Friday, October 29, 2010

Stop Lying to Your Kids!

Parenting is really hard. Tricia and I are just shy of four years into this whole parenting thing and we have so far to go and so much to learn still.

I recently heard this quote: "We used to have answers; now we have kids!" (so true)

I say this to say that I am no parenting guru, but there are some things that we are learning. Here is one that Tricia and I keep working on...

I think that many parents are liars! And this concerns me.

How many time have you heard statements like:
  • If you do that one more time, I'm gonna ___________!
  • If I have to ask you to do that again, you will be _______________!
  • Stop it before I __________________!
  • If you say that again you are going to get ____________!
Then, oftentimes, after all these comments and statements (promises), they never act. The spanking never happens. The time out never happens. Nothing happens. They promise something and do not do it. They say something and do not mean it. I don't care how you slice it, that is lying. Parents need to let their yes be yes and their no be no.

If your mouth and your actions do not line up, there is an inconsistency issue in your parenting and maybe an integrity issue too. Listen, if you train your kids that you do not mean what you say while they are young, then they will conclude that you do not mean what you say later either. When it comes time for them to choose Jesus or not, they may or may not believe what you have to say about him.

Don't lie to your kids. If you say it, do it! If you are not going to do it, don't say it!


Katie Rose said...

This is why we as parents need to watch our words. If we threaten to punish in anger we are nearly as wrong as actually doing so (which I feel is akin to abuse) We need to act and not react, the later is not something we are given the luxury of doing as it implies automatic and without careful thought and consideration. We need to constantly be at our highest level of attention in our parenting or our children (and therefore we) will suffer both now and in the future.

If we are not following through on our words for other reasons (laziness, lack of attention) then you are absolutely right, we are just teaching our kids that we probably don't mean what we say and it will be applied to their lives in more ways that we could even imaging. Again we will all end up suffering in the long term.

Noah said...

Katie Rose- Great thoughts and additions. Good stuff.