Who’s in Control?
Joey and Carla Link
Authority – there are those who think this is an unnecessary word in parenting. Is it? Ephesians 6:1 says:
“Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”
What does obey mean? “To be ruled or controlled by…” is what Webster’s Dictionary says. Well nobody wants to be ruled or controlled by anyone. Yet this is what God has said. Children are to obey their parents and we all are to obey God. So why does God think children need to be controlled by their parents? The obvious answer is because they don’t have the wisdom, knowledge or experience to make right decisions for themselves.
You may think you are the authority in your home, but let me ask you this: Do your children obey you with a good attitude 85% of the time? If not, they are in control. While parents may get obedience in action, they often do not get it in attitude. That’s where we were with our children in the early years of our parenting journey.
When your child’s attitude is out of control, it is very difficult to bring it back under control. Rare is the child who can bring it back without parental intervention (authority). When we ask parents what “parental intervention” looks like for them, we often hear they yell at their children, threaten them, bribe them, ground them and so forth.
For us, parental intervention meant our children would get one warning. If they did not bring themselves under control or repeated the misbehavior, they were told to sit to calm down and get self-control. They each had a place where this sitting took place. They were not allowed to get up from the chair until they were ready to apologize. After they apologized, they received a consequence.
Telling your child to go and sit to get self-control is not a consequence. It gives him the chance to think about what he is doing and to get ready to apologize. It gives you both a chance to calm down.
“Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.”