Here four parenting lies we are tempted to believe … and the truth that busts them:

1. Correction Crushes a Child’s Spirit.

TRUTH:  No. Correction is training. Kids need training. Criticism is the thing that crushes a child’s spirit. Correction motivates and encourages a child to do something better. It is training.

Criticism sounds like: Your room is always a mess. You are so disorganized. How can you find anything?  (negative, personal attack, shaming)

Correction sounds like: Your room needs some TLC. I will show you how you can organize it. I will help you if you like. (state problem, train, offer assistance- same team approach)

2. A Big Voice Means Business.

 TRUTH: No. A big voice means the parent is out of control and the child has control of the parent’s emotions.

A quiet voice (not a whispered threatening voice, a pleasant one) , in close proximity, using eye contact, and gentle touch increases the importance of the message and is more likely to gain the child’s cooperation.

3. My Kids Need to Work It Out Alone.

TRUTH: No. Most kids don’t have conflict resolution skills. If they are not assisted, jungle rules prevail. The biggest, toughest kid gets his way.

 Instead give your children skills to deal with conflict. Teach them how to respectfully state a concern without attacking the person. Speak stating with “I” rather than “You”. “I feel frustrated when you use my stuff without asking. “Next person, “I’m sorry I took your shirt with out your permission. Will you forgive me?” “Yes” Final line, “I will ask next time.” Train your kids how to handle interpersonal issues respectfully. They need your help to do this. Be sure to be the coach rather than the referee.

4. Consistency is a MUST. 

 TRUTH: No. Consistency is critical in moral, safety, and legal messages. How the issues are dealt with depends on the situation and the child. Discipline doesn’t always have to be the same. Where you stand on important issues does.

Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness.
Psalm 86:11a 

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com. She has written 5 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home. and her most recent book The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family ConnectionsContact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.