(The Four-Minute Version) 

Full "Book" Version Here (82 minute read)


NEEDS:  Children have needs, most of which only their parents and other caregivers can meet.  Neglecting children by not spending time with them as well as overtly mistreating them physically or emotionally are forms of abuse. They need to be loved, to be given time, and to be given firm boundaries applied with gentleness.


TRAINING:  The best way to train anyone, particularly children is to give positive affirmation when they are doing the right thing. It could be said that the most important job of parents is to do their best to prepare their children for the outside world. The outside world is full of relationships and rules. Children learn about relationships by observing both how their parents interact with each other and how their parents interact with them.


RESPECT RULES:  They learn to respect rules if their parents train them to respect them. Children will encounter rules when they stay with other caregivers, attend school, and later in life when they enter the workforce. When people do not follow commands given by an employer, police, or others in authority, there can be serious consequences. It is uncommon for a child who is brought up to follow their parents' commands all of the time, to not continue that habit into adulthood.


RESULTS OF INCONSISTENCY: However, children who are brought up with inconsistent consequences when they disobey have learned that it is unnecessary to respect rules or authority. An example of inconsistent parenting is when the parent gives a command, the child does not obey, and there is no painful consequence for the child. Painful means that the child loses out on something they would like, or experiences something they do not like.


CONSISTENT CONSEQUENCES:  Inconsistent consequences could be likened to brakes that do not always work well. A person driving a car with inconsistent brakes should continue to test them often. Children who disobey commands without consequence will keep testing the rules. Just as people need to rely on their brakes, children need to rely on their parents to provide strong boundaries for their behavior. When a parent says, "no," "stop," or "come over here," and the child does not immediately obey, there must be a consequence. Otherwise, the child just learned that they do not need to always obey.


WHO IS IN CONTROL?:  When children can defy their parent's commands and get their way every once in a while, they will continue to defy their parents. To be blunt, this harms children. Something few parents consider is that whenever their child defies them without consequence, the child at that time has control of the family. Toddlers being in control when they are not capable of it, in addition to other dangers, results in them dying by being hit by cars at a higher rate than any other age group. 100% compliance is needed to keep your children safe. 




Consistency and Consequences

Exceptions to Consequences

Start With Simple Rules

When a child's name is called, teach them to stand still and look at their parents. (This may be the most important rule for a toddler. If they are headed for danger, they will stop. It also makes sure that any subsequent command given is heard by the toddler.)

Summed up 

  • Do not have too many rules.

  • Never make a rule you are not ready to enforce every time.



DIGGING DEEPER: In-depth look at parenting

BIBLE STUDY:  What the Bible says about parents and children.


Focus on the Family  This may be the source of the largest support system for parents.

Mother's of Pre-schoolers (MOPS)