Planet Of The Apes

My friend Finn recently saw the following sign in her pediatrician’s office.

Please refrain from allowing your children to destroy the furniture in the waiting room. We?d like to maintain a pleasant environment for everyone.

When I first read that, my thought was “FINALLY, someone with gumption” but apparently Finn has problem with it. After reading her post, I can see why.

Read her post and then come back here. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

So as new parents, Julia and I (mostly Julia) try to read up on various parenting techniques, advice and experiences as we can, so that we can learn from those you have gone before us. Unfortunately, there is good advice and there is bad advice. And depending on your personal viewpoints, What one person loves, another admonishes.

Case in point. Two books on our nightstand are Shepherding a Child’s Heart and To Train up a Child. Both have their strengths, and their controversies. Criticism ranges from child abuse to Stockholm Syndrome. But the praises are for how well each teaches you to address the heart of the problem, not the symptom.

I’ve read Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Julia is currently reading To Train up a Child. Critics of Shepherding a Child’s Heart usually site spanking as their biggest complaint but they usually overlook the fact that it is never administered in anger but rather as the consequence of the child’s behavior and to not respond would be irresponsible.

You see, while not everyone believes in spanking (with some good reasons) it can be an appropriate tool in disciplining a child. But the word discipline doesn’t refer to punishment but rather correction as when training an apprentice. The goal of both books (I think) is to establish well defined boundaries and expectations.

No child is served by a wishy-washy set of rules that sometimes apply and sometimes don’t. Disciplining your child at the first act of disobedience lets them know that they can count on you to keep your word. They then also learn to trust your judgment and realize that you will protect them as well as discipline them. Unfortunately, many parents would rather not “stifle” their children only to lose control of them and end up screaming in frustration or explode in a fit of abusive punishment.

Neither of these books will make you a good parent or a good Christian. You have to be both, first. Then you can read these (or any other parenting book) with the proper perspective of dealing with the heart of the Child. Most importantly, remember that the goal is not to have well-behaved children, but children you obey the Lord. From there, they will seek to please God and thus be well behaved. Not the other way around.

3 thoughts on “Planet Of The Apes

  1. I take no exception to the sign, I take exception to the fact that the sign has to be there. I believe in raising children to be respectful people, not wild creatures who do as they please.

    I’m not quite sure whether you agree or disagree with my post. Care to clarify?

    archshrk responds: I agree that the sign should not be needed. The idea that parents need to be told to control their children is absurd. Yet the fact is, they clearly don’t control their children. Next we’ll see signs that say, “parents, don’t let your children discharge firearms while in the waiting room”.

  2. if parents are doing their jobs then signs like that shouldn’t be needed. the problem is that some parents DON’T do their jobs and DO let their little darling run around and act inappropriately in public.

    michele sent me.

  3. Come on, grow up people! YES, the signs are meant for YOU!

    If you don’t like people telling you to leave until your kid calms down/stops destroying the place, then suck it up and be a parent! Nobody said it was easy, it’s the hardest most painful joy ever created by God!
    Raise them to be the little people they are, not a toy to sigh in frustration with after you broke it, then blame someone else for.

    That said, I applaud the people that bother being parents that want their children to be part of the solution. Finn, I salute you.

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