Home is the Place for Loving Correction

Recently, my wife and I realized that one of our four children was really struggling in the way that he handled correction from us.  (Our kids range in age from 7-14 years old)  When we correct him, he responds by experiencing shame, guilt and embarrassment. For example, If he purposely antagonizes one of his siblings, and I pull him aside to discuss this with him, he seems to be devastated by the conversation. He takes correction so hard that it feels hard to correct him at all. But as we considered our parenting and his response we were certain of the necessity of this correction.

Parenting

The reason for our thinking is that the home is the safest, most loving environment that a person will likely ever experience.  Correction in this loving, safe context is priceless. We teach and correct our kids at home with their best interest in mind. Over the past couple of weeks, we have focused on stressing this reality to our kids.

As Christians, The Old Testament book of Proverbs has informed our thinking and communication with our kids:

Proverbs 13:1  “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not respond to rebukes.”

Proverbs 15:5  “A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.”

The book of Proverbs teaches that a correction in a loving, safe context is priceless. Here are two principles to consider and apply in light of this truth:

1.  Correct your kids in the loving, safe environment of your home.

Remind your kids that the very act of being corrected is an act of love.  Remind your kids that nothing that they do will ever change your love from them. Remind them that they are loved more at home than anywhere else. Then continue to correct and teach them. We correct them because we love them.

2.  Be “Correctable” yourself.

Correction is necessary for each of us. When we are corrected, and are teachable, we have the opportunity to grow.  Proverbs teaches this clearly.

Proverbs 15:32 “Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.”

Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”

God gives us friends and family for a reason.  He often uses these friends and family to help us grow.  This growth often comes through correction. So give correction, ask for correction, take it, and grow.

Questions or Comments?  Feel free to weigh in!

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Posted by Brian Howard

My focus is to help YOU move forward one step at a time. I write about church excellence, personal productivity, and family leadership. I coach leaders, start churches, and help organizations break growth barriers. My goal is to draw on this experience to help YOU move forward in life, leadership, and productivity.

  1. Wow. I love the whole concept of the safety of home. A wise woman I knew once said to me “You want your kids to do their acting out while they are still in your home so you can be there to respond wisely.” I loved her words of wisdom.

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  2. Brian, I was actually warmed by the account of your son being deeply affected by any correction at home. I’ve seen kids who don’t appear to be phased at all by correction; will even politely say, “Yes Sir” OR “Yes Maam” and will go on and repeat within minutes whatever behaviors they were reprimanded for. While it may be painful to observe the heart ache that any young one might experience at the hands of a parent, it leaves me with the impression that children are rightfully and sincerely impacted by correction. I definitely think it ‘s more comforting to know that correction means something to the child, even if it hurts a little. It’s good that you acknowledge the safety issue (at home) since reproof within the confines of a safe, home environment is much less humiliating. Correction in the presence of others can often bring shame beyond what is necessary or useful. But bending down on the child’s level and communicating tenderly in love, in a confidential/private way can not only be tremendously helpful to the child, but can also spare any hard feelings or embarrassment the child may feel at the hands of an authority figure – not to mention that we are, in effect, modeling a really loving parenting style (authoritative VS authoritarian). I’m reminded of the label on many shipping boxes…”Handle with Care”. Thanks Brian for another practical “daily living”reminder.

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