Question of the week: “Are we keeping our small children from expressing themselves by not allowing their temper tantrums?” I am Mom to three happy, healthy married adult children, who love God, their spouses, their parents and each other. They were not allowed to have temper tantrums. The rule was for their benefit.
Also, as a teacher, I have worked with thousands of kids over the past 35 years. In my experience, it takes about ten minutes – in a classroom with small children – to tell which ones have no boundaries at home and are allowed to “express” their feelings in any way they choose. These are children who have no respect for authority, other students or – predictably so – even themselves.
By the way, I don’t fault the children. If you have reluctance to accept my advice on teaching kids respect and obedience, using appropriate consequences and boundaries, please give the experts your ear.
If space permitted, I would copy this entire book on my post: Boundaries With Kids, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. All parents should have this in their homes – at their fingertips if necessary. The credentials of these wise authors speak for themselves.
Their primary research the past 23 years, made available to millions of people, has helped countless families learn about healthy boundaries. It has saved marriages and produced thousands of appreciative parents with healthy, well adjusted kids. They are eternally grateful for the advice from this book.
Let me give you a taste of chapter one:
The two doctors talk about three roles of a parent – Guardian, Manager and Source:
“The Bible says that children are “under guardians and managers” until the appropriate time. (Galatians 4:2 NASB) Children do not possess the wisdom for protecting and preserving their own lives. They do not know right from wrong, dangerous from safe, good from better, life from death. Parents, in their role as Guardian, keep the child safe, growing, and healthy. More often than not, they use boundaries to perform this function. They set limits for freedom, and then enforce them for the child’s protection.
A Manager makes sure things get done- goals are reached, demands and expectations are met. Children are not born with self discipline: therefore they have to have other discipline. A child must learn obedience.
Parents are the Source of all things good for a child. Children come into the world without resources. Being the source for children is fraught with blessing and difficulty. If parents give without boundaries, children learn to feel entitled and become self centered and demanding. Ungratefulness becomes a character pattern. Kids need to be taught the boundaries they don’t naturally possess.”
Do your children a favor, teach them self-control. The alternative is found in detention facilities around the country.
“Start children off on the right path. And even when they are old, they will not turn away from it.” Proverbs 22:6