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How Should We Treat Our Wayward Children?

How Should We Treat Our Wayward Children?
To parents who have wayward children, don’t give up on them. Pray for them and continue to love them no matter how old they are. Photo: The Stream
June 05
10:43 2018

To parents who have wayward children, don’t give up on them.

If you have done everything you possibly can as parents and your children still rebel and do their own thing, who is to blame?

That’s a question I was asked yesterday in response to my article yesterday on the parental responsibility and the importance of the family.

It’s a good question because some parents have gone through this experience.

First, our responsibility as parents is to teach our children the correct principles and doctrines.

If our children are under 18 we have a legal responsibility over their personal welfare.

We can set rules and boundaries and we expect the children to follow. But one thing we can’t do is to use violence as a form of corporal punishment.

The law bans it to protect the children. That’s fair enough but how do we discipline wayward children?

This is always a sensitive area and it evokes a lot of emotions when it comes up for discussion.

In the absence of corporal punishment, some parents use the following:

Children are grounded which means they cannot go out to an activity, whether it’s a trip to the movies or sporting event.

Time out – where a child is sent to a room for a certain period away from the family centre of activity

Withholding of allowance or pocket money

Tasked to complete a household chore within a specified time like scrubbing the bathroom or cleaning the toilets or picking up rubbish outside or work in the gardens. This is over and above their assigned duty.

I am sure there are more ideas out there. They are okay as long as they comply with the law.

We should not force or coerce anyone. We ensure that they exercise their freedom of choice. With that freedom comes responsibility. The children need to learn this truth and that rules and laws are made to protect them and everyone else.

If rules or laws do not exist life will be chaotic and people will get hurt and even killed.

When children turn 18 and become adults and independent, they need to know that they are accountable for their words, thoughts and actions.

There is a consequence to everything they do. They are free to choose whatever they want. But they cannot escape the consequences of their choice.

The child will be blamed for his or her choice not the parents and vice versa.

The Holy Bible (Old Testament) says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the inequity of the son…..” (Ezekiel 18:20).

To parents who have wayward children, don’t give up on them. Pray for them and continue to love them no matter how old they are. God will make the difference. He is able to do what we can’t.

Read chapter 15 of Luke in the New Testament of the Holy Bible. It talks about the parables of the lost sheep, the piece of silver and the prodigal son.

In the lost sheep parable, a man who has 100 sheep, leaves the 99 and looks for the missing one. When he finds it, he rejoices. The same thing happens to the woman who lost one piece of silver.

In the prodigal son story, he leaves home with his share of the family wealth to join his friends and enjoy the world.

When he runs out of money and is facing personal hardships he decides to return home. His dad welcomes him home with open arms, no questions asked as the family celebrates his return.

We may disagree with the way our children are living but let them know you still love them

The father of the prodigal son did not berate his son or keep reminding him of his past follies. He was just so happy to see him home.

Remember the Bible’s words of wisdom: “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” (Proverbs 15:1).

Edited by Ranoba Baoa




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