Here's an observation- some of you who have read my homeschooling post are wary of my "observations" :) ...
But see if you agree with this one-
If you don't consistently (i.e. all day, everyday) discipline your kids, you will pay for it. Or to put it another way, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death." (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18)
We need to get this parenting thing right. If not, as Solomon says, we just might be participating in their death.
We have some distant friends (rest assured, it's none of you...). All their kids are between 4 and 8. They are out of control. But you should see this mom in action- it breaks your heart for her. Her kids own her. And it's even more pathetic with the dad. It's a terrible example to teachers, family, friends, neighbors, and everyone who has the privilege (er burden) of interacting with them.
Sadly, this is all too common. Some of you may be thinking, "Is he writing about us?"
The most definitive book we've read on parenting is Shepherding a Child's Heart. This book, and others that have been our parenting lifeline, would agree- your child's disposition toward you as an authority will be established between ages 0-3.
In other words, if you tell your 2 year old not to touch something, they disobey, and there are no consequences- then don't be surprised when that child is an 8 year old who doesn't respect or listen to you. Or even scarier still, a teenager who could care less who you tell them they can/can't hang out with.
And it will not be a pretty sight watching you try to get that 8 year old over your knee to spank them. It might look something like abuse, or an MMA brawl at that age. Actually, it might be a good thing for you to start taking Mixed Martial Arts lessons now if you are lax in your parenting...
I'll get more specific about disciplining in this series of posts on parenting. Stay tuned...