"Learning NO"

My daughter and I were discussing the behavior of children in stores. (We had seen some ugly displays of temper.) With a brand-new baby, she's preparing for the days when she will have to discipline and train her little boy to obey.

In this world of "tolerance" and "positive reinforcement", old fashioned spankings are looked upon as cruel and abusive. She and her husband know the value of a proper spanking, the first way a child will learn that sin has painful consequences.

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son;
but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."
Proverbs 13:24

We discussed how at the beginning of training, a toddler needs to be told "NO" often, accompanied by a little slap, or flick of a finger, on the hand. It shouldn't be used in excess, but only in a few dangerous or forbidden places. There should be places (like a few kitchen cupboards, where he can pull out the pots and pans, and make a mess... learning to help clean up later) Not everything should be off-limits to him. Choose a few places and be firm with your decision. Too many "NO's" become ridiculous and ineffective.

Your instructions need to be repeated often and consistantly, so that the child soon learns that you mean what you say. If you become lax in your training, they will get the impression that it's okay to disobey sometimes.

When a child learns the value of "NO; don't touch", you can trust them to obey anywhere, in the store, visiting a stranger's house, around animals, etc. A well-behaved child is a pleasure to have around. They will be able to learn more and communicate better if they can control their impulses, not focusing on their own wishes and desires.

As I hinted at earlier, when a child learns that disobedience results in punishment, they can easily understand how God sees sin. They will have a healthy fear of God and want to obey Him, also.


The Surrendered Scribe said...

This is excellent. One of the best pieces of advice I heard is "IF you start when they are two, you are too late." Kids want and crave boundaries, it's just their job to test them. I've had my moments where i left a cart full at a store to go home, but I don't regret it, they needed to know mama wasn't kidding!

Best books i recommend---Dr. Dobson and Dr. Kevin Leman.

Slowly Dying.. said...

Thanks for the wonderful advice. I know that not being consistent is not effective. While I was pregnant, I slacked off on training and it's been hard coming back around.



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