There are many books on child rearing (here is a free pdf one titled The Plain Truth About Child Rearing).
When I was younger, I sometimes volunteered to look after some children after church services. Some of the parents were very permissive and some were excessively strict. Actually, the fact that their children needed to be watched as extensively as I often had to do, suggested to me that perhaps they were not being raised correctly. And none of those that come immediately to mind when I did this, either the parents or the children, actually stayed in the Church of God.
Despite sermons and books, and even what is in this article, parenting is something that is often learned on the job. You often have to deal with situations that you had not expected. This short article is not going to deal with all aspects of child rearing, but hopefully will give you a few simple rules to follow that will help you become a better and more effective parent. There is also a 12 1/2 minute YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
Here are five simple rules to be an effective parent:
Each of the five will be elaborated briefly in this article.
When children are first born, they demand a lot of time. However, as they get older, they demand a lot less. But just because they demand less, that does not mean that you should ignore them. You should spend time with them. Time eating, time working with them, time discussing their education, time doing fun activities with them, time in church with them, time teaching them, and simply time with them. God says to do that:
6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6).
If you spend time with your children, including when they are teenagers, they will be more comfortable with you and more inclined to communicate with you as well as to actually want to spend time with you. And they will probably have a much better relationship with you once they are old enough to be out on their own.
Do not lie to your children--ever. This includes not lying about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, or anything else. This does not mean that you have to tell them everything about your personal life that they ask, but it does mean that if you always tell them the truth you will be more honorable and trustworthy in their eyes. And they will not tend to forget that.
Remember, one of the Ten Commandments is: "Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12) and liars are not honorable. Notice something Jesus said about liars:
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)
8...all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
Be an honorable parent. Do not be a liar.
There are people who live one way in public and another in their private life. Children can see that, and should not be raised with that type of deceit. The same group of people that Jesus referred to as liars in John 8:44, He also often called hypocrites:
7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me...(Matthew 15:7-9)
25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:25-28)
Parents, you need to be really converted (see also Just What Do You Mean Conversion?), this is not a game (see also False Conversion).
The Bible also teaches, "And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish" (Job 8:13)--if you hope that your children will turn out well, then try not to live as a hypocrite.
The Bible is clear that parents are supposed to spend a lot of time with their children. And teaching children the laws of God. This gives children both proper rules and practical boundaries.
Here are a couple of scriptures related to that:
4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
Notice that you are to teach your children to love God. There is also another related commandment:
39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)
Children who love God and properly love their neighbor are much less likely to get involved in certain inappropriate behaviors.
The Bible also ties in living God's way and teaching your children and your grandchildren:
9 Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Remember you are your child's parent. And while that does not mean that you also cannot be a friend (and spending a lot of time with them helps on the friendship side), government authorities and the Bible expect you to provide proper discipline (though government authorities do not always understand how that should be provided, so caution is advised--cf. Amos 5:13).
The Bible teaches:
13 Don't fail to discipline your children. They won't die if you spank them. (Proverbs 23:13, New Living Translation, NLT)
10 Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die. (Proverbs 15:10)
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. (Proverbs 29:17)
Most children should not need much in the way of "harsh" discipline. And in modern society, be cautious about the wisdom of spanking (legally it is not allowed to various counties). But children should have rules and boundaries and be subject to discipline if they violate those rules and boundaries.
There are many ways to provide discipline. Talking with them, removing or restricting privileges, as well as my favorite, giving children additional work to do. Having children pull weeds was one of my favorite forms of disciplinary punishment. Also, as they get older, properly raised children normally will respond to simply expressing your disappoint in them as sufficient discipline.
While parenting is challenging, the five simply rules of effective parenting should ultimately make your job easier.
Remember to spend time with your children, do not lie to them do not live like a hypocrite, teach children about God and His laws (Deuteronomy 6:6-7), and do not be afraid to provide proper discipline.
If you are a Christian and live your life as one and spend time with your children, many child rearing problems that others face will not likely affect you. This does not mean that you will never have any problems or that your children may never rebel, but if you follow these five rules, you will go a long way in being a more effective parent and doing a biblically-proper job of child rearing.
When you do encounter unexpected problems, do not forget to study your Bible, pray, and sometimes counsel with others for assistance.
There is also a 12.5 minute YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
Thiel B. Five rules for effective parenting. www.cogwriter.com/five-rules-for-effective-parenting.htm 2013/2014/2015 0115
Two items of related interest may include:
What Psychologists do not Know About Child Rearing This is an article by Herbert Armstrong that was used as the introduction to the pdf booklet The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing This is a pdf booklet that the old WCG put out.
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