Hey Dad and Mom! Your Kid Needs Parents!

father_hoodI need to vent for just a minute!

I recently watched a news report that revealed the findings of a survey that claims nearly half of parents use bribes such as candy, clothes, and money to keep children on their best behavior.   Several of the individuals on the panel went on to elaborate on why they feel that bribing is an effective strategy for getting children to obey.

I also recently heard from a friend about a family member (young parents of young children) who have bought into a parenting strategy in which the parents allow their children to make pretty much all of their own decisions without influence from Dad and Mom.  Apparently, in this warm and fuzzy idealistic approach to parenting, it’s not ok for parents to demand obedience, but rather believed that the children will choose it…when they are ready.  I guess it goes something like this, “Johnny, when you’re ready, would you please stop playing in traffic?  I don’t want to assert myself over your ability to make your own decisions, so when it’s convenient for you and you have decided that it’s a good idea, I’d like you to put down the matches and stop hitting your sister.”


I know I’m going to sound like an ancient, outdated, old-fashioned grandpa when I say this, but here it goes…

It’s time for parents to be parents!

It’s time for parents to stop trying to be their children’s peers and friends!

(Caution: Politically Incorrect Statement in 3…2…1…)

God made you the AUTHORITY in your children’s lives!

If your children were capable of choosing what was best for them all the time they would have no need for parents!  You see, this ridiculous parenting strategy is built on the faulty premise that kids (people) are naturally good.  And so long as they have the necessary information, they will make good decisions.

But that’s not what God’s Word says about our kids.  Proverbs 22:15 tells us that, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child…” (I’ll share the second half of this verse in just a minute.)

You know what that means?  It means that our children are born into this world fully hard-wired with the capacity to sin…to make bad decisions…to make rebellious decisions…to push back on the authority that God has placed in their life…primarily YOU!

Bribing little Johnny is NOT the answer.

Letting little Johnny call all the shots is NOT the answer.

Trying to be little Johnny’s best friend and equal peer is NOT the answer.

So what is the solution?  How are parents supposed to handle all the “folly” that is “bound up” in little Johnny’s heart?

Sadly, a growing number of parents in our entitled, low-expectation, permissive society don’t have the backbone or the courage to read (let alone apply) the solution that God has given to parents in His Word.

Do you want to know what it is?

(Caution: Politically Incorrect Statement in 3…2…1…)

Proverbs 22:15 – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Said in old-fashioned terms…a whoopin…a spanking…a trip behind the “wood shed”.

We are not talking about child abuse given in harsh anger.

We are talking about loving discipline that is administered in age-appropriate, measured restraint with the intent to correct destructive behavior that, for the good of little Johnny needs to be driven out of his life!

Is spanking the only and always “go to” tool in the parenting tool bag?  Absolutely not.  Is spanking always the first “tool” to reach for when disciplining children?  No.  Will all children require the exact same amount of spanking all the time? No.  But any parenting philosophy that does not include spanking somewhere along the line is a flawed one and it’s one that rejects God’s instruction on how to discipline and raise children.

Parents, please start being your children’s parents!

Please start asserting your parental authority in their lives!

Please back up your commands and instruction with strong, loving discipline and consequences instead of weak bribes!

Please have the courage to demand obedience from your children…especially when they are young!

Please love your kids enough to bring a little old school parenting into their new world of iPads and Xboxes.

What say you? Am I way off base here? Do you share any of my frustration with some of these “modern parenting” strategies? Feel free to sound off!


(Here is a sermon I did a few years ago (sorry about the bleach blonde hair…bad parenting I guess?) dealing with the subject of biblical discipline.)


About Jon Sanders

Follower of Jesus; Husband to an amazing woman; Father of 3 great kids; Pastor of a multi-site church with a vision to reach rural America for Christ!
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