Parenting - Giving The Moral Reason Why
But why? Ever heard a child utter those infuriating words? Well, you may not know it but that question gives you a perfect opportunity to teach the child significant practical theology. In fact whether the question is asked or not, parents and friends need to teach children the moral reason why certain behaviours are good or bad.
If for example one child hits another, or steals a toy or throws a tantrum, or treats people or property with disdain, then they need to know why it is wrong. It may be a case that they are not respecting people (who own property) with respect. All people carry the image of God and so should always be treated with respect. If God considers them special, so should we. To write on their walls, or talk over them, or disobey them is not to treat them with respect. Kids probably won’t get it the first time, it make take months or even years! But, if reinforced with appropriate discipline, I believe it will really go a long way to positively shaping a child’s heart.
Similarly, when a child does the right thing, reinforce the behaviour with praise that tells them why what they did or said was good.
Don’t underestimate the power of theology communicated simply with appropriate words. It’s how God seeks to mould us into the image of Christ, so the strategy should also work with our children!