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.
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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