Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” The way we think determines who we are, and who we are determines how we behave. Kids develop wrong ideas about life, and these wrong ideas lead to poor decisions, harmful behaviors, and bad habits.
Here are five faulty thinking patterns that result in corrupt behavior:
- It’s mom’s job to clean up, do the laundry, and all the other chores in the house. A child who thinks this will not do the work assigned him. Why should he when it’s mom’s job to do it all? Sometimes we help kids to this wrong conclusion by waiting too long to give them age appropriate tasks. Everyone who benefits from family life should contribute to it by doing chores.
- It’s ok for me to get angry because it (whatever ‘it’ is) isn’t fair. When a child’s sense of fairness is not challenged and trained, he thinks that every unfavorable circumstance is unfair. That’s just not true. Everyone has disappointments. Help your child see that even when he’s disappointed there are boundaries for expressing anger.
- I deserve all these things my parents give me. This child needs gratitude. When we give children more than their character can handle, that’s spoiling. Some kids can handle gifts without corrupting their thinking while others can’t. Spend time daily talking about all the privileges we’ve been given, like the air we breathe and the sun we enjoy. For children who aren’t grateful, scale back on privileges until they develop a proper perspective.
- I’m the center of the universe. We perpetuate this by catering to our child’s every preference. We avoid a restaurant we like because the child doesn’t. We turn the volume up more than we like because the child likes the tv loud. We leave the church we like because the child doesn’t like some aspect of it. Be careful you don’t create a self-centered child.
- What I want right now is all that matters. Children miss opportunities to prepare for the next phase of life because they see only the benefits of right now. A child taught to save for future desires begins to look at the future differently. Help your child catch a vision of life in the future by talking about what they’ll want and need in years to come, and the character they’ll need to possess when they get there.
Does your child have wrong ideas about life?
…I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think;
but to think so as to have sound judgment…
By James D. Dempsey, Ph.D.
Husband to Gail
Father of three
Grandfather of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Family Pastor at Anderson Mill Baptist Church
Presenter for The National Center For Biblical Parenting
Author of Parenting Unchained
Host of the radio show, Parenting Unchained, at www.LOTOradio.com
Click HERE for a link to Jim’s book, Parenting Unchained.
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