Friday, October 1, 2010
Child-Controlled Homes Everywhere
Nowadays, children controlling their parents seems to be a natural occurrence. It is joked about on talk shows, from church pulpits, in beauty parlors, and at doctors' offices. Nobody seems to know what to do about the fact that children, not parents, often call the shots.
Recently I was in a mall during the daytime when I overheard two young mothers talking to each other and their preschool children. One of the mothers told the children to come along because they were going to get a snack. The second mother questioned her, wondering if they were having lunch or a snack because they had planned on eating lunch. The first mother responded in a whisper with, "Oh, yeah, we're having lunch. I just tell my kids we're having a snack because if they think we are having a meal, they won't come to eat."
As I was thinking to myself about today's state of parenting in the secular world, I overheard a similar exchange soon after between a Christian mom who writes a marriage and parenting column for a Christian publication and her friend. In line at McDonald's, this gal asked her friend what her six and seven year old children were getting in their Happy Meals. She continued, "I have to be sure to get my kids exactly what your kids have in their Happy Meals or everything will break loose."
Why do parents (and especially Christian parents) walk on egg shells with their children? Why are they afraid to "cross" them? Why are they weak and unable to set the rules and guidelines for their family?
The World's Parenting Philosophy vs. The Bible's Parenting Philosophy
The world, via the media, secular parenting specialists, fellow parents, and others, tells us that we cannot have proper control of our children. It paints a bleak picture about parenting children: try to stay firm on the battles you know you can win, and let the others go. (And the battles that the “experts” say you can win are few and far between.) Do we have to go through our children's growing up years wishing they would behave like we tell them to? Do we have to beg, cajole, or bargain with our children to get them to sit down at the table or be content with what they have? Can we ever really enjoy our children, or does every command from us have to result in a battle?
Tomorrow: what does the Bible say about disciplining children—and who should run the family?
*For the next few days, I will be using excerpts from our book, “The Well-Trained Heart,” to lay the foundation for parenting/disciplining young children. You may order WTH at www.tfths.com or by calling 260-597-7415.