Who’s Taking Care of Your Kids?
Joey and Carla Link
A frustrated lady was telling me recently about the small group she was in at their church and how out of control the kids were, so much so they couldn’t keep a child care worker for the 8 kids in spite of getting paid $30 for 2 hours work.
I found it interesting that Christians love to study the Bible and non-fiction books on Christian living, yet at the same time they don’t work on the most fundamental directive God gave parents in Ephesians 3:20: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”
I think it pleases the Lord when parents take the time to train their children to obey them even more so than going to a small group study. Why? Obedient children are a testimony that opens a window of light to our world which lives in darkness. Think of a childcare worker telling all her family and friends about the kids she sits for at this church that are obedient and respectful to her.
3 Things a Parent can do about Disobedient Kids in Public Settings
- Teach your kids to be obedient at home. If you don’t know how, our Mom’s Notes Presentation “Understanding First Time Obedience” and our book “Why Can’t I Get My Kid’s to Behave?” share information on this. Both of these resources share practical
things you can start on right away.
As a parent, when your child does not obey you or someone you put in responsibility like a babysitter, teacher, childcare worker or grandparents, what do you do about it? We encourage you to stop and take a look at how often they obey you at home, with a good attitude. If you need to get to work on it, get the resources you need and get started.
- Talk to your child at home or in the car before going to the event.
- Ask them what they are supposed to do when a teacher, coach or other adult gives them an instruction. Ask them to tell you why it is important to be obedient and respectful to adults.
- Ask them what they can do if other kids are not obeying the teacher.
- Clarify any doubt in their understanding of your expectations.
- Ask them what will be the consequences if they don’t obey the adult leaders.
- For your child to submit to teachers, childcare workers and other adults, parents must consistently provide the consequences when their child disobeys so he/she will not gamble by guessing if they will get in trouble or not. When a child believes there will be some kind of pain (when they get home) if they disobey the adult leaders will help them to say “no” to the disobedience they could get into.
- It embarrasses children of any age when they have to go back to the leaders of the event and apologize for being disobedient and disrespectful to them. When our kids complained about this we told them their sin was embarrassing them, not us.
- Take action.
- When kids are allowed to play with no structure in place, they will get wild. Always. Plan the time out when the children are there. Ask 2-3 teens to take turns planning the program (Bible story, craft, games, music) as a service project. If you have 2 teams of 2-3 teens each, they would only have to be there twice a month, the teams alternating weeks. Work with them until they get the hang of planning a program.
- Many small groups across the country are using our book “Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?” as their group study. You can download questions for each chapter off our website at no cost, parentingmadepractical.com.
- The biggest issue childcare workers, teachers, coaches or other adult leaders have with parents is they don’t listen to them when they are trying to explain the negative behavior of their child. These leaders/teachers have no reason to lie to you. Listen carefully, thank them for telling you and work on it at home.
This should be the goal of every parent for when they pass the responsibility of their child on to someone else to care for and teach them.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls,
as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning,
for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Hebrew 13:17 (ESV)