“Father’s, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." ~ Ephesians 6:4
A disciplined parent is one who clearly communicates with their children. Their children know what behaviors are appropriate, which ones are inappropriate. Furthermore, their children know what the rewards are for good behavior and what the consequences are for bad behavior. The disciplined parent focuses on encouragement and problem-solving. Disciplined parenting does not use yelling or severe punishment and remains consistent in how they interact with their children.
20+ ways to know that you are a disciplined parent:
If this list makes you feel like you are not a disciplined parent, take heart, it is never too late to become one. Don’t be discouraged. Remember, your child will pass through the stages of childhood quickly and you don’t want to miss any of them. So take a step back, examine your actions and decide what you need to do in order to become a disciplined parent and remember Matthew 7:8, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” God wants you to be a disciplined parent and raise your children according to His word. Ask Him to guide you in your parenting and He will. He always keeps His promises.
“In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.
Trust is foundational to human relationships and it is important to teach children about trust and the importance of being trustworthy. It is equally important that children learn that not all people are trustworthy and therefore cannot be trusted. It is also important that you teach children how to go about knowing who to trust and who not to trust. The place to turn for guidance on how to do this is the Bible.
The Bible tells us that we must acknowledge that ALL humans…you, me, your mom, your dad, your children, are sinful. Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of this, it is very likely that trusts will be broken in relationships, people will disappoint each other. This does not mean that we are to avoid relationships, God wants us to interact with each other. What it does mean is that we should not expect anyone to be perfect and therefore we must not put our entire trust in any human. We must rely on God first and know that He is the one we are to put our ultimate trust in. Remember Psalm 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. And Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
God wants us to know that we cannot blindly trust everyone with everything and we cannot trust everyone with our children. And, we need to teach our children that they must not trust everyone. Children must be taught about distrust, that “feeling of doubt that you have towards someone or something”. Teach your children to recognize motives that are not pure, Proverbs 13:20 states, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Encourage them to stay away from people who have values that go against the values you have taught them…values that go against the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” You must be discerning about the people you trust and you must teach your children to do the same. Teach your children about discernment and the importance of following their intuition… the framework for protecting them from violence. Teach them this by teaching them the Word of God and by letting them see you doing what you are teaching them.
In his book, Protecting The Gift, Gavin De Becker states that, “To protect your child, you must believe in yourself. Safety starts with knowing that your intuition about people is a brilliant guardian”.
“If you don’t make the mistake of waiting for clear signals to become memories you wish you’d acted on, then you can defeat most predators. When you don’t trust someone who makes an unsolicited approach, when your intuition sends you doubt or suspicion, you’ve got all the information you need. People who never received permission to act on their intuition (and that’s most people) may wait until they can construct a logical reason to act, but I encourage you to give up the old way. When you listen to the natural signals of danger, you are teaching your children to listen as well, and that will save them a lot of conflict and self-doubt.” ~ Protecting The Gift by Gavin De Becker
In addition to teaching your children about discernment and following their intuition…that “still small voice,” there are other actions you should take to keep them safe:
The most important thing that a child could ever learn is the existence, character, and plan of God. So remember, if you teach your child to trust God first and foremost and not put his complete trust in others, then he will be free to trust others and know when not to.
The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. ~ Proverbs 20:7
As a parent, you may find yourself in situations asking, “Do I trust my child? Do I trust what she is doing or saying?” What we often forget to ask is, “Does my child trust me?” Trust is a two-way street and believe it or not, it must be earned.
Trust is foundational to human relationships and it begins when a baby cries and his needs are met. His cry is his only way of letting you know that he has an unmet need. He cries to let you know when he needs affection…to be hugged, cuddled and comforted. He may be hungry and need you to feed him or wet and need to be changed. Whatever he needs and as you meet his needs, he learns that he can trust you. Responding to his cries, helps him learn to trust not only you, but the world around him. By responding to his needs, you are building a foundation of trust for your child.
Trust building continues as your child gets older… by keeping promises, being honest, respecting him, listening to him, and being consistent with your parenting. Establishing trust and confidence is how you can build a meaningful relationship with your child and cope when parenting gets tough. In other words, “A healthy relationship must ultimately be based on trust. To build trust, you always keep your word. You remain consistent and dependable in everything you say and do. You become the kind of team player who is utterly reliable in every situation. You never do or say anything that can shake this foundation of trust upon which a healthy relationship is built.” ~ Brian Tracy
Brene Brown’s acronym, BRAVING, emphasizes the qualities that contribute to building and sustaining trust.
B----Boundaries: Can your child trust you to be clear about the rules and regulations that you have established? Can she trust you to give her room and to say “no” when it is called for? Can she respect you to allow her to say a respectful “no” and will you understand?
R----Reliability: Will you do what you say you will do? Will you keep your promises? Will your actions match your words? Can she trust you to be consistent?
A----Accountability: Can she trust that when you make a mistake you will own it and apologize and make amends? Will you allow her to hold herself accountable for the mistakes she makes and give her the opportunity to apologize?
V----Vault: Will you keep her confidence? Will you be sensitive to the things that embarrass her and not repeat them because you think it is something cute to tell?
I-----Integrity: Can she trust you to model what integrity looks like? Will you let her see you choosing the harder right over the easier wrong? Will you practice your values and not just verbalize them?
N----Non-judgment: Will you allow her to cry without judging? Will you allow her to struggle and make decisions without judging? Will you allow her to see you reaching out for help when needed and helping others without judging? Will you show her respect? Will you listen and show genuine interest in what she is saying?
G-----Generosity: Will you assume that her intentions are good and when you are not sure, you will talk to her about it? Will you make the best assumptions about her instead of the worst?
Trust between you and your child is vital and must be built and sustained. But remember you must also do what Proverbs 22:6 tells parents to do… “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This includes teaching her about trusting God. Teach her that God is sovereign and that He works on behalf of His children. Teach her Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Teach her that when all else fails, it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
Trust is foundational to human relationships and it is vital to establishing confidence and assurance so that your child knows that she can rely on you. The key to building trust with your child is to start when she is young and to emphasize the qualities that contribute to not only building trust but also sustaining it. And, as she learns to trust you, she will find it easy and necessary to trust the One who loves her more than even you do…our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.