Parenting Mistake #3 - Too Strict not Not Strict Enough

It is difficult for parents to know what the proper role is in the child's life.  Is it the firm disciplinarian who sets up the guardrails so that life goes along smoothly and with maximum protection for the child?


Is it right to be the child's friend and treat them like small adults with a lot of freedom and loose boundaries as they make their way in the world?

As it turns out either extreme has its problems.

2 Types of Discipline

Overly Permissive

The overly permissive parent would be one who grants a large amount of freedom to the child while providing few restrictions on what is okay.not oaky.  

In some regards this is an easy place to land in the care and discipline of your children.  After all, this sounds like a low-stress relationship: Parents and child do what they want when they want and there's no haggling over such divisive topics such as responsibilities and chores.

Yet, the fallout is huge.  Adults who come out of an overly permissive family tend to have a sense of entitlement, a large amount of insecurity, and don't develop an appriciation for the real boundaries they will face as an adult.

Overly Controlling

So, then the other extreme starts to look appealing.  It'll be a lot more work, but it might result in well-mannered and respectable children.

With this perspective, the clamps come down on the child and they are given no decision-making ability of their own.  They know when to be where, how to behave, and when they have crossed the line into the inappropriate.

As you might assume, the fallout from this extreme is no better.  These children grown up feeling insecure about themselves and their decision-making abilities, they are more likely to rebel against the boundaries, and they experience a tremendous amount of frustration in becoming the man or woman God intends for them.

What to Do

To strike a good balance between you responsibility as the parent and theirs as the child, you will need to increase your child's freedom gradually as you increase their boundaries.

To parent with this mindset will take a good amount of interaction between the parent and the child.  When the child is a baby, there is by nature less freedom and responsibility for the child.  However, by the time the child is about to graduate high school, they should feel more freedom and weight in their responsibilities.
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.  All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet  to those who have been trained by it, afterwards, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:7-11)
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