With the recent arrest and suspension of Adrian Peterson, for the discipline methods he used on his 4-year-old son, we’re having a conversation that has extended far beyond the football field. Now we must debate where does discipline end and abuse begin? While the abuse of a four-year-old is terrible, it does force us to answer some important questions.
Remember, We are not trying to raise good kids merely, but good adults.
While I do not agree with how Adrian Peterson abused his child, we need to have a legitimate and transparent debate on our parenting methods across the board. In general, there are three types of parents in the world.
1. Lifeguard Parents: Often rescue a child from consequences.
These types of parents never let their children deal with the consequences of their actions. Instead, they always bail them out of trouble. Consequences make it clear to the child what not to do, so they’re handy to have in your parenting toolkit.
Moreover, When a child is allowed to get away with their actions in their youth, they rarely make good decisions as an adult because they do not associate consequences as the after effect of wrong decisions.
Remember, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7
2. Etch-A-Sketch Parents: Often Inconsistent
It has been said that consistency is the golden rule of parenting, and it is the one major rule that must be followed to see any real change in your children’s behavioral issues. However, it is still one of the most common parenting pitfalls because consistency is not easy. If it were, everyone would be a master at it!
We have all been there before….You have good intentions….you set rules….you might even enforce them for a while but in the end you go back to the way things were. It is easy to do as a parent but has long term consequences. Remember, the rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother…Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.Proverbs 29:15, 17
3. Split-Decision Parents: Often ununified
The bottom line is a house divided cannot stand. When parents are not unified on parenting, children sense it and tend to manipulate the situation. This is becoming increasingly difficult because many families are now separated by divorce, and too often parents are using the children as pawns in their game.
However, even in families with both parents under the same roof, division is increasing in most homes. Parents must find a way to stand in agreement in front of the children. It’s okay to have a difference of opinions in private but not in the presence of the children. “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3