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Discipline

Killing Envy in Your Children

Envy is a powerful emotion. And it is a form of relational acid. If not kept in check, it will destroy relationships. A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. Proverbs 14:30 It can also twist a person’s affections beyond recognition, making them chase things they don’t even care […]

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Discipline

Limiting the Freedom of Teenagers

We get a lot of things backward. Due to our laziness and apathy, fathers can find themselves in a difficult position once their children become teenagers. All of a sudden, the lack of discipline is no longer cute. The tantrums thrown when the child was six look downright ugly when the child is thirteen. The […]

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Discipline

Replace a “No” with a “Yes”

You will be forced to say “no” to your children for various reasons. Or, take away something in discipline. This is a normal part of being a father. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give them something else. Something else that’s even better than the original thing you took away. Did you take away their […]

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Discipline Leadership

House Rules vs. Universal Rules

There are universal rules and there are house rules. Universal rule: do not steal. House rule: don’t put your feet up on the couch. Universal rules never change. House rules can vary from house to house, from town to town. It’s important to keep these categories straight and never conflate them. Treating house rules as […]

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Discipline

Don’t Associate the Good with the Negative

I remember the punishment. But I don’t remember why I was being punished. It was bad enough to warrant such an extreme, drawn-out task. Maybe it had to do with schoolwork or dissrespect. I was 13 or 14 at the time. The punishment? I had to copy, by hand, the entire book of The Old […]

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Discipline

Let Their No be No

Your job as a father is to let your children fail. This is the only way they will learn. You provide them a safe space for them to fail, so they come to no real harm and the consequences are minor…but fail they must. I take one of my children out to lunch once a […]

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Discipline

Run the Risk of Investigation

In Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Sir Thomas is the patriarch of the Bertram family. He is a generous man, but he is naive and a fool. These traits come back to haunt him in the closing pages of the book as shame is brought down upon his family. And he could have prevented it […]

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Discipline Leadership

Empathy and Immaturity

“Empathy” is a relatively new word. It came about in the early 20th century. It is nowhere found in the Bible. While there may have been good intentions behind the word, today it has been weaponized by the immature. A family that values inclusiveness will always attempt to appease its most ornery members. Criticism is […]

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Discipline

Trust is Better Than Accusation

What does it feel like when someone accuses you of lying? When you tell them something, but by default, they don’t trust you. It feels terrible. Frustrating. Humiliating. This is what your kids feel when you assume the worst. If they know you don’t trust them, why would they come to you for anything? Why […]

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Discipline

The Letter of the Law

I will never forget my 4th grade social studies teacher. She had passed out a worksheet with four questions on it. I don’t remember any of the questions, but I do know the subject was Abraham Lincoln. I thought the instructions were to answer all four questions. That’s what I though I heard. So that […]