Raise bitter, sullen, anti-social delinquents!

(Originally posted December 01, 2008)

Todd Friel and Kirk Cameron had a great conversation on Christian parenting on Friday that I thought you might enjoy. It was on the Way of the Master Radio/Wretched Radio broadcast, and I've posted it on YouTube.

Here is the "video" with commentary below:

You can read all of John MacArthur's message, "A Crash Course in Christian Parenting," here.

I've highlighted some points below that Todd and Kirk discuss:

15. Spoil him. Give him everything he wants, even more than you can afford—just charge it—so you can get him off your back.

14. When he does wrong, nag him a little, but don’t spank him.
I wanted to add comment here because spanking is becoming more and more of a social taboo. Kirk notes that it is absolutely wrong to strike a child in anger. It is wrong to strike anyone in unholy anger, let alone a child. Perhaps this is what many people confuse with spanking: an enraged parent swatting away at a youngster's bottom. That is unbiblical, and not what Christians mean when they say they spank.
Biblical, Christian spanking (and yes, we do believe that non-biblical spanking can be abusive) is this: A confrontation between a parent and a child, where the parent gets on one knee to look the disobedient child in the eye to explain what the child has done wrong, where a parent reminds the child of the consequences, where the parent applies two or three pats to the rear end of the child using a paddle or belt, and concludes with a firm embrace between the parent and child lasting for as long as needed. It is a quick reminder in that it does not create a rift between the child and parent like time-outs and groundings do. It reaffirms the love of the parent for the child, and the relationship is immediately restored. 
I have found Biblical spanking to have the following benefits:
  • I need not spank often, as is the goal of any punishment. 
  • My children do not live in fear of me. I suppose some parents somewhere may spank to get their kids simply compliant and docile, a kind of iron-gloved tyranny. I suppose parents use a variety of punishments to accomplish this, not just spanking. I'm happy to note that mine do not feel they have to walk on eggshells around me, nor do they.
Cameron says, "If you think about it, three spankings a day is far better for a child's health than 20 scowls and 50 angry criticisms. And when its coupled with tying strings of friendship and love and care with your children, they see those disciplines as a demonstration of how much you love them, because they know you care enough to set them back on the right course." 
13. Foster his dependence on you. Don’t teach him to be independently responsible; maintain his dependence on you, so later on, drugs and alcohol can replace you when he’s older.
Cameron notes that this can be unintentional, especially in parents whose sole identities are as "parents." Children have to learn independence, or else they will look for dependence in other things when they are adults.
12. Protect him from all those "mean" teachers who want to discipline him from time to time, and threaten to sue them if they don’t let him alone.
We even have to watch ourselves from being overprotective if our child has a crummy teacher! Cameron: "We also have to remember that the world is full of crummy people. But your kids also have to learn to deal with crummy people. Don't protect them from every crummy comment or every crummy decision. Teach them how to pray for their enemies. Sit them down and talk with them; teach your kids about dealing in a godly way with ungodly people."
11. Make all of his decisions for him because he might make mistakes…and learn from them.

10. Criticize his father to him or his mother, so your son or daughter will lose respect for his parents.
Grandparents should prop up parents, and parents should prop each other up in front of their kids. 
Men should especially do this: fathers should teach sons to respect women by teaching them to respect the most important women in their lives. If a son speaks poorly to a mother, the father should treat it as if anyone had spoken poorly to his wife: "This is my wife, and you will not speak to her that way." Friel and Cameron note that this has the added benefit of teaching the child that the world does not revolve around him, as this woman is not only his mother but another person's wife. 
We could reverse this to apply to moms: this is how mothers teach daughters to respect, love, and honor the men in their lives.
7. Whenever he gets into trouble bail him out. Besides, if he faces any real consequence it might hurt your reputation.
Don't allow your ego to get in the way of parenting... a sometimes hard pill to swallow.
8. Never let him suffer the consequences of his behavior; always step in and solve his problems for him, so he will depend on you, and run to you when the going gets tough, and never learn how to solve his problems.

7. If you want to turn your child into a delinquent, let him express himself any way he feels like it. Don’t run his life; let him run yours.
Two words: miserable homes. Children are welcome members to the family mommy and daddy began before the kids were born. The kids are not the center of the family.
6. Don’t bother him with chores; do everything for him…then he can be irresponsible all his life and blame others when things don’t get done right.

5. Be sure to give in when he throws a temper tantrum.

4. Believe his lies because it’s too much hassle to try to sort through to get the truth.

3. Criticize others openly, criticize others routinely, so that he will continue to realize that he is better than everybody else.
Gossip is still a sin, even if it is contained within the home.
2. Give him a big allowance and don’t make him do anything for it.

1. Praise him for his good looks, never for character.
It is okay to praise the superficial (looks, abilities, etc.) but it is fleeting. Instead of focusing on the outward appearances, praise the child for the inward. That builds what counts in your child.

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