Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Training up a child

Recently while leading a men’s Bible study, I mentioned a verse that says, Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Immediately, one of the young dads in the group expressed his concern that he might be exasperating his children and asked me what some of the ways are that dads risk exasperating their children. Following are some of the things to avoid.

Failure to lead by personal example

Your kids are watching, and often imitating dad’s every move, and get exasperated when dad tells them not to do something, and then does it himself.

Being overprotective

Although dads are by nature protective of their children, they must remember that they are preparing them to be adults who have to learn how to make good decisions and how to deal with the consequences of making bad decisions.

Showing favoritism

It’s a challenging task to show an equal amount of love and attention to multiple children, yet dads must be wise in spreading equal attention to all of their children.

Pushing too hard for achievement

In an effort to help their children succeed in life, dads must be careful lest their children start to resent their overzealous pushing.

Disciplining them for something they didn’t know was wrong

Never discipline a child unless the child understands that what they did is wrong. Children resent being disciplined for something they don’t understand.

Disciplining a child while you are angry

Never discipline a child unless you are totally in control of what you might say or do. Hurtful words spoken in anger can scar a child for life.

Embarrassing them in front of their friends

Friends are so important to children, and if you find it necessary to correct them for a misdeed, always try to get along to avoid embarrassing them in front of their friends.

Not admitting when you were wrong

If you made a mistake, own up to it.

Making promises you don’t keep

A child’s tender heart can be crushed when dad promises to do something with them, and then backs out when something more important calls him away.

Forgetting that they are just children

Remember that they are just children, and as such will engage in childish behavior. Don’t belittle them for age-appropriate behavior.

Failing to praise them

I’ve counseled adults who are still hurt because they can’t remember ever being praised by their father for something they accomplished. Often, we are quick to compliment strangers while ignoring those closest to us.

Not setting guidelines that are clear and enforceable

If you have rules and expectations for your child, make sure that they are clear and that your child understands. And if the rules are violated, make sure the punishment is appropriate and not over the top.

Neglecting them

The most precious gift you can give your child is your time. Make it a top priority in your life.

Failure to pray for them daily

I have long encouraged parents to pray daily for their children. There are few things as comforting as knowing that every day your mom and dad are praying for you. As our children have now become adults themselves, I find myself continuing to pray for them daily.

And now that Carolyn and I have nine precious grandchildren, we are pleased to be involved in their lives in many ways, and one of the most important is to pray for them daily.


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