Nobody starts out wilfully raising spoiled, bratty kids, so how does it happen? I was on a late night flight the other day and was really hoping to get some shut eye so that I wasn’t a complete zombie when I got home. Well that faded into a distant memory when a couple with 2 small children sat in front of me. It wasn’t long before the crying and screaming started and didn’t stop until I escaped out the airport terminal with my sanity and love for children barely intact!

I cannot tell you how often I hear this statement from people, “Wow Wendy, you have such great kids.” Now of course, I’d like to take the credit for that, nod politely and say, “Yes, yes I know.” But honestly, I don’t really know how we raised great kids, and although I am so grateful we do have great kids, I do not know enough about it to judgingly look at parents who are still figuring it out.

My husband and I sat down one day and really talked through the non-negotiables that would make up our parenting style. We received lots of suggestions from family and friends and the odd well-meaning stranger in the grocery store, but we had to work out what was best for our family. So here’s our secret for raising great kids: Love and Discipline.

  1. LOVE – we shower our kids with love and affection and we make a point of telling them how awesome they are. Now some might think that’ll give them a big head but I figured there’s enough out there in the world waiting to knock their confidence and drop them down a peg or two, so why not let home be the one place they know they are celebrated and adored.
  2. DISCIPLINE – children crave direction and boundaries. It makes them feel safe and secure to know what they can and can’t do or say. Don’t be afraid to lay down rules in your house and implement consequences for disobedience. One thing we always try to do is not discipline out of anger. I rather send my kids to my room to wait for me while I gather my thoughts and emotions and then I can address their behaviour calmly.

So what’s the secret you might ask? Everyone knows that love and discipline is needed in raising kids, so what’s the big deal? Well the secret for us is that we love our kids as much as we discipline them and we discipline them as much as we love them. Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.

We are never shy to shower our kids with love and affection and at the same time, are ready to discipline them when it’s needed. Our children have no doubt we adore them but also have no doubt that we expect them to behave and follow instructions or face the consequences for not doing so. We don’t always get the balance right but are trying our best!

Inviting God into our family and asking Him to lead and guide us has been the greatest thing we could do to have a healthy family. If you’d like to know more about this, click on the pop up or link below.

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