Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Colossians 3:20
Your parenting authority is endorsed and mandated in the Bible, but sometimes parents mistake parenting for a no-questions-asked rule of law.
Yes, parents are to be the leaders of their homes, but being the parent is one thing, and being the parent who treats their child in a way THEY wouldn’t want to be treated is another.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Do you think that the Golden Rule only applies to adults?
If you want a healthy and loving relationship with your child, you need to treat him or her the way you would like to be treated.
“But,” you may be thinking, “I’m the parent; my child is supposed to respect me!”
Yes, you are the parent and your child should learn to respect you. But how will she learn that? By seeing how YOU respect others, including her. Respect is not something you just show to people in authority; it’s something you show to everyone.
Or here’s another example: “But my parents never treated me that way. They spoke, I listened and obeyed. No questions asked.”
Is that how you’d like to be treated by your boss? I think not. Parents should listen to what their kids are thinking, encourage them to ask questions–all done in respect, of course, which they will learn from YOU.
There’s one problem though: Playing the “I’m the parent” card is so much easier. We don’t have to think or work through problems. We don’t have to work at communicating or listening. I realize now that I used it a few too many times as my kids were growing up.
But that card never resolves underlying issues. So, if you feel you HAVE to use it, be sure it is when there is absolutely no other way to solve the problem. And even then, use it only as a temporary solution, while you seek to solve the deeper problem.
Be sure that your parenting authority is cloaked in love and that you are showing your children how to be respectful of others. Kids are not slaves or minions, they are children of the King.