Remember you are the parent and they are the kids, and those roles are already defined, but you can show them that you are listening to them on their level. It seems that some people often criticize parents that form a "friendship" with their children, but I think this is a good way to connect with them. It's possible to be a parent and friend to your children at the same time. My daughter knows that I am her mother and my rules are not to broken, and that I have the final say in everything. She knows I love her and when I set certain rules I try to explain to her on a level she understands about why I'm making the rules. I do not merely do what some parents do and say, "because I said so". To a child, that's not a clear explanation of why you do not allow them to go somewhere or do something. They need to know on their age level, exactly why you do not approve of something they want. For instance, if your child wants to sleep over their friend's house and you know that one of their parents abuses alcohol. Surely, you do not want to expose your child to such an environment. Rather, you would not allow them to sleep over that friend's house because it could endanger them. You do not want to be a misfit parent who poses their children to a potentially dangerous situation.
"Oh, you might be saying," but what about when parents used a 'switch' on their kids? "
Well, that's true that many years ago parents did use the 'switch' to reprimand their kids. Even today some parents may still be using that form of punishment. But some parents take it a step further by using the belt, which I think can easily lead to overuse and abuse. If a parent is not careful they could easily injure a child, leaving marks on their body, if you know what I mean. And that to me, is abuse. It's bad for the child because they will remember that moment probably the rest of their lives. There's also the possibility that child will grow up and abuse their own children. I'm sure most parents would not want to leave to their kids a legacy of abuse. I think overuse of harsh punishment on children can be detrimental to their well-being.
There needs to be a balance of love and discipline. Parents need to be careful about how they use corporate punishment. I've heard in church that it's OK to 'spare the rod' as it says in the Bible. (Proverbs 13:24) This scripture means that when combined with love, discipline can be helpful in teaching children. (Exodus 20:12) This is not a suggestion from God, but a direct commandment from Him for children to obey their parents. ; some are sooner to violence in school, and walk according to their will. They are disobedient and "follow the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient "(Ephesians 2: 2)
I know some parents who do not discipline their kids at all, but rather, they let them do what they want and when the cops come to their home, they do not want to hear about whatever bad thing their kids did. For instance, I know of one lady in our apartment complex who has a very deviant son. I and several other neighbors have had to call the cops repeatedly on him for harassment, physical threats of violence with a bat, and for throwing rocks at a woman who was washing her car. It was suggested that he should go to boot camp, but has not. It's like the boy's mother do not care what he does. She is responsible for that boy so she should act on the advice given her. That is outright bad parenting when there is lack of discipline in the home and the child is left to run loose on the property at all hours of the night. It can actually encourage the bad behavior to increase. It also lets the child know that no matter what he or she does, no matter how bad, they will get away with it and without any consequences.
Some parents resort to removing their child's favorite things for a limited time, while others think that is severe punishment. That's not severe at all.
Some parents will even remove the TV, iPods, cellphones, and video games. If that is the case with you, do not feel that you did anything wrong. You need to set boundaries and discipline your child the way you think they should be disciplined. God intended for parents to set an example and to discipline them children and children are invited to obey their parents. He did not command us to be passive parents. Ephesians 6: 1-3 instructs children to "obey your parents in the Lord, for this right." Honor your father and mother-which is the first commandment with a promise- so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth ".At the same time, parents are not to" provoke their children ". (Colossians 3:21) This scripture reflects mostly to fathers but it could very well apply to mothers.
When parents discipline their children it is meant to correct them, not to be mean to them. Children are unable to make sound decisions and make right choices. They make decisions based on what they feel at the moment, but are unaware that their actions may result in a bad consequence. Parents have more life experience, including that of being disciplined as a child and learning from their own past mistakes.
You would be surprised how many "Disney dads and moms" are out there. They lay on the trips and spoil the kids, but when it comes to discipline it's nonexistent. These are passive parents.
When a child shows respect then it's OK to let them have back their favorite things and whatever privileges they had. They need to know that you are the authority figure at home. Normally, when a child reaches age 18, they are considered an adult and on their own and ready to make their own decisions. But until then, as long as they live under your roof, they need to abide by and respect your rules. Continue to hang on to the Lord's hope.
Note: All scripture used throughout this article is taken from the New International Version (NIV) and English Standard Version (ESV).