Wu Siu Yan
7 Oct 2002
LORD : "For three transgressions of Gaze, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, BECAUSE .... " [Amos 1:6]
Except for extremely serious offence, do not punish your child the first time he/she does it.
Reason with him/her first, preferably in private if he/she has grown up. Explain why that act is wrong, and point out the correct act.
When you punish him/her, give the REASON. Never in a rage, but punish with a kind, gentle and meek heart. A rattan cane of diameter 6 ~ 7 mm will give a painful blow, but will not hurt.
Be merciful and ask for the reason why he/she does that -- sometimes they may have felt pressure outside, or are frustrated, and therefore do foolish acts.
Do not be fault-finding. Be merciful. Remember the time when you yourself were a child, and how you expected your parents to deal with you. Remember Jesus' GOLDEN RULE.
Also consult with your marriage partner, avoid acting alone. Remember that wife should be "helper" to her husband, and husband is higher in authority than wife before LORD. Sometimes you even have to educate your marriage partner first, but do so in gentleness and kindness and with patience. Wait for the LORD.
About the right time to punish : when you think you must, not when you think you should. Usually it is the time when you are driven mad by that repeated offence, and he/she hasn't listened to your repeated admonitions. Discipline will give pain to your child (as well as to yourself), but for their long-term good, we must, in order to drive away that evil act/habit for ever.
Discipline is never easy.
LORD : I will chasten you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished. [Jer 30:11]
To punish more than one deserves, or to punish less are both wrong. Punish justly. But never find fault mercilessly.
Solomon : Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. [Prov 22:6]
If you care for him/her, and teach him/her every day, (for example, one Bible story/session every day), and are attentive to their feelings, and listen to him/her, discipline should be a rare occurrence.
Also, do not do things for your children when you can teach them to do that themselves. Give them more share of the responsibilities at home over the years as they grow up, so that they share some of the burden with you.
Solomon : Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. [Prov 22:15]
Solomon : The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. [Prov 29:15]
Solomon : He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. [Prov 13:24]
Solomon : Discipline your son while there is hope; do not set your heart on his destruction. [Prov 19:18]
Solomon : Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; and he will give delight to your heart. [Prov 29:17]
(See also Proverb Chapter 31)
Lastly, always pray to LORD for guidance.