Do You Get at the Heart of the Matter When Disciplining Your Child?

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1 Kings 1:6 reads, "His father had never crossed him at any time by asking, 'Why have you done so?'"

A father took away his 16 year old son’s driving privileges for one month for reckless driving.  I asked the dad, “During that month, was your son remorseful and humble?”

The dad said, “No. He showed me nothing but anger and disrespect. I didn’t let him drive but he made my life miserable.”

The discipline did not fully work because the son’s heart did not change.

This dad should have said to his son, “What is going on in your heart? Why the disrespect?

“Son, you need to know that I am doing this because I couldn’t live with myself if you died or hurt others.

“I know you want to drive. And, I know you are not happy about this because I don’t want you to be happy about this. I am disciplining you so you’ll exercise discipline as a driver.

“You need to humbly accept this not try to punish me for what you did wrong. Your disrespect won’t change my heart or mind.

“You need to work with me as a man of honor. You need to take the discipline. I know you don’t agree with the discipline, that it is too severe, but there is no debate here.

“So, if you keep showing me anger and disrespect, for every day you do, I add a day to no driving.

“This is serious stuff and I need you to be respectful even though you think you learned your lesson and I am unfair and dishonoring you.

“I get your concern but my decision is final. I won’t budge except to take more driving privileges from you since your disrespectful attitude proves to me that you are not ready to drive. If you keep showing me disrespect, you’ll disrespect the driving laws.”

Every parent needs not only to discipline a disobedient child, during the discipline a parent must detect if there is inner defiance. That is the heart of the matter and should be approached in the manner this father should have approached his disrespectful son.

Do you get at the heart of the matter?

-Dr. E