Don’t Provoke your Children

21 Nov

There are countless verses on this in the Bible, because I think this is our tendency as parents. As children, we want to rage against the machine and fight the power. We just don’t want to obey, because, as humans, we naturally dislike authority. Yet something strange happens along the way. We get some authority, and all of a sudden, we want to assert our authority.

Our kids work hard on some things. Sometimes it is in areas we encourage and sometimes it is in areas where we might prefer that they not devote so much energy. It is vitally important that we help focus them on the proper things. At the same time, I think it is important that we not frustrate their purpose.

I was watching some television where the parents were attempting to get their child to “behave” and it was clear they were thwarting her joy. While they were legitimately trying to teach their child a lesson, it was clear that more than a lesson they were teaching her that they were unreliable and that she could not achieve the things she wanted.

Now, I do not think that children should be completely isolated, but acts that seem arbitrary or confusing do not assist the growth of our children. While it is clear that it easier for me to see this from the outside, I find that it is true to life. There are many people I know who frustrate their children with unbalanced discipline and questionable tactics.

I am sure that I fall into that category as well, and I need your help to point it out. But the thing that absolutely frustrated me is when I see parents, whose kids have been rightly encouraged to do something. Then those parents seemingly become inconsistent by not allowing their child the ability to capitalize on that work.

To me, it’s like Archie Manning telling Peyton that he couldn’t play in a football league after teaching him all the reads a quarterback needs to make. It sends a mixed message and is not beneficial. Archie would have been better served to tell him nothing about QB reads. And I have seen this several times recently. Sending children a consistent message is something on which I am sure I fail, but at the same time, I see others failing in grand fashion.

The lives of children are hard enough. We should do what we can to give them a consistent message and not provoke them to not know to what they should listen and what they should disregard. And if I am failing my own easy test, please let me know!

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One Response to “Don’t Provoke your Children”

  1. Jenni April 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    Let me know, also. 🙂

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