Disciplining Your Child – A Whole New Perspective Part 3

Establishing Fair Rules and Boundaries

We continue our look at four offensive strategies to discipline our children constructively. In the past two posts, we looked at modeling good behavior and paying attention to your child’s good behavior.

Now we look at establishing fair rules and boundaries.  While the topic of establishing rules is a broad one, two basic points need to be understood and applied.

The first is that all families need a well-understood set of household rules—some boundaries—so that children know the territory they can operate within safely and freely. This sense allows children to experience, grow, and develop. Without rules and boundaries, there are only chaos and confusion. Thus, we have this paradoxical conclusion: firm and fair rules give freedom to a child.

Remember in establishing rules and boundaries that a combination of flexibility and inflexibility is called for. As dad, you must at times say a firm no—a no that is really meant and clearly understood.

But dads also need to be flexible—to cut some slack for our kids. Try to say yes to everything you can so that when you do say no, it will be one your child understands.

The second basic point is what Josh McDowell calls “the #1 rule” for parents who want to be heroes to their kids:  Rules without Relationship Lead to Rebellion  Rules with a Relationship Lead to Response

How many dads have said, or are saying right now, “We have some very clear rules in our house, and my child seems to be out to break every one of them”? Why? In 99 homes out of 100, the relationship isn’t there.

As Josh eloquently puts it, “Children do not respond to rules; they respond to relationships.”  Build that strong relationship with your child.



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