We are all familiar with the verse, "Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6), right? This is what Pat has to say about it,
"All of us are training our children in some way... either consciously or unconsciously. When we have asked our child to do something, we are training him to wait until we have told him twice before he obeys... or we are training him to wait until we have raised our voice before he obeys... or we are training him to wait until we have threatened him before he obeys. We can train him to obey immediately when we have said it once in a normal conversational tone."
I think everyone can relate to this bit of wisdom he shares:
"To be consistent is so important. What can be more frustrating to a child than to never know quite what to expect from us. It is our inconsistence as parents that provokes and discourages our children. One day we feel stern and say 'no' to something and the next day we feel indifferent and preoccupied and in order to save ourselves the inconvenience will allow them to go ahead or overlook 'little' disobediences. When we operate with the rod in this way, it becomes something else other than training. I believe this kind of bullying strengthens their resistance to authority. They are provoked to anger, become discouraged and rebel. 'Fathers, provoke not your children, lest they be discouraged.' (Colossians 3:21). We as parents must be obedient to follow through each time we speak."
Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed that you can't possibly be consistent every time? Me too! He offers more encouragement....
"But it takes diligence. This is why we cannot possibly do it in our own strength or on the strength of any motive other than obedience to God. The motive to have nice well-behaved children will not carry us. For example, one day I may have lots of initiative with no other distractions. I have just asked my child to 'come here.' It is easy now to stop what I am doing in order to do what is necessary to train him should he disobey. But the next day, I may be settled comfortably in a chair nursing my baby and I have just asked my child, 'come here, please.' If he disobeys, the motive to have nice well-behaved children is not enough now. It is so much easier to say it again a little sharply. But then, I have trained the child to know that I did not really mean it the first time. No, it takes His grace to say, 'Lord, You have told me to train my children. If I sit here in this chair I will be disobeying you. Please help me to obey You by training my child to obey.' He then gives grace to get up out of the chair, put the baby down, take up the switch , use it patiently, take him on my lap, and comfort him. 'But he that loves him is diligent to discipline him."'
He provides wonderful stories from raising their children, scriptures, etc. I highly recommend picking up a copy if you do not already have it! I provided a link above for purchasing it and it only costs $1.50!