Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
Children can be frustrating. I know when I walk out in the living room and my son has dumped an entire box of Cheerios on the carpet and is shoving them in his mouth by the handful, I have to bite my tongue. Also, I think it should be illegal to own permanent markers and have children under eight in the same household. That would probably improve the mental health of parents everywhere.
In all seriousness, it is necessary to discipline our children as our Father in Heaven disciplines us—not out of anger, but out of love and a genuine interest in our well-being and growth. Yelling may provide a temporary release, but it also provokes our children and can lead to remorse and hard feelings, especially when carried out over time.
There are many alternatives to yelling, all that can be done in what my children’s teachers refer to as our “inside voices”. Whatever your discipline plan is, make sure your children know it and that it is consistent.
- Withhold privileges.
- Enforce a time out.
- Expect them to apologize, make it better, and provide extra service to the person they have wronged.
Question: What are some ways you can discipline your children without yelling at them? What haven’t you tried yet, and how could you implement it?