One of the key issues in the changing landscape of adolescent culture is discipline. Disciple in the home is essential in not only the social development of your child but also in their spiritual formation. It shows up in all aspects of their young lives and lingers into their adult lives.
The current public school mentality, (and this is not a knock on public schools), leans toward toleration. I just read an article from the National Education Administration that espouses leniency with students who exhibit “Poor life choices.” The logic being students are not to blame for their poor behavior. In other words, their mentality is don’t blame the child for the lack of discipline at home. This mentality trickles down to state school administrations because of federal contributions and ultimately into the classroom. Parents see this all the time. This mentality also calls into question the basic values of right and wrong in our world. It leans more toward situational ethics over a central standard of behavior.
This is a frightening mentality but we can agree with the changing national policy in one critical area. Discipline is the responsibility of the parents. There is little wiggle room for parents to cast blame. All human behavior and sociological research reveals adolescent behavior outside the home is almost always the result of the lack of discipline in the home. This sounds familiar.
Proverbs 29:15: The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 29:17: Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.
Proverbs 22:15: Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Don’t you love the bible verses that talk about “The rod?” Relax parents. This carries more of an idea of creating barriers of discipline than beating your child into submission. And all the adolescent readers just said a collective, “Amen!”
The attitudes and actions your children display in your home will either drive you to madness or bring you extreme joy. But be certain. The behavior tolerated or ignored in your home will also be on display when children are not with mom and dad. We can project the blame to the lack of discipline in our school systems. Certainly it has major discipline issues. But the heart of discipline and adolescent behavior starts in the home. This is a biblical truth that we see lived out every day in our culture. Yes, there are plenty of examples of poor life-choices from students who come from loving families and receive appropriate barriers of discipline. But the overwhelming evidence reveals that most discipline problems come from the lack of discipline in the home.
All recent studies reveal that parents who invest time in lovingly correcting and disciplining their children consistently can look forward to this rewarding behavior:
1. Children doing their chores without someone asking them to do them.
3. Parents receiving appreciation and even compliments from their children with no hidden agenda.
4. Children contributing to the overall health of the home.
5. Children not having to be asked twice.
6. Children respecting their siblings.
7. Children are more polite, thoughtful, and respectful of adults at home and in their world.
8. Children who are more productive at school.
9. Children who contribute to society.
10. Children who succeed in their endeavors beyond their adolescent years.
This sounds like a utopian idea. I get it. But it’s hard to debate empirical research.
One day your child will take, shake, and walk off a stage. This is a proud moment for all parents. They will turn the tassel and walk out into their adult lives. At this point parents are more on the sidelines of their lives as opposed to coaching. More of an advisor. With their formative years in their rearview mirror, the loving discipline and parental barriers are now critical to their success.
Love your children enough to discipline them before you miss the opportunity.
- Parenting Adolescents and the Problems of Letting Go (psychologytoday.com)
- What Kind of Discipline is Right for Kids? (psychologytoday.com)
- Discipline vs. punishment (help4yourfamily.com)