Over 40 years ago Dr. James Dobson wrote a book titled Dare to Discipline. Dobson went against what everyone was saying at that time. He dared to say that the Bible teaches that we ought to discipline our children ... this book has now been revised and reissued, updated. It is full of solid advice for parents on discipline. Every parent should read it.
Dr. Dobson says there are two things that can be unhealthy:
1. The absence of love in a family. It will destroy a child. Perhaps you grew up in a home that was cold, without emotion, and you never felt love there and as a result your spirit, your emotions were damaged.
2. Excessive love can be unhealthy.
He says there are 4 mistakes we can make:
1. Over protection. When a child is 1st born the first thing we want to do is to hold them and protect them from all the evil in the world. But we can do it to excess. You see the goal of good parenting is to raise your child to become an adult who can be independent. You release them gradually. When they are old enough we let them ride a bike. They may fall down. They may get bruised, they may get a bump or two but it’s OK. When they’re old enough we let them go to summer camp, get a part time job, a driver’s license and date. Allow your child to grow up.
2. Over indulgence. Giving your child too much. It’s interesting that I see this in parents who have wealth, have plenty to give but I also see it in parents who really don’t have it. Parents who will almost do without food so their child can have an ipod. One of the important jobs of parents is to teach our children that there are more important things in life than just material things. If we constantly give them everything they want-if they have every toy, all the designer clothes, go anyplace they wish-they will never learn the value of things.
3. Being too permissive. The world’s philosophy says that you just love your child and eventually they will do the right thing. But you see this leaves out one very important ingredient. The sin nature of man. All of us have a sin nature. Young children can be sweet and innocent but if they are left free to choose eventually they will make wrong choices. You don’t have to tell them how to do the wrong thing. Children in fact will never know the difference between right and wrong unless you teach them. Just ask an educator today what his or her biggest problem is and they will tell you it is a lack of discipline.