First let me say that I’m not bragging in this post. It’s probably going to annoy some of you that it sounds that way but it’s just a simple truth that I’d like to share with you. That’s all, OK? You can take it personally if you’d like but it would be a shame if you did because its important.
My kids are good kids. In fact that’s usually the second thing people say after “Wow, you’ve got your hands full,” which is REALLY annoying. Right after that they say, “And they are so good!” It’s as if they’ve never seen a family of six that could eat in a public restaurant and not leave food and/or bodily fluids smeared on the walls for the now-frazzled staff to clean up. But we don’t do that.
Surprised? Are you amazed at that statement? Brace your self because I’m going to give you the secret. Are you ready?
My kids behave because I require them to do so.
What that means is that when we go into a store or into someone’s home or whenever we go out to eat we’ve got a deal. If they behave, things will be fun and nice. If they don’t behave things won’t be so much fun. I’m the Dad and I make sure that they know not only that they are required to behave but that there will be consequences if they don’t. Now don’t reach for the phone…biblically we are required to discipline our children. It’s part of the deal and I do my part. That’s all, and they know it. What that means, in the most basic terms, is that the mere threat of ‘my part’ is enough 9.9 times out of 10.
But Josh, you might be thinking, what if I’m a single parent? What if I’m a single Mom? Well God help you it’s not easy I know. I had some of those when I was a kid and I’m not sure how they made it.
But listen, if you don’t tell them how you want them to behave and you don’t enforce that with some sort of ear-opening result for bad behavior how in the world are they ever going to know how to act? If you don’t teach them Uncle Sam will one of these days either in the Marines or in prison.
And just as one other FYI, men who think this way are typically found in and around a church. I’m not saying they’re all that way but there are more of them at church. Quite a lot of them have been stereotyped as narrow minded Baptists but the truth of the matter is that kids behave when you tell them to do so and you back it up with more than, “Oh now stop it!”