I know; I raised two sons with the help of a wonder, wise husband and encouragement from supportive family and friends. Believe me there were many days when I looked for a padded wall to pound my head against. And, when those moods struck me, I probably exasperated my children.
“…do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them.
Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 nlt
“…do not nag your children. If you are too hard to please,
they may want to stop trying.” Colossians 3:21 ncv
Remember, “A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.” Proverbs 15:1 nlt
The Bible also has much to say about how to do it without exasperating you or the child.
The Apostle Paul said to his disciple Timothy, “Since you were a child you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-18 ncv
- the commands, rules, and laws God taught you
- Respect the Lord your God as long as you and they live
- Obey all his rules and so that you will live a long time
- Listen and carefully obey these laws. Then all will go well for you
- Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength.
- Remember His commands
- when you sit at home
- when you walk along the road
- when you lie down
- when you get up
# 3 - Set the example for them—show don’t tell
# 4 - Celebrate and share with them what the Lord your God does and has done in your life. (Please read this: Psalm 78:1-8)
#5 - Set boundaries which keep them safe and secure. Establish clear consequences for crossing the lines and don’t be afraid to enforce them. (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15; 29:17)
#6 - Teach them manners and respect for others—especially their elders. Teach them to “love one another” with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Matthew 7:12 and 22:39; Romans 13:8-10; Colossians 3:12-13).
#7 - Teach them God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures. Help them to memorize it, to know it deep in their heart. (Psalm 119:9-11)
#8 - Teach them to properly care for and respect their bodies—the temple of the Holy Spirit—with healthy food and exercise. Teach them about the truthful effects of drugs, alcohol, and smoking on their body, spirit, and soul. Teach them the truth about sexual sin. (1 Cor. 6:12-20; 10:23; the Proverbs)
#9 - Teach etiquette for the phone, texting, social media, eating, opening doors, and as a driver behind. (can’t think of a specific scripture but wouldn't it be nice...)
#10 – Whether a father-mother household or a single-parent one, surround yourself with like-minded Christian parents and families. Dads need other dads and moms need other moms for prayer, support, and encouragement. (Matthew 18:19-20)
When our oldest reached the teen years, and I began to pull my hair out, my husband took a giant step forward as a dad and told me to take three steps back. He said, “You represent childhood to him; I represent adulthood.” ~ Me being a daddy’s girl, I believe these words would have rang true for a daughter as well as a son ~ My husband went on to say, "Don't take his rejection—even “I hate you”—too seriously. He's just trying to let go of childhood and step into adulthood.”
There are excellent Bible studies on parenting; I encourage you to find one and do it…it will help lessen exasperation in your home.
Yes, we spanked as a means of discipline when necessary. Discipline does not mean beating or exasperating; it means to train, bring order, and even punishment.]We learned to do so in a controlled, calm manner—sometimes that meant I took a timeout before inflicting it. Sending them to their room to “think about the matter” while I went to mine to release any anger, made for a more productive discipline. We also established guidelines for it. Go to a neutral private place (for us that meant the bathroom). The number of swats was determined by their age (i.e. age 5 meant 5 swats). We discussed the reason for the discipline before and/or after the punishment. By the time they were about 11 or 12, spanking was rarely necessary, but we still discussed the matter in a neutral private place. And the final touch was a hug and assurance of love.