Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Training up your children in the way they should go is much more than having devotions at dinner and taking them to church. It goes much deeper into how you interact with them at home and how you discipline them.
Let me share a very powerful parenting tip, actually stated by the German poet and playright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:
Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can be and should be an he will become as he can be and should be.
This is what that statement means for your parenting:
If all you ever do is point out what your kids are doing wrong, you’ll probably see more of the same.
Kids (and adults) need more compliments than criticism.
Of course,there are times when you absolutely must talk to your child about his unacceptable behavior. But if that’s all you do, then you are missing out on some great opportunities for guidance that sticks with your child.
Steady affirmation of the positive is more likely to open doors for positive exhortation. That’s how healthy relationships grow, with a high amounts of both grace and truth.
Grace means I’ll love you no matter what.
Truth means I’ll be honest no matter what.
(Mark Batterson, IF)
Treat your child in the direction of the person you want her to become. You want a reliable child, then give her chances to be reliable instead of babying her. You want a trustworthy child, then give your trust until he’s given you reason not to trust.
See if that doesn’t result in the behavior change you are really wanting to see.