How many times have you been frustrated with your child’s disobedience or wrong behavior, and made up a crazy consequence that was extreme or unrelated to the offense? The problem with this is that you usually don’t follow through on the consequence, AND you gave it in a moment of anger. It’s better to slow down and think of creative consequences that address the heart, and bring about change.
It’s important to remember that consequences are not about punishment, but rather the training and development of the child. It’s also important that you and your child know the difference between chastening and punishment.
Chastening says, “I truly love you and want what’s best for you.”
Punishment simply says, “I’m angry at you, and now you have to pay!”
Discipline is a holy thing. Too often we parents take discipline lightly or treat it flippantly. In the big picture, all discipline is about bringing our children into a right relationship with their Heavenly Father that He might bless their lives. It’s not about controlling behavior, modifying behavior, or minimizing embarrassment.
Pure and simple, it’s about bringing them into proper alignment with the heart, ways, and favor of their gracious Heavenly Father.
Biblically correcting your child is one of the greatest ways to win their hearts to you and to God, forever. (Passionate Parenting – by Cary Schmidt)
I’m going to share some of my favorite posts that give ideas for creative consequences, but first I think it is important to look at these questions that Cary Schmidt suggests we ask before determining what consequences we will use with our children.
1. Am I right with my Heavenly Father?
No matter how creative your consequences are, you can’t expect your children to respond right and want to obey God, if you aren’t willing to do the same. You must search your own heart, before correcting theirs.
2. Am I right with my child?
For discipline to be received, it must transfer far more than mere punishment or rebuke. It must transfer love and compassion. It must transfer care. It must be redemptive in nature. This cannot happen if there is an unresolved offense between my child and me.
If these two things are in place, your discipline will find its way into the heart and have a life-transforming effect.(Passionate Parenting – Cary Schmidt)
To give you some ideas for creative consequences that relate to the offense, here are some of my favorite posts:
As parents we will fail at times and lose our patience over repeated wrong behavior, and chasten with an impatient (or even angry) spirit. When you fail, apologize to your child and make things right. Then ask God to give you wisdom to correct and choose creative consequences with a heart that wants the best for your child.