Read Ephesians 6:4
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. (NLT)
Bringing up children is far from easy. We don’t get to do a university course on the subject. We need to pass no exams before we cause a child to enter the world. Somehow we muddle through most of the time, trusting our own mistakes won’t be repeated by our children when they switch roles.
As is often the case, we need to avoid extremes. We may be those who condone what our children do and who they are. We are easygoing sentimentalists who go to great lengths to shield our children from the consequences of their actions. We indulge our children and cause them to think they are the centre of the universe and that the world owes them a living.
On the other hand we may be those who condemn our children. We insist they conform to our every expectation. We pounce on their every indiscretion. We push and prod them to achieve more and more, perhaps with the mistaken notion that we will feel better about ourselves as a result.
The Bible seems to point to a middle way. Seek to teach the right way to our children by word and example. But don’t let our word and example be a stumbling block to them. Neither be a harsh tyrant or an indulgent best mate. None of us will get it just right. Which is another way of saying that every imperfect child has had an imperfect parent.