emotional manipulation

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:21

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Correction of children is a good thing.  A child may not like correction, and they may even get angry when corrected, but this is not talking about this kind of anger.

However, emotionally manipulating children to get them to do something or change behavior does not accomplish intended results.  Moreover, instead of training a child in the right way to go, it discourages the child from desiring to doing the right thing.

Emotional manipulation includes snarky comments, put-downs, name-calling, demeaning, humiliation, yelling/screaming, profanity, provocation, guilt, pleading, threatening, etc…

Children should feel conviction to do the right thing, and sorry/contrite for having done wrong – but not chided and have excessive guilt pushed on them.

Children should be embarrassed by their behavior, but not publicly humiliated and demeaned.

Children should be advised of consequences, but not screamed at with emotional threats that are never carried out.

As adults, we have to face consequences for our mistakes and bad behavior.

While parents should “buffer” consequences for children so that they are not permanently scarred, children should still experience consequences for bad behavior so that they learn this principal in a safe way.   If they fail to learn the lessons while they have their parents as a covering, they stand to learn the lesson in a costlier way later on, even costing their life or the life of another.

Firm follow through on consequences is the nurturing response.

It actually makes children feel secure when children know their boundaries and know that their parents follow through in a measured controlled response without the unpredictability of emotional chaos and moving targets.

Not following through “rewards” and reinforces the bad behavior.

Children do not have to be taught bad behavior.  They are born with it.

Children have to be trained in good behavior.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Prov 22:6

Training involves consistency and repetition.   At first training may involve continual oversight and follow up, then eventually as the good behavior becomes a habit you can back off and trust them more and more.

Trust before training leads to disaster.   Train first, then trust.

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