The National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) offers a free weekly (at least) email that has parenting tips. We are not endorsing every tip and piece of advice they give, but there are a lot of good ones. At the least, we must remember that we need to develop our parenting skills, like any other skill in life, except that parenting skills have a lifelong and eternal impact.
Here is a sample of some recent tips:
- Good parenting doesn't always work. Sometimes what we are teaching our children gets too far out of balance. For example, it is good to help our children learn to ask questions, but it may develop into teaching the child to be overly-focused on his needs and questions. We need to continually evaluate and make adjustments as necessary.
- The solution isn't just bigger consequences. We giving consequences for sinful behavior, remember "that the goal is a changed heart, not just punishment for doing wrong." Know that the pain of consequences is what helps a young child recognize that their behavior is destructive.
- And then there were two. Problems often arise when an only child "suddenly" (in her viewpoint) has a sibling, who takes her parents' attention, time, and energy. A two-fold approach may be helpful. First, reinforce your love for the older child, and be sure to carve out time for just her. Second, "increase the firm discipline to reinforce the new boundaries." Emphasize that their selfish behavior and attitude is sin. This is a great season to teach the young child that they are self-focused sinners, whom God loves completely.
- Obey first and then we'll talk about it. Before anything else, a child must learn to submit himself to authority. Obeying does not just mean in actions, but in his heart as well. If he does not learn to obey happily, immediately, and completely by the time he is done with elementary school, it will make the teen years very difficult. Parents often allow young children too many decisions to make. (See this video of Pastor Bill White answering a related question.)