Categories
Discipline Education

The Lowest Stakes Imaginable

My kids were playing hide and seek at the park with another boy. A few rounds had gone by, and it was my youngest son’s turn to be “it.” He counted and found the other boy fast. But he had some trouble finding his older sister. After a few minutes, the boy tempted him. “I […]

Categories
Discipline

Require Excellence

As your children grow and you begin to give them jobs, you will quickly find yourself in several predicaments. They won’t want to do the job. This is handled by discipline and standing your ground. They get punished if they don’t do it or if they constantly whine about doing it. Period. But the other […]

Categories
Discipline Leadership

Listen to Both Sides

When dealing with disputes between your children, you must listen to both sides. And never, never reward the first one to come yelling to you for help without having a firm understanding of the situation. The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. Proverbs 18:17 You will […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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 […]