I’m so excited about the new understanding I have on training children. I have been reading the material from “www.nogreaterjoy.org” website.
First of all I ordered a DVD from this website called training children. I started to watch the DVD and learning about the heart of where these people are coming from and knowing the fruit they have experienced in their children has given me the motivation to listen and follow their advice.
I love how the father was teaching that to be a successful parent the #1 thing you have to have is joy.😃 And the way you keep the joy flowing in the home is to train your children in the ways of the Lord and to obey authority in their lives! He said if you want your kids to believe in what you believe in and follow your example you need joy. A car salesman is not going to be successful unless he has joy.
I know no parent is perfect and these people are not perfect. But I believe we can learn from each other and let the word of God be our main guide in this journey of parenting. In the nine years of struggling in parenting the teachings from this website and these people I hold close to my heart because of the fruit it has brought me recently and at times in the past when I implemented things suggested here.
My ultimate recommendation is to but their Dvd called “The joy of training”.
So recently on their website I typed in spanking.
Then there was a link for training kids and I read it.
A couple of things really stood out to me.
- The whole idea that there are two main pleasures in life. The pleasure of doing things my way and the pleasure of obeying authority. And how we need to help them experience the pleasure of obeying the authority that has been placed in their life. Here is what they have to say about it: Defiance itself
The only factor common to all her weird acts of defiance is defiance itself. Sue (a young girl who is very rebellious and defiant) seeks to dominate because that is where her greatest pleasure lies. Sue finds pleasure in standing crossways to the will of others. She is on a quest for sovereignty—to be the supreme potentate. She will not make the compromises necessary to be a part of society. She has set herself against the rules of group cooperation. She seeks to live beyond authority.
The original sin
Lucifer was the first one to take independent action. The Bible speaks of his motive: “I will ascend up; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (above other angels and cherubim); I will be like the most high (be like God) (Isaiah 14:14).” The original sin was not committed by Adam. It was committed by Lucifer, the cherub. He developed a will to dominate, to control, to call the shots, to direct not only his affairs, but the affairs of others. He wanted to be sovereign.
Lucifer (now known as Satan) was disembodied and cast down to the earth (then called Eden) before Adam and Eve were created. (Is. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:13-17; Job 38:7; Luke 10:17; Rev. 12:9) He knows that he will end in the fires of hell. He has no hope of winning, yet he still seeks symbolic victories. With defeat certain, he seeks gestures of defiance. He wants to express his rebellion in tokens of contempt. Satan finds pleasure in the knowledge that he is not giving God the pleasure of supremacy. In his twisted thinking, his very existence, every defiant thought and act of noncompliance, is a denial of the sovereignty of God. In that alone he finds meaning and purpose. There can be no ultimate pleasure for Satan, so he lives for the immediate pleasure of reveling in his own autonomy, in defiance of God. Seeing this, we can understand why “God prepared hell for the devil and his angels.”
So, who is to blame?
Who is at fault? Did Sue’s parents bring her to this, or is it the fault of something that occurred on the theological battleground before she was born—the fault of God? Did she inherit this behavior? You will be in step with current trends if you label her behavior as “the sins of the parents visited on the children.” When we mortals are called to account for our stewardship, we are prone to pass the blame.
To hear Christians explain their failures, either Adam is to blame, the devil, or my “sinful nature.” I am a victim. My child is a victim. We are helpless. To be known as psychologically astute you must not demand anything of your child or yourself, for, according to trends, we are capable of nothing but toleration and compassion. This concept has been prevalent in all generations, but our day could be called “The Age of the Victim.”
Likewise, in this era of “science,” everything, including behavior, can be explained in terms of chemicals, genetics, predispositions, personality types, in short—a sort of cosmic fate. No one is responsible. So the politically correct approach is to either ignore bad behavior or sedate it with chemicals.
But this mother does not subscribe to a philosophy or theology that leaves her helpless. Though she is perplexed as to what she should do, she knows that there are answers, things she can do that will purge her daughter of this diabolical will to dominate.
How and Why
Even before Adam and Eve sinned, the element in their natures that drew them to disobedience was a desire for pleasure—the pleasure of taste, the pleasure of sight, and the pleasure of mental ascendancy. God created us with a desire for pleasure, something that is an essential part of his nature. God seeks the pleasure of his own will. Pleasure in any form is the elementary motivation of the human heart.
We think of pleasure as primarily physical or sensual, but there is also pleasure of the mind, the spirit, and the emotions. The third aspect of Eve’s temptation was an appeal to her desire for the pleasure of knowing, of being on the inside, of ascending by means of the power of knowledge. It was not her desire for pleasure that was evil. Eve sinned because she sought pleasure without regard to duty.
God placed the pleasure seeking parts of Adam and Eve under the control of their spirits and minds. Their volitional part determined just which pleasure they would ultimately value—the pleasure of existing in fellowship with God, under his authority, or the pleasure of independent, self-centered action. Eve chose the lower road of personal sovereignty and independent action. Children recapitulate the fall of Adam and Eve in their own quests for pleasure.
Pleasure and Pain
During those first weeks, Sue became conscious of the pleasure of her existence. Infants know only pleasure and pain—the pain of being hungry, and the pleasure of nursing; the pain of being sleepy, and the pleasure of a quiet room and soft blanket; the pain of a wet diaper, and the pleasure of having mother change it.
At first Sue found all of her pleasure in having her bodily needs met, but in a few days, as she nursed and satisfied her hunger, she came to view the act itself as pleasurable. When her tummy ached and mother burped her, she came to enjoy being held and cooed. Life opened up and she discovered the world was a wonderful place to excite not only the senses, but the mind and spirit as well. Her drives were all instinctive. She was incapable of any sense of responsibility or duty. Her only value was pleasure for the sake of its inherent satisfaction.
As she experienced the gratification of having her physical and emotional needs met, she developed wants as well—things that weren’t essential but felt good all the same. To her, there was no distinction. During those early months, parents cannot make any distinction either, and by the time they do, it is far past the time to begin training. Parents live to serve the child, and the child lives to be served. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement. It is when parents allow the child to stay on the throne too long that problems occur.
2. Later in this same article they talk about gambling. They said a person addicted to gambling will always want to gamble if they have a slight hope they will win. It doesn’t become fun anymore if they know they are going to lose every time. So now I understand I must win every battle with my child so that they will stop playing games with me. The manipulation, the whining, the disobedience needs to stop in our house. Here is what they said:
Reclaiming your authority
Now for some answers. As Christian parents, we do not want our children to grow up belligerent and controlling. We are not content to wait until social concerns cause them to redirect their aggressions. We see it as a heart problem that needs to be treated at the root.
In one word, I am going to give you the basic principle that will lead to banishing this disease of dominance—WIN—because that is the rule by which the child is playing. When the child decided to be confrontational and challenge your authority, it was for the purpose of winning a game. When you win, the child looses, and the game ceases to be fun. There is no pleasure for the child in always loosing. A gambler is compelled to gamble as long as there is hope of winning. Addiction is kept alive by the hope of an occasional win. If a gambler suffered the misery of losing his savings, home, car, job, family, health, and honor, he would still gamble, because even in losing, his senses are brought to a pitch of keenness and vitality. He finds pleasure in the game, whether he wins or loses, as long as there is hope of winning. However, if he knew that the table was rigged so that he could never win, it would instantly purge him of his compulsion, because there would be no game, no suspense, no risk, and no possibility of the thrill of winning. Gambling at that table would become as dull as the lawnmower blade.
Sue’s addiction to dominance is as strong as any addiction to heroin, alcohol, pornography, or gambling. Lust seeks opportunity. The possibility of opportunity keeps lust simmering on the front burner. This mother said that spanking was just not working. Just as the gambler will lose time after time, yet ignore the pain and press on in hopes of a better day, so a child will suffer the pain of spanking time after time, in hopes of winning the blessed reward of dominance the next time—or maybe the next. If Sue became convinced that there was no game and no chance of winning, that there would never be the “thrill of victory,” only “the agony of defeat,” she would drop the game and go where she could find true pleasure.
Peace on earth, good will toward men
Leftwing dogma would advocate turning the other cheek. They would advise us to give the child everything she wants, and when she is bloated with her personal expressions, she will normalize. But the Jungs, Darwins, and Deweys are ready in the wings with drugs in the event their social experimentations don’t work. If their promiscuous approach to child development fails, they have reserved the privilege of labeling the child as a victim of a brain disorder.
If you leave a child to function as if his independence and dominance were a viable option, you are not loving the child; you are allowing him to march blindly into certain destruction—not to mention the harm he causes to others along the way.
Sue has adopted a false worldview. It is a narrow, blind, and selfish endeavor that offers false hope and empty pleasure. To allow her to continue on this path without meeting a greater power is to allow her to continue to believe a lie that will damn her soul. Those who set aside goodwill and adopt a will to dominate are enemies of God and of the fellowship of humanity.
Fear God and the king
When adults or children choose the wrong path they must be brought to repentance. Modern, Christian psychology with its feather-pillow tactics will not work. Sue and other children like her need to come smack dab up against the fear of God. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Jesus said, “I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him (Luke 12:5).” Modern Christianity has had the fear of God driven out of it by counselors, motivational preachers, praise music, and Christian bookstores. Sue is too young to fear God, but properly placed fear is essential to mental and spiritual health. Sue needs to fear her parents as Christians fear God. I am not talking about fear of a spanking, nor fear of their presence, but rather, she should fear the authority they command.
When the rod fails
Dear Mother, as we said, you cannot depend on spanking Sue into compliance. Do not fail to spank, but don’t expect it to work until you have made some other adjustments. And when you do spank, make sure that it is forceful enough to get her undivided attention. If she can scream “huggie” while you are spanking her, you are probably not spanking hard enough.
Do not allow 15 seconds to lapse between the offense and the spanking. And do not allow more than 10 feet between the place of the offense and the place of spanking. The association is essential. Don’t hug her in reference to the spanking. That is an apology, and it is a diversion from the issues. Again, spanking will not be the deciding factor, but it will help keep the pressure on.
The Key to Victory
The key is to cut off all her attempts to sabotage your authority. When she draws a line and sets herself against your command, never, I say never, allow her to win. She is looking for opportunities to prove her independence and sovereignty. You need to look for opportunities to demonstrate your sovereign governorship. She must be thwarted by a superior power. So far, she has been stronger than you.
When you tighten up, she will bear down with her most defiant anger and hostility. Out of desperation, she will try every trick that has ever worked. You do not have to win the battle all at once. You just have to win every contest she throws at you.
Put the bed back in her room. Explain to her that she is going to sleep in it all night. Make a list of things you will do before bedtime. Each evening, check off the list with her, and when it is concluded there will be no more repeats. This list will be helpful because you have been allowing her to set the agenda spontaneously, whereas by writing it down, you are making her aware that you have an agenda from which you will not vary, and it is her responsibility to do the conforming. Place a glass of water in her room, and also a little potty. Let her watch the clock with you. When the hand gets to the bedtime hour, you will kiss her good night and leave the room. Do not answer any more questions, and do not respond except with a switch, in the event she breaks any of the rules. If she gets up to potty, there had better be yellow liquid in the pot, or she gets another switching.
Do not threaten to spank her until she stops crying. For some children that would work, but you do not want to challenge her to a contest that you cannot win. She may be able to tolerate the pain longer than you can tolerate giving it. Once she outcries the switch, she will keep on doing so, stretching her endurance longer and longer each time. You can harden a child to your ultimatums by allowing her to win the switching-or-else contest. The point is to win any objective contests she initiates. You can’t make her stop crying, but you can stand over her and make sure she does not get out of the bed. You don’t have to spank excessively. Your goal is to get her to “voluntarily” return to the bed.
You can get an intercom and mount it high on the wall so you can hear everything that goes on in her room. Don’t let her know that her room is bugged. If you can’t get the intercom, you may have to sleep outside her room. If she gets out of bed, go in there, and without saying a word, give her one or two licks—whatever it takes to get her back in bed. If she rushes to obey when she hears you coming, give her five licks anyway.
Do not drag her to the bed. It is important that she exercise her own will to obey. If she throws a screaming fit, give her several moderate licks every few minutes and wait beside her until she is so tired she obeys. Do this all night long, every night, until she readily complies.
If she puts her shoes on backwards, do not threaten or complain, just commence giving her licks right on her feet or ankles until she gets her shoes on the right feet. If she takes her shoes off in the yard, do not warn her, just go out in the yard and spank her feet until she finds her shoes and puts them back on.
Now above all, to make this effective, you must always maintain the dignity of a judge. You cannot be stressed or emotionally upset. She has been winning the emotional battle—a field you must conquer if you are to win the larger game. Pretend to be indifferent to her suffering at the end of the switch. You must always be calm and deliberate.
Lastly, you should reward all good behavior with lots of smiles and participation. Spend time enjoying her when she is in a state of goodwill. Try to keep her in a state of fellowship and participation at all times. Make it difficult for her to turn against the pleasure of fellowship and to sink into a bad mood.
When you take away a twisted pleasure, like the will to dominate, give her something to replace it. Fellowship and group cooperation is a powerfully stabilizing factor. Don’t allow your child to get bored. Be sure to wear a smile that comes from your heart. Look in your child’s face and show delight and satisfaction. Establish the child in a mental pleasure that is more pleasurable than the will to dominate.
Be consistent. Repeat the former sentence 25 times and then diagram it.
3. Another article called: http://nogreaterjoy.org/articles/training-and-example/
helped me so much too! One thing they said is when a child is between 0 and 3 the important thing is your technique in training your children. Your character doesn’t greatly affect your children at this age. But when children get older then the most important thing is your character. Because kids will imitate your character more than your training. Here is what the article says:
There are two aspects to child training. One is technique and the other is example. Technique involves knowing what needs to be done, what method will work, and how to implement it. By example, we are referring to that worthy condition of the parent wherein the child is motivated to emulate the trainer. Example involves teaching and instruction, whereas technique can be implemented before the child is old enough to understand reason or interpret example.
Many of our readers have been instantly released from fear and frustration as they discovered the simple concepts of training. These truths are not new or profound. We are not revealing something we personally discovered. It is just that in our age, psychology and the media have erased the common sensibilities of parents; or, in many cases, parents have been caused to fear rather than to trust their own gut feelings. When you see your own deep, though previously buried, feelings in print, and you hear that there is practical truth in what you felt all along, it instantly frees you from fear and indecision. So many parents have said to us, “It’s just like I knew it all along, I just couldn’t put it into words.”
For a child under two, technique is nearly the whole of training. This involves anticipating the kind of behavior you expect from your child and instituting deliberate events to train to that end. For example, if the first time an infant spits out his food you put it back into his mouth and say “No,” repeating that action as many times as necessary until he swallows it, and you are thereafter consistent to never allow a single exception to your rule, you will not end up with a two-year-old brat that spits food. Nor will you end up with a six-year-old that is finicky and demanding about what he eats.
Technique comes from common sense and experience and does not depend on the character of the trainer. No one can plead inability to be a good trainer based on personal shortcomings. At an early age, parental example matters only to the extent that it affects the application of training techniques. If you are slothful and angry it may rob you of the calmness required to train, but the character fault itself will not prevent you from training your child not to be angry. Being an obese, selfish, intemperate eater yourself will not prevent you from training your small child to self-discipline. But when he is twelve, and you are demanding that he develop a little self-discipline in his eating habits, your example will be all that does matter. In other words, when children are very young, who you are is not as important as what you doby way of training. The two-year-old cannot compare values and be offended by your inconsistencies.
Now, I don’t tell you that training can occur despite your own personal discipline in order to exempt you from the need to be a good example, but to make a point about the nature of training. Parents who rely on their own example are wasting their time with the one- to three-year-olds. Children need about three or four years of applied training technique before teaching can begin to be effective.
As children get older, they begin to develop knowledge of good and evil, and as such, example begins to play a larger part. By the time they are maybe seven or eight, example will become more important than technique. When they come to a mature knowledge of good and evil—around twelve to fourteen—technique matters little, and example is paramount.
Most parents are unaware of this growing shift in their children. Before they know it, the kids reach a point where they are no longer impressed by stern words and threats. Parents are shocked when they suddenly become aware that their children are judging them. These not-so-little children suddenly show “righteous” defiance and sling accusations back at their “hypocritical” parents. Though they may not speak it, their responses say, “Who are you to tell me what’s right and wrong?” The children cease to show repentance, because they lose respect for the moral measuring stick of their parents. When they realize that their parents are demanding more than they (the parents) are willing to give, it is like finding out that there is no Santa Claus. It was all a lie. Maybe everything is a lie. Wake up parents.
Parents are the last to see this change coming. They get comfortable in a routine that has worked well thus far. They successfully intimidated and bullied the kids into compliance. It sometimes took a while, but the bluster of the parents eventually dominated. But not anymore. It is too late for training to be effective apart from godly example. And the kids are far too mature in their knowledge of good and evil to be fooled by pretense and hypocrisy. In fact, at this fresh stage of moral awakening, children’s consciences are much more sensitive and demanding than is that of adults, who have learned to accept a certain amount of hypocrisy and pretense as normal. Nothing gets by the kids. They will hold your feet to the moral fire.
The problem is that most parents get it backward. During the first years of a child’s life, when example is useless, the parents just expect the children to grow into the mold of family life. Then when the children get old enough so their selfishness is no longer cute, parents begin to try to train them out of their bad habits.
In a family where there has been no training, the parents are angry, short fused, they often raise their voices, they are always frustrated and feel as if the kids are their adversaries rather than partners. The parents’ reaction to their failure to achieve results is something rather childish itself. The kid missed training and now he has no example. When you scream at a kid to stop screaming, what is the basis of your command? Threat? When your eyes flash, your pulse soars, and impatience pours from you like a sand storm, does the command that follows carry in moral authority, or just an I’m-bigger-than-you threat? The kids started out with no training, until they were incorrigibly indulgent, and now no example, just conflict with an adult size version of themselves. You are wasting your time saying, “Do you hear me!” They don’t. They can’t. Your attitude is louder than your words. To wait until it becomes a problem and then try to apply enough pressure to fix it is like waiting for a flood as a signal to build a levy.
How did this parent/child crisis develop? The one- to three-year-old children are treated like houseplants. They are cleaned, watered, fed, loved, and made a source of entertainment and delight, while the parents trust to example for the child to learn established limitations and boundaries. “Children left to themselves bring their mother to shame.” By the time they are three, if they have not only learned all the bad habits, they have adopted them as a way of life. Unwise parents trusted to emulation, and when that didn’t work they turned to intimidation. The untrained three-year-old senses the disapproval of those around him, but he doesn’t have the wisdom or self-control to labor for approval. He responds to rejection and criticism with rebellion. The parents, having failed to train them when they were three months old, find them despicable terrors when they are three years old. The children are still not old enough to reason upon example and respond in kind. Their flesh is in full control with no restraints through training. When children grow to about four years old, they have assumed an adversarial role—same as the parents. The parents bare down even more with threats and punishments. At the age of six or eight the children begin to make judgments about their parents’ shortcomings. At this point your life overpowers your words. By grounding, lecturing, balling out, and spanking parents think they are teaching the child right from wrong. They think they are training.
Much of the confusion and failure to this point is a result of ignorance on the part of parents. They took too much for granted and were always just a little behind the child. The child is the leader. The parents become reactors, always on the verge of meltdown. They are running along behind, disapproving and trying to pick up the pieces. They were not out front training. It is the difference between training a dog not to leave the yard or waiting until he gets a habit of doing so and then beating him for it.
So what is the answer if you have older children and now realize you have messed up? You failed to train when they were young, and you have failed as an example. What can you do to start over? Two things. First, you must change in your own heart. Just realize that your children are not your enemies. It is your fault that they are what they are. You planted the garden and failed to weed it, then you went in with a weed eater and destroyed half the plants. Don’t blame the garden. Repent. Admit your own failure and become humble. Depending on the age of your child, you will need to employ a combination of training and example. To the degree that your child can perceive your own inconsistencies, you must become a new person. Your child’s bitterness will continue where you are demanding more than you are willing to be yourself. If your child is older, he/she must be brought to repentance through the goodness and example of your own heart.
Especially for children twelve or older (give or take two years) you are dealing with the soul of an adult, not in mind or social grace, but the soul of an adult nonetheless. You cannot override the spirit of that child. You may still have a few more years where intimidation will gain outward compliance, but the soul of the child will grow away from yours unless you get real.
Your twelve-year-old is the best psychologist in the world. You can fool your prayer partner, your counselor, your church, but you will not fool that child. You must exemplify all that you want your child to become. Your child must love your soul and desire to be a part of it. Your love and righteousness must pull admiration from your child. It is too late for impersonal training techniques. There are still some training tools available to be applied to older children, but they only enforce the communication of our souls, they do not replace it.
Parent, God is calling us to continual repentance. Our children are our ultimate fruit. A teenager is a revelation of parents. Their maturity is harvest time. The wheat and tares are made manifest. Other than a recording made in secret, children are the only failures that talk back to us, that become an advertisement of our past. Our children will be evidence, admissible in the court of heaven. Let us repent daily and walk in truth with a pure heart. Love must flow from us to all the world, encompassing our children as the early dew settles over a garden. Without love all my discipline and lectures are as the clang of a garbage truck, a truck that leaves garbage rather than picks it up.
Repent, not for the sake of your children, but for the love of your Savior who desires your pure fellowship. Repent for eternity’s sake. Time is short. Repent because holiness is the pleasure of God and we are made and redeemed for holiness. Holiness is our eternal state, so enter into it as deeply as you can. God is first found at the cross, but after that, He is found enthroned in holiness. Know God if your children are to know him. Love God if your children are to love him. Repent if your children are to repent. And walk as you would have your children walk.
4. This other article on training sheds a lot of light on God’s given authority He has delegated to us as parents of our children. I personally have always been timid about my authority because I am not so self controlled and disciplined myself! I didn’t want to be such a hypocrite. But now I know that foolish thinking.
This is what it says:
Christian maturity is normal, but the fact is that in most cases it doesn’t come until the children are grown. Should parents wait until they are sufficiently mature and worthy before assuming command? If so, it may then be too late for the children.
“So, if I am not the perfect parent am I going to abdicate the throne to my imperfect child?” If your child is smart enough to touch your weak spots and make you feel guilt, is he therefore more righteous, more wise? Remember, he is using his parents’ weaknesses to silence them and eliminate their interference so he can act in selfish and unruly ways. I will remind you that parenthood is not an appointed office; it is not by the consent of the child. Parents hold an office (parenthood) that carries with it certain obligations and authority, apart from their worthiness. For the sake of your children, you must act now. You must rise above feelings of inferiority or unworthiness. By “rise above,” I mean you must act for the child’s benefit, whether you feel up to the task or not.
In our observation of this family, we detected that the mother was a very “sensitive” person. She was the first to feel the child’s “emotional pain.” She shied away from confrontation until provoked by frustration and anger. She never spoke with authority or conviction—tired frustration, yes, but not with dignity and authority. She ASKED the children to comply. She “patiently” coaxed and compassionately pleaded with them. When they ignored her “suggestions”, she would then become exasperated and reach an impasse where she felt overwhelmed and defeated.
This mother was physically and emotionally abused as a child. Overcompensating, she was always fearful of not being sensitive and patient enough with her own children. She didn’t trust herself. She didn’t trust her husband—though she would say she did. She was fearful of him being like her father. Her six-year-old boy didn’t have any sense of being abused, and he was not broken in spirit as he often portrayed. But he was a smart little psychologist and knew just how to hurt his mother and short-circuit her interference with his indulgence. He was emotionally stronger than she was.
What of the father? As is true of most families trapped in today’s industrialized lifestyle, he was away from home most of every day. Feeling out of touch, in most cases he naturally deferred to his wife’s judgment. He did have more control over the children, but the pattern was set and habits formed during the two-thirds of the day when the kids were under her tutelage. He, too, stood back with insecurity when he saw the “deep hurt” of his son. He felt guilty for not being there more of the time, for dumping the load on his wife. The parents had good hearts. They were just blinded by their own fear and sense of helplessness.
One day we were sitting in the living room discussing an event that had just occurred when their over-sized dog attempted to interrupt. The father, hardly looking at the dog, commanded him to go downstairs. He didn’t raise his voice, and there was no anger. He spoke with firm authority, expecting the dog to obey without further word or attention. The dog took off downstairs like he had just heard from God. I suddenly realized that in this quiet-spoken home, I had never heard either parent speak with confident authority.
What solution did we offer this couple? We told the mother particularly, “Get tough; you are thinking more of your own feelings than you are the needs of your children. Don’t let your past hurts come into the present to continue hurting your children. You are allowing your abusive father to abuse your children through your continuing reactions.”
Right in the middle of several emotional confrontations with Knuckle Head, we guided the parents through responses to their children. “Quit asking,” we would say, “Tell him what to do, and put a little toughness in your voice.” Then we would tell her, “Don’t tell him again; respect your own word; get your switch and apply it right where he stubbornly sits; ignore his self-pity. Don’t assure him of your love; assure him of your authority. You are in the right; put your shoulders back and act like a commanding officer whose word is final. Do not negotiate or explain. Mother, take the whine out of your voice, and put some steel in your posture. Stay calm, but unmoving.”
They tried it out like someone trying on uncomfortable clothes. The kid was amazed to discover that no one cared for his manipulating pity shows. One word from a parent was the last word—no repeat, no appeal, and no regret. It took three days, but when the child realized he had no recourse, he obeyed the first time and kept his mouth shut. By the end of the week, he was expressing more love and appreciation for his mother than ever before. He began to admire her rather than see her as a weakling he could control. It was a joy to see and share in their victory.
Their youngest boy, age two or three, had a tough hide that at times absolutely resisted all control. He would whine, and whine, and cry, and plead, and demand. He was a tough nut to break, but it was a simple procedure that didn’t hurt anyone but the parents.
Again, it was their lack of resolute authority that cultivated whining in this two-year-old. Since the parents were seldom decisive, the child had learned that begging and pleading often caused them to capitulate to his will. When they said “no,” he knew it was just the starting point in negotiations. After reading our book, on several occasions the parents had attempted to exert their authority and hold out against his demands, but this tough little campaigner had always endured.
….further down one conclusion is: The child concludes: There is a new order; Father is consistent; he always means what he says; I cannot win; there is no alternative to instant obedience. Get smart, be a survivor, just say no to self-will.
The beauty of this kind of contest is that, when the parents conquer, it applies across the board. The child is not just yielding to the circumstances; he is yielding to his parents. The rebel in him is dying. This submission will translate into every aspect of their relationship.
The child has learned that the parents have more resolve than he does. They are not liars. When they say stop or else, they mean it. There is no way to bend the parents; their word is final.The next day we were sitting in the living room when the mother gave the little fellow a command. Out of habit, he commenced his whine, which turned to a cry. Mother looked discouraged and turned to me asking, “What should I do now?” I said, “Tell him to dry it up instantly and to start smiling.” When she commanded him, he immediately stopped crying and gave a faked smile that quickly turned to a sincere one in reflection to the delight on his mother’s face. I never will forget. She started laughing with absolute abandonment. She was overjoyed. “He has never obeyed me like that,” she said. For the few days that remained, he obeyed her instantly and the household was a very peaceful place. The battle was won. Whether or not the victory continues depends on how consistent the parents are, but the hard part is over. As long as the parents don’t revert to their old responses, the child won’t revert to his.
….It is not the severity of the spanking but the certainty of it that gives it persuasive power. Our object in spanking is not to cause the child to so fear the pain that he obeys. It is to gain the child’s attention and give him respect for the parent’s word. I know that there are abusive, angry parents out there who, through their own inconsistency, find themselves in a position where they excessively spank every day. Spanking should just be the early part of a training program. It is our consistency that trains. The rod just gives credibility to our word. If your word is not credible, no amount of the rod will ever be effective. You will become abusive. If you feel abusive, you probably are. Get counsel and advice from a close friend who has a Biblical perspective on child training.