After raising his own six children and learning many things the hard way, author and pastor Reb Bradley wrote a practical guide to bringing up kids that uses biblical wisdom as its basis.
Entitled simply “Child Training Tips,” Bradley’s book presents common obstacles to successful parenting and solutions to help overcome them.
Writes Bradley in the book’s preface: “Multitudes of parents have written and told us of how their children changed when they began implementing the insights they gained [from the book].”
Bradley especially targets those parents who are exasperated with their kids.
“Parents who are exasperated with their children are missing the blessing that God says children are to bring to their lives. ? If our children are not a blessing to us, it is not because an alien tampered with their genetic code as they grew in the womb. It is, most likely, because we have not succeeded in some element of their training.”
Among the obstacles Bradley covers are: parental defensiveness, confusing raising children with training them, misunderstanding human depravity and trust in worldly “experts.”
“For basic parenting principles ? we must look primarily to God’s Word. To look elsewhere guarantees trouble,” Bradley writes.
Bradley warns against the “child-run” home, where decisions are made or influenced by the children. Some statements that might be overheard in such a home, Bradley says, are:
- “I can’t make that for dinner at our house, the kids just won’t eat it.”
- We can’t go there, the kids will be bored!”
- “We could never take our children into the church service. They wouldn’t last.”
Writes Bradley: “Parents who say, ‘Junior just refuses to ?’ or ‘My child just won’t put up with ?’ have given up their authority and put their children in charge of their home. They have granted their children veto power and in doing so must follow their children’s leadership.”
To re-establish control of the home, he writes, parents must:
“1) Keep your objective in mind ? subjection of their will, 2) Require quick obedience, and 3) Teach your children to obey without being told ‘why.'”
Bradley covers how to attain those goals and discusses the correct modes of discipline. He warns parents against using common incorrect methods of discipline, which he identifies as: repeating instructions and making threats, bribing for obedience, allowing excuses, tricking or manipulating, and distracting.
The book ends with “25 sure ways to exasperate your children.” Bradley covers common ways parents behave that contribute to their failure in child training.
Writes Bradley: “Most parents are afraid of exasperating their children by being too firm, but most children are exasperated by parents who are not firm consistently.”
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