(For parents with children ages 0-5)
IT IS A MISTAKE TO…
1. Give suggestions instead of clear commands. Direction given to your child should be phrased as a command, never a suggestion or question.
2. Ask children questions about their wants or opinions. Dictate healthy parental direction.
3. Reason with your young children or attempt to get obedience by giving them convincing reasons why they should obey. Require first-time, instant obedience.
4. Train your children only during times of discipline. Train them throughout the day.
5. Simply react to your child’s behavior. Be proactive and purposeful.
6. Neglect considering what certain behaviors will mean for the future – what is “cute” now won’t be in 10 years!
7. Not be confident and authoritative. Children will find the weaknesses of parents and exploit them – they will push. Do not allow yourself to be worn down by their pushing.
8. Be inconsistent with rules or discipline.
9. Fail to exercise discernment. You must understand what is happening in context.
10. Maintain wrong views on corporal punishment.
11. Allow children to make too many decisions too early – just tell them what to do!
12. Tolerate whining. Require children to restate their question in a proper voice.
13. Allow children to be too casual with adults – they need to show respect and obedience toward authority.
14. Permit children to interrupt.
15. Permit children to fuss.
16. Have an irregular bedtime.
17. Allow your sick children to be around other children – keep them home.
18. Constantly allow your kids to stay out or stay up too late.
19. Be so busy that there is not enough time at home.
20. Deal inconsistently with sibling rivalry.
21. Have mothers merely supervise their children rather than train them.
22. Fail to recognize and explain that sin does not happen in a vacuum – what the child does has consequences for the entire family as well as the church family.
23. Praise a child for gifts (looks, brains, sports abilities) instead of character (hard work, kindness, integrity). Do not be shocked when this child is vain, insecure, and shallow.
24. Permit children to hang out with friends whom they follow into sin in the name of being a light. When they are still dark [lost], they will not be a light yet.
25. Allow children to be ungrateful for God’s provision. For example, letting them have cold cereal when mom cooked dinner can lead to refusing what is offered at other people’s homes.
26. Be obsessed with trying to make your children happy.
27. Get trapped into working through the details of a situation. Everything at this stage is simply obedience or disobedience.
28. Neglect making them responsible for carrying their own backpacks, stuffed animal, etc.
29. Allow your children to avoid eye contact with you or to avoid eye contact with them.
30. Tolerate impoliteness or poor manners.
31. Excuse their poor behavior by using labels like “shy” or “cranky.”
32. Let the kids dictate how or when an activity will occur. Please be in charge.