By Vickie Lambert
Parenting my two precious children has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I was a young mother at age 19 and so unsure of my parenting skills. Discipline, along with other necessities of parenting, would prove to be a challenge for me as much as to any new mother.
I read every book I could get my hands on and received countless advice from other well-seasoned mothers including my own. I tried spanking, time out, praising the good behavior along with many other disciplines, but I found myself frustrated because nothing seemed to work.
I became a Christian when my children were five and eight. That is when my parenting skills took a major turn and so did the behavior of my children. With each situation that I found myself in, I would sit my children down and actually discuss what they did and the effect that it had on their future, others and God. I used scriptures to teach about life lessons. The living word became my Parental Instruction Manual. My children began to see that their behavior did not just affect them but the people around them, their Christian witness and God. I didn’t use the scriptures to make them feel guilty, just as a road map in human kindness, respect and decency. I always followed up with the fact that I loved them and that I was happy with them just not their behavior. This is not to say that it was all fantasy land and things from that moment on were perfect but it did make life much better in our home. I did have to use this way of discipline with consequences as well, such as taking away a privilege, etc…
My children are now grown adults who are both married and their teenage years were pretty quiet and uneventful, and I am so proud of the Godly adults that they have become. I see parenting around me every day. Parent’s screaming at their children, child abuse, children cursing their parents and although I am not an expert on parenting, I feel so blessed that I used God’s teaching and instruction to raise my children. I hope in my children’s future when they begin to have those precious children of their own that they will follow God’s example as well.
Proverbs 22:6: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”