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Apply Christian Tough Love Advice to Our Children
Tough Love Should Never Be Abusive!
Dear Friend: There is often a fine line between discipline and abuse; be careful not to cross this line. Here are a few examples of ways to be sure you never cross the line from tough love to abuse.
• Always stay in control of yourself. Take a personal time out before dealing with your child if you are upset.
• Show your children the respect you want them to show you. If you respect one another, abuse is not likely to happen.
• Call a family member, friend, or spouse to help you deal with your child if you feel out of control. There is nothing wrong with calling for help; we are all human and every human needs help from time to time.
• Most importantly pray , always pray before dealing with anything in your life, especially your children. You are not going to abuse your children if God is in control of your actions.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6 & 7
Christian Tough Love Advice
Dear Friend: Tough love is when a child is forced to face the consequences dealt to them because of their behavior, actions, or attitude. As parents we commonly get the job of disciplining our children. We may apply a disciplinary action such as grounding, taking away a privilege, or simply not bailing our child out of a self made situation.
Disciplining A Child Should Be Age Appropriate!
Dear Friend: Below I have listed a few appropriate examples of tough love based on the age of a child. Remember that my ideas are not the only ones, I would love to hear your ideas as well.
• A two year old will not learn much if their television privileges are taken away. Instead put them in time out. Just remember that their attention span is not long and plan their punishment around their attention span. For example an appropriate time out time may be four or five minutes.
• A five year old would not learn much if they were grounded. What would you be grounding them from? An early bedtime, a ten minute time out, or losing a television privilege may be better options.
• A ten year old may benefit from being grounded or losing television, video game, or recreational privileges. Sentences, apology letters, or writing verses out of the Bible all seem to work well for children in this age group.
• Applying tough love to teenagers often becomes a little more tedious. Taking away their driving privileges, grounding them, or giving them extra chores are some tough love ideas for this age group. Remember your teen is probably emotional and possibly irrational; you have to be the adult.
Do not revert back to behaving like a teen when dealing with your teen, stay focused, confident, and mature. Do not argue with them; wait to talk until you and your teen are in a better frame of mind.
Good Luck Parents, Remember They Will Not Be Teens Forever!
• Our adult children will also need us to be firm with them from time to time. Just because they are adults does not give them the right to ignore rules, lose respect, or take advantage of us as their parents. Having them get a job, move out on their own, pay their own bills, and buy their own personal items are often forms of tough love we have to apply to our adult children. We may remember our parents dealing with us in this manner once we became adults.
Find Peace Within, Even In Regards To Discipline!
Who Is Tough Love, Tough On?
Dear Friend: Tough love can be very challenging, difficult, and emotionally painful for a parent to administer to their child. The children experiencing it usually feel that they are the ones it is rough on. As parents we want our children to feel this way in order for them to learn and mature from the punishment. What our children do not see is that as parents our hearts break each time we have to apply tough love.
Does The Lord Apply Tough Love To His Children?
Dear Friend: Yes, the Lord applies tough love to his children. There are many example of this in the Bible.
One of which is the story of Jonah (located in the book of Jonah, chapters 1-3). The story of Jonah demonstrates how the Lord used tough love to discipline Jonah for not doing what God told him to do. The story of Jonah also shows how Jonah was given a second chance when he prayed unto the Lord!
God does love his children, although he does not always bail us out of predicaments and situations we get ourselves into. God expects us to own our own actions and choices so that we can learn and grow from the experience. This is also what we should want for our own children.
Although, if we ask Him the Lord will always forgive us for our mistakes, wrongdoings, and sins; just as we do our children. The Lord wants us to glorify him in all of our choices, actions, behaviors and in our lives.
Verse on salvation and forgiveness: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV
Verse on glorifying God: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 KJV
But I Hate To See My Child Cry!
Dear Friend: As parents we never like to see our children cry, often times it hurts us more than it does them. Frequently this makes us want to do away with whatever tough love or punishment we were going to give our child.
RETHINK THIS, children are resilient and the tears will fade away. Your child will eventually appreciate the fact that you love them enough to teach them the difference between right and wrong. This will often strengthen your relationship with your child.
For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Proverbs 3:12 KJV
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