top of page


Be careful that a lazy streak doesn't tell you principles are too hard.

There is a teaching on some parenting issues that many young parents are following. This teaching has been followed for several generations and has produced a culture of people now, who believe they can do anything they please at anyone's expense and no one can tell them "no".

This teaching is, to substitute a safe toy for a "no-no" that a toddler may have picked up. This then follows to a bargaining stage with older children saying, "If you quit whining Mommy will get you a candy." My question is, if you train your child to do what is right only if there is something in it for them, then what will you bargain with when they are teens and want to use illegal drugs or illicit sex, so they get the approval of some piers? What can you afford that is better than peer pressure and approval? Eventually your resources are not enough to warrant a change for the right action in the child. And we are certainly seeing the results of that in our culture.

So what is the alternative? Every child needs to learn to do the right thing simply because it is right. A toddler needs to learn there are "no-no's" as well as "yes's" in their world. When you train your toddler to this concept at home then you can go to anyone's home, show them the "no's" and "yes's" and you have a "house proofed child" instead of a "child proofed house" no matter where you are. You can give a child a "yes object" to play with AFTER they have made the CHOICE to turn away and leave the "no object" out of obedience.

Children should be rewarded for doing right but they need to make choices to do right because it is right and not for a reward. If an older child has been faithful to household chores then reward the faithfulness occasionally and tell them you are proud of a character like faithfulness or perseverance or a hard work ethic or a loving heart to help others. But saying "if you will do something (which is just a right thing to do) then I will get you something" is bribery and the child will soon learn to beat you at your own game.

As an adult you are supposed to be smarter and more experienced than a two year old. So evaluate whether you are acting like that. And don't underestimate your child. Just because they are small and can't talk clearly does not mean that they aren't trying to out smart you at every turn. Most children evidence that they are much smarter and cleverer

than their parents give them credit for.

Be careful that you aren't bargaining because of a lazy streak in you that thinks facing up to real principled issues and fighting for what will result in right beliefs in your child is just too hard. Yes, at first, it is hard and you may feel too tired for the battle. but afterwards when you win and your child makes wise choices in life, you will find true peace and blessing. The battles get less and less and shorter and shorter as you face them bravely with true principled actions.

55 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page