A parent that only serves as a rule enforcer is likely only creating a compliant child. Yes there comes a time for the “this is the way it will be and that is final” stuff, but not everything should be approached in that manner.
Compliance is doing the right thing because someone is looking. Internalization is different from compliance. Think of it like this: a child who internalizes the rationale behind the choices which lead to the positive behavior is someone who has grown to know and understand and believe what they do is right and chooses to do it because it agrees with their personal beliefs/moral code.
A parent who is willing to invest the time to educate a child on effective decision making will create a more successful future adult. One that the parent can have a greater sense of peace knowing that he/she has a solid foundation from which to make life’s choices as they come.
“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” -Proverbs 22:6
Direct your child along the right path. Have discussions with them. Help them understand the “why” behind your perspective, beliefs, and choices. Teach them how you use logical reasoning to come to conclusive decisions. Equip them with such tools.
When they need to make a decision, guide them through the process but allow them to work through arriving at the conclusion. Don’t rush to rescue them and make the decision for them without giving them the opportunity to consider what they think is a good solution and why.
Don’t neglect the important stuff: let your children catch you in the Word.
Let them see you living out your faith in the way you treat your spouse, family, neighbors, and strangers.
Pray for and with your children.
Healthy minds, healthy kids.
Healthy faith, healthy heart.
Healthy personal relationship with Jesus, healthier relationships with those you’ve been entrusted with.
I love how Lysa TerKeurst worded her thoughts on teaching her kids to make good choices in a post on her Facebook page in 2014. I’ve pasted the link below:
(Great words, Lysa!)
Children are our inheritance. They are a gift! But also a great responsibility.
We must aim our arrows well ❤️ (Psalm 127:3-5).