sure your children know your expectations.  Be as specific as possible.

Avoid being vague.  Too often parents will tell their children, “Just don’t do anything that mommy or daddy doesn’t like”.  This, of course, requires your children to have the gift of mind reading (no such gift in the Bible). 

Avoid being too general.  Be as specific as possible.  Rather than saying, “While we’re at the wedding, I want you to be good”, it would probably better to tell them, “During the ceremony, you will need to be very quiet”. 

Parents usually do a very good job at setting clear boundaries and limits when it comes to playing in the street or crossing the street.  They are usually very specific.  They will say something like, “Never play in the streets” or “Always look both ways before crossing the street”.

Just as God made it very clear to us through His Ten Commandments, so we as parents need to make it very clear to our children when making good rules.

Something to think about…