What You Teach Your Kids When You Allow Them To Control Your Life
Kids are controlling their parents lives at unprecedented levels.
- “I can’t ever do things that cut into my child’s nap schedule or my child acts like a monster.”
- “I can’t go out in public very often because my child throws tantrums and it’s so embarrassing.”
- “I can’t enjoy church because my child won’t sit quietly.”
- “I can’t go places without entertainment or my child is bored and complaining.”
- “We can’t go anywhere at night because if our child isn’t in bed by such and such time, then our child is unbearable.”
- “We can’t hang out with other families because our child is so rude.”
Note, I’m not talking about the inconvenience of sacrificial, selfless, parental love. I’m referring to the inconvenience that comes from neglecting to exercise your God given authority to parent your children for their good and God’s glory.
When you allow your kids to control your life, what are you teaching them?
- You’re teaching your child that life revolves around them. The problem is that, in the real world, life doesn’t revolve around them. Raising a self-centered, narcissistic, child is horribly unloving and is setting your child up for a very rude awakening when they realize that life doesn’t work that way.
- You’re teaching your child that they are an authority unto themselves instead of the value and reality of God’s authority delegated through parents and other human agents. A child growing up in control learns to buck authority when it doesn’t let them do what they want.
- You’re teaching your child the unholy power of manipulation. By rewarding controlling, manipulative behavior, you’re teaching your child that this is acceptable. It’s not.
- You’re teaching your child that it’s OK not to grow up. A child doesn’t outgrow their fleshly, sinful desires. They need discipline and they need Christ. There are a lot of fully grown adults still acting like children because their parents indirectly taught them it was OK.
Children need to be taught that the world revolves around God (Col 1:15-20), that he is the ultimate authority from which all authority is derived (Rom 13:1), that he cannot be manipulated (Prov 21:30), and that he wants his children to grow up (1 Cor 13:11).
So train your kids to be flexible, and that being tired is not an excuse to disobey.
Train your kids that it’s never OK to throw tantrums.
Train your kids to sit quietly when appropriate. (You can start by teaching them to sit quietly for set periods of time at home.)
Train your kids to be polite and respectful to others.
Train your kids to be content and to use their imagination. (This means restricting entertainment and the use of electronic devices.)
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6
(Image Credit: Emiliano Loungerie)
About Josh Christophersen
Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.