(Parents) bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord
Our Role = Coach
This age & stage of development is all about building character.
A coach corrects, but don’t overdo it. Give them time. Be patient. Let patience have its perfect work in them. Patience in their life and our builds maturity.
Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:4 (NKJV)
Correction should be age appropriate. Don’t ask for the moon if they can’t give it.
Correction should be consistent and predictable. Your children should know what to expect from you. Give a fair warning first. Make certain that they hear you, and understand you. Not repeated and repeated warnings; that undercuts your credibility.
Be firm, but not military strict. Nudge them to do the right thing (a lot). Don’t nag.
Ok. I’m going to address this. Never YELL. Ever. Unless they’re in danger. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve slipped on this one. Just stop. Tell them you’re sorry and that you want to change. Ask them to pray for you. This endears their heart to yours. Children are naturally more forgiving than we are. Allow them to share your weakness in prayer. Just as you want them to win, they want you to win.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
James 5:16 (AMP)
Attitude is everything! Help them see that attitude is a choice. They have the ability to learn how to change their minds. Help them see the “how” to do this.
When a bad attitude shows up at breakfast, tell them to go back to bed and start the day over with a good attitude. None of my children liked this, but it worked!
At this stage, it’s important to teach them how to resolve conflict with sibling and peer relationships. This discipline pays big dividends for life! You should help them identify what the conflict is – and then instruct or coach them through it. This area of coaching will take extra work to help them see both sides can benefit with compromise.
Coaching Consequences of Behavior
Just like attitude, behavior is a choice. Life is the sum total of choices made. Help them learn, or even better, to experience that choices have consequences. Coaching consequences of behavior should lead to correction. Not crushing of the spirit.
This is a good time to teach “Jesus would call that a sin.” (Yet, He forgives all sin!)
“Obedience brings blessing” is another powerful motto to repeat. A Biblical one too! In the May household, honesty was an important virtue in our home. So much so, our discipline would be less severe IF they told us the truth voluntarily. The truth of what happened. We watched for a repentant attitude. The kids understood that Mike and I placed a high value on honesty and truth.
Coaching is Encouraging Too
Encouragement must always follow discipline. Always. This can be tough because we might be very frustrated with their behavior. We don’t feel like giving encouragement, but we need to follow our own preaching that attitude is a choice. Don’t play emotional games with them. You are the adult. It’s your job to initiate the relationship with correction AND comfort.
Coaching in Choosing Friendships
Bad company corrupts good morals. It’s okay to pick (or veto) your kiddos friends. Ask the Lord to give each child at least one loyal, good, godly friend.
Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)