Disciplining by example

Our children learn from us parents. It does not matter how hard we try to set a good example and conceal our faults o0r weaknesses, our children will find out the truth by simply observing us. They will judge us by what we do rather than by what we say to them. Our children see right through us. Many times they will know when we have had a quarrel by simply looking at our faces. They will know when we are not so happy with each other even if they will not have heard us arguing. We will not be ab

Criticism, nagging and complaining have a negative influence on our children. Children that are often criticised will often criticise other people for no apparent reason. Nagging and complaining may result in children that are never satisfied with any good thing that may be done for them. Children may actually fail to appreciate the good and be quick to note the negative aspects of whatever is presented to them.


Angry outbursts can damage relationships. A parent who fails to control their temper can seriously damage their relationship with their children. In fact, angry outbursts will often result in fear among the children, and that fear can be a negative factor in the childs discipline. It must be a terrible thing to be a feared father or mother. You will never know whether your children are obedient to you because they love and trust you or simply because they would like to avoid the wrath of your temper.


An obsessive attitude to work negatively affects family life. There is nothing wrong with working hard for the family as long as the parent will have the sense to spare some time for the family. Work must never be such an obsession that the parent cannot spend some time with the children, help with homework, do some gardening with the children and go to church with the family. Children take a very dim view of a parent who decides not to go to church because they are working, or the one who fails to show up at their school on special occasions because they are busy in their office. Faith: The loss of that living relationship with God robs us of our source of strength. Our children will tend to know when we have lost our faith, or when our faith is weak. They will know by observing us and watching the numerous actions that we engage in that indicate our lack of faith in God. The implications for their own faith can be quite negative.


Failure to organise and think ahead can lead to disorder and confusion. Children are very quick to notice that there is lack of planning among their parents, especially when things go wrong. Children prefer order even though they seem to be the masters of disorder. They often rely on their parents to institute order and avoid confusion in the family. Rest: Tiredness and stress reduce effectiveness. We have taught our children to find moments to rest for an hour or two each week-end, so that they can be effective during the following week. We teach them this by example. We often take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon nap. During that time we will not take phone calls or read a newspaper or watch TV.


Wasting time and energy makes children feel unimportant. This may cause them to become quite difficult to discipline. A parent who wastes time is often an annoyance to their children.

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