Looking for ideas on how to help parents discipline children? Shepherding children is a big responsibility. To help parents keep from being overwhelmed, share these tips for establishing an approach to discipline:
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- Keep it simple—make sure your kids understand each rule.
- Keep it consistent—don’t ignore misbehavior when you’re tired or busy.
- Keep it fair—make sure the rules apply to everyone.
- Keep it fresh—review rules regularly and adapt discipline methods as your children grow.
Above all, help parents remember: Jesus will help them shape their children. Pray about any discipline challenges. Encourage them to ask Jesus to give their kids obedient hearts and a desire to always follow him.
Parents need your help with creative ideas to keep discipline on track at home. In a parent-training meeting or parent newsletter, share these 6 creative ideas with the parents in your ministry.
1. Simon Says
Play Simon Says with younger children, giving everyone a chance to be Simon. Then discuss what it’s like to give orders and to be obeyed. Also talk about what makes following instructions easy or difficult.
2. The Right Recipe
Mix the ingredients from a simple biscuit recipe. As you add ingredients, discuss the importance of following the instructions and the effects of leaving an ingredient out; for example, biscuits made without baking powder are flat and dense.
Read 2 Peter 1:5-8.
Ask: “What ‘ingredients’ does God want us to have? Why is it important to follow God’s instructions for our lives? What ingredient can you add to your life this week?”
3. Three Strikes
As a family, attend local sporting events and look for ways players follow or break various rules. Afterward, discuss misbehavior and its consequences in sports and in life. Share ways that athletes—and other people—can learn and grow from their mistakes.
4. Rule Roulette
Play cards or board games as a family, but take turns setting new rules. Talk about what it’s like to remember all the changing rules. Discuss why it’s helpful for rules to remain constant. Then brainstorm times it might be good for rules to be changed.
5. Jericho Obedience
Create a circular wall with building blocks, cartons, or boxes. Say: “God told Joshua and his men to march around Jericho for six days. Let’s march!”
Count aloud as you march around the wall six times. Stop and say: “On the seventh day, God had them march around the city one more time and give a loud shout.”
March around the walls once more, shout together, and topple the wall. Discuss what happened when Joshua obeyed God—and what happens when we obey God.
6. Big Fish Tail
Form a line with each person holding on to the waist of the person ahead of him or her. Have the line walk in a “swishing” motion like a big fish while the person at the head of the line tries to tag the person at the tail. Switch roles and play several rounds.
This article was adapted from Parenting Christian Kids newsletter–the customizable monthly newsletter that will help you connect with families in your children’s ministry!