Unfaithful Child/Spouse Archives 2013

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  • Introduction to Narcissism - Traits of Narcissistic Personality by Pat Gates
  • The Time Bomb
  • The Narcissus (poem) by Netagene Kirkpatrick
  • The Trophy Generation: How to Prevent Narcissistic Traits in Your Children by Pat Gates
  • Try to Prevent These Traits From Devoloping in Your Children

 

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 narcissism
 
The term narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. These advances eventually led Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Narcissus "lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour", and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.

I am pleased that some psychologists are now bringing attention to this self-indulgent (narcissitic) generation we have helped create. After the rebellious 70's and the indulgent 80's it is no wonder this country is filled with selfish, self-seeking, self-indulgent, cold-hearted parents and children. The following books are being spoken about in the news, much to my delight. I don't know what the author's beliefs are, nor their answer to this epidemic of narcissism but it's high time we recognize the need to change our way of thinking in order to stop this self-seeking attitude.

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge PH.D. and W. Keith Campbell PH.D. Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before by Jean M. Twenge PH.D.Dr. Twenge explains narcissim:

"Narcissism means having an inflated or grandiose sense of self. A narcissist thinks she is special, unique, and entitled to better treatment than others. Narcissists aren’t particularly interested in warmth and caring in their relationships. They might enjoy being around people — and certainly can be charming, flattering, exciting and likable — but they are in relationships for their own narcissistic needs. Narcissists also spend a good deal of their time and energy doing things to make  look and feel good and pumping up their egos. A narcissist might brag, turn all conversations back to himself, try to associate only with important people, want to have the best and newest of everything, or steal credit from others. When things don't go his way, the narcissist might get angry or even violent. Narcissists can be fun to be around in the short term, but awful to work for or be in a close relationship with in the long term.

Generation Me has never known a world that put duty before self, and believes that the needs of the individual should come first. This is not the same thing as being selfish – it is captured, instead, in the phrases we so often hear: "Be yourself," "Believe in yourself," "You must love yourself before you can love someone else." These are some of our culture's most deeply entrenched beliefs, and Generation Me has grown up hearing them whispered in our ears like the subliminally conditioned children in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World."

The most common pattern was overindulgent parenting (overpraising, putting the child on a pedestal, permissiveness and little discipline) leading to narcissism later in life.

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This month we'll talk about narssisim and next month we'll see where we, as Christians, have gone wrong in our way of thinking and raising our children, and how we can raise  caring, loving, unselfish, God-fearing children. If there is a narcissistic personality that comes from a biological defect in the brain, I am not referring to that on this page, but rather narcissism that is produced from a learned self-indulgent mindset. When a person is labeled "Narcissistic" by a psychologist he/she has all the characteristics listed below. However, in raising our children, if we see any of the traits listed here developing in our young child or our teenagers we need to begin action immediately in our teaching and in our discipline of our children. There isn't one good trait listed below, even the one that says, "feeling special and unique." This is beyond just a good level of self-confidence; it is an overdose of self-interest and self-deceit that helps feed selfishness, envy, and coldness towards others. 

Traits of Narcissistic personality

  • egotistical preoccupation with self, personal preferences, aspirations, needs, success, and how he/she is perceived by others.
  • Manipulative
  • Easily angered especially when they don't receive the attention they believe they deserve
  • Bragging about one's perfect family (no one's family is perfect).
  • Hypergenerosity in public to demonstrate that one has power, but coldness once the camera is off.
  • Hypersensitive and insecure. This includes imagining criticism where it doesn't exist and getting depressed by perceived criticism.
  • Prone to a vast array of negative emotions including depression, anxiety, self-consciousness, and shame owing to not being given their "due."
  • Repeatedly puts down other people, especially inferiors and strangers. Loves to talk about him or herself and mentions others mainly to name-drop.
  • exaggerates their talents and achievements
  • believe they are entitled to special treatment
  • preoccupied with beauty, intelligence and love
  • believes she/ he is special and unique
  • expects all to go along with what he/she wants
  • inability to recognize or identify with the feelings, needs, viewpoints of others
  • envy others or believes others are envious of them

THE TIME BOMB!

  • "It's your thing, do what you want to do."
  • If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.
  • Love means never having to say I'm sorry
  • If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.
  • "You have to love yourself before you can love someone else."
  • "Greed is good."
  • "Because I'm worth it!"
  • "I'm special."
  • "All about me."
  • "I'm gonna live forever"
  • You can have it all!
  • "Self-esteem"
  • "Looking out for número uno."
  • 'Shop Til you Drop'
  • I'm okay, you're okay. If it feels good, do it
  • The one who dies with the most toys wins.
  • Born to shop. A woman’s place is in the mall.
  • We’re movin’ on up.
  • Girl’s just want to have fun.
  • You've come a long way, baby!
  • If you've got it, flaunt it
  • To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. Thich Nhat Hanh (Zen Buddhist Monk)
  • Our entire life … consists ultimately in accepting ourselves as we are.”
- Jean Anouih
  • To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections. Sandra Bierig
  • Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it - Thaddeus Golas
  • I celebrate myself, and sing myself.- Walt Whitman (humanist)


spankings replaced with only verbal discipline

verbal discipline replaced with verbal praise

verbal praise coupled with physical reward

physical reward coupled with "be yourself"

"Be yourself" replaced with "You are the best"

"You are the best" coupled with "I deserve the best"



THE OUTCOME!
 
"Greatest Love Of All"

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody's searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

[Chorus:]
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I'll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

[Chorus]

And if, by chance, that special place
That you've been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

 

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The Narcissus

 

Some people like attention.
They're ''saturated with self''.
Humility is far from them, 
Thinking they'll be the only one left.
 
They think they'll be standing when others fall.
They think they wear Christ's Name.
They don't realize they've not answered
     the True Gospel call.
They want months and years of fame.
 
They'd rather try to lead Jesus! ...
Rather than hide behind Calvary's cross.
They're really egotistical,
Not realizing that Heaven's their loss.

~ by Netagene Kirkpatrick, September 30, 2012 ~

 

 

 

 

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1. Commit yourself wholeheartedly to stop spoiling your children.

2. Replace empty threats with clear, calm, concise instructions.

3. Provide consistent discipline and consequences.

4. Avoid rescuing or overprotecting your child.

5. Ask yourself if you’re overindulging your child materially. 

6. Stay on Track

Katherine Kam (Points taken from article, "Are you spoiling your child," via webMD

 

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 The Trophy Generation

(Awards and praise being handed out to kids even if their work is mediocre or sub-par.)

How to Prevent Narcissistic Traits in Your Children

by Pat Gates

For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen without conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. 2Tim 3:2-4 

No matter if your child is a toddler, teenager, or adult, if you see any of the traits mention in the verses above, it is time to work on preventing them from developing further. If you have young children, begin now to discipline them in love and wisdom, teaching them self-control, obedience, gratitude, and lovers of that which is good. If your children are older and you have not disciplined them in these things, repent, tell your children you are sorry and let them know from now on you will not put up with disobedience and selfishness; be sure you follow through no matter how tough it becomes. If your son or daughter is now an adult and you did not discipline them in the Lord when they were young, repent, apologize to them and let them know you will no longer enable them in their sin, nor will you approve it or participate in it. It is never too late for you to do what you know to be right.

Our Narcissistic Society

Children today are growing up in a narcissistic society where there is egotistical preoccupation with self, a lack of unselfish caring for others, and an overt self-love. Since the 1970's there has been much emphasis placed on a child's self-esteem to where all generations since then have grown up with a sense of entitlement, a belief that they deserve to be treated exceptional, at all times. Parents have contributed to this self-interest by following the popular parenting philosophy of replacing verbal and physical discipline with undeserved positive reinforcement even when the child is disrespectful and disobedient. Parents became buddies instead of parental authorities and now we all are reaping what they (we) have sown - a self-serving generation.

School teachers were also involved in this charade of undeserved positive reinforcement and were told to award all the children, not allowing any child to feel left out or behind, even if the student put forth little effort to follow instructions. In fact, it came to the point that the student who didn't want to try was rewarded in order to encourage him/her to try harder, whereas, the student who did try was ignored since that child didn't have the "need" the slacker did.

In 1976, only 17% of high school students graduated with an A average; now it's 34%. "By inflating grades, students have been set up for failure when they come to the difficult realization that they are not as special as they've been told. American culture has become increasingly focused on the illusion of greatness rather than greatness itself. We seem to think that if we give every kid a trophy, every kid is a winner. That's just not true. Yes, we can reward effort early on. But we don't have to overpraise mediocre performance in the hopes it will lead to better results. One study actually shows that self-esteem boosting leads to failure, not success. -Jean M. Twenge Ph.D

Coaches in after-school sports programs gave all players a trophy whether they put forth any effort or not. The court systems have given slaps on the hand rather than the punishment teenagers deserved. Principles and school deans didn't care if students skipped school even with the parent's urging for discipline. Elders in churches didn't want to be involved in personal matters of families in their congregations and some elders and preacher's kids were so misbehaved themselves that distraught parents had no sympathy or help, due to the apathy and guilt of the elders.

Even if parents have trained their children according to God's word, the temptations of self-seeking are all around them in their school friends, media, by the warped education they receive in the public school system, and sad to say, even with fellow Christians and how they have raised their children. The 1980's slogan of "You have to love yourself before you can love someone else," rings in our ears and we're so afraid of damaging our children's egos we end up doing far worse by creating a generation of brats.

How to Prevent Narcissistic Traits in Your Children

1. Love in word and deed. This first advice isn't as simple as it appears. You may say we all love our children which is true, for the most part, but parental love involves much more than the emotional aspect of love; loving our children means to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, making decisions based on what is best for their soul. It means lots of hugs, lots of support, lots of teaching, lots of self-sacrifice and a whole lot of our own self-control. Loving your child also means proper discipline at the proper time, doing all you can to help them to be happy, well-adjusted, self-sufficient and yet God-dependent adults. It takes work! However, it is the most rewarded, blessed work in this life.

2. Raise your children in reality, using the limelight sparingly. Praise is needed when our children do good work and make good decisions but overt praises for every little deed done and even deeds that are done half-heartedly will end up creating a false sense of worth. In other words, children need to grow up in reality, not in an illusion that they need to be rewarded for the most mundane accomplishment. They will not receive undeserved praise in the real world and if they aren't taught that early they will come to lash out at others because they aren't receiving their "due praise." It's perfectly healthy for them to understand that working and serving others, in their lifetime, will be expected and they must do their best whether they are rewarded for it or not.

 

I have my concerns about this age of technology and the impact it's making on our children's egos. With digital cameras, phone cameras, video cameras, and I-Pads our children are being raised with parents incessantly taking pictures of them throughout the day, turning their children into little "stars." The taking of pictures and videos is not the problem, it is how often one is doing so and what they are filming. One area that is disturbing to me is when I see parents video-taping their children throwing tantrums and posting it to Youtube or a young child having done something wrong, being taped lying to their parent. I saw a video on Youtube of a little boy being drilled by his mother and in the background you hear the mother's voice asking the boy over and over, "Did you eat that?", while the little boy is continually lying that he didn't and it is quite obvious he did by the evidence of food being all over his face. It is suppose to be funny but to me it's reinforcing the wrong thinking that lying is cute and entertaining.

Another concern of mine is Facebook or other social media. I enjoy using Facebook but, as with so many good things, abuse can occur creating problems for ourselves and our children. A teenager can have any life she chooses on Facebook. She can befriend many people who may, in reality, only be  acquaintances but in the Facebook world the number of friends you have is important with many teenagers. In a social media world, the teenager can post great looking pictures of herself, she can delete friends or comments that may disagree with her or that she doesn't like. She can be number 1 in her mind and she will allow no disturbances in her virtual world. 

"On Facebook, young people can fool themselves into thinking they have hundreds or thousands of “friends.” They can delete unflattering comments. They can block anyone who disagrees with them or pokes holes in their inflated self-esteem. They can choose to show the world only flattering, sexy or funny photographs of themselves (dozens of albums full, by the way), “speak” in pithy short posts and publicly connect to movie stars and professional athletes and musicians they “like.”  -Dr. Keith Ablow

Facebook also disturbs me when I see young Christian women post pictures of themselves that are immodest and their Christian parents clicking the "like" button, but there is another kind of immodesty that may be equally disturbing and that is the number of times a young lady may post pictures of herself. She may have 100's of pictures of herself in various poses and, while she may be dressed modestly, she still is giving an appearance of self-love in her ongoing online portfolio. As parents, should we be promoting this by clicking the "like" button with every picture or should we speak to our sons and daughters about what the word "modest" means? Do we even know? 

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety," 1Ti 2:9. To translate this with Strongs Concordance it would read: "In like manner also, that women decorate themselves in orderly (decorous, good behavior) apparel with downcast eyes (bashfulness, reverence) and soundness of mind (self-control). It is understood that apparel is being spoken about but shouldn't this be true in our attitude and behavior as well? Is it possible to be immodest in our mind-set even when we are clothed properly? See also 1 Peter 3:1-4

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment. Rom. 12:3

      

3. Teach empathy. Empathy, the ability to identify with and understand other's feelings, is absolutely necessary to prevent and change a narcissistic attitude. Learning to parent with empathy and compassion is crucial. If we, as parents, don't display empathy towards our child and others, our children will not learn how to understand those in pain.  Don't ignore your child's pain; "weep" with them, not over-doing, but keeping a good balance of what the situation calls for. If you are seldom available emotionally for them, they will seek others who will be (and it may be the wrong association) and if none are found, they will learn to harden themselves to other's pain and, at the same time, magnify their own.

While no one should wallow in self-pity, continually teaching our children a "suck-it-up" frame of mind is actually preventing them from learning how to empathize with others. Having a "whatever!" response to our child's pain or immediately putting a positive spin on the situation without any understanding of their needs is not helping them to be a positive person, but rather someone who learns to be impatient with those who need their empathy. Giving a positive side of the situation AFTER empathy is given is a good way to teach how to care for those in pain, and at the same time, it is teaching them not to wallow in their misery but to look for good to cling to.

A good lesson about empathy for our children is the good Samaritan, Luke 10:30-37. Points to bring out:

  • He felt badly that someone had been hurt.
  • He imagined what the stranger may be feeling and he empathized with his pain.
  • He put others before himself.
  • He took the time to care for one when he himself was busy traveling.
  • He went against the crowd. Even though others were ignoring the man, he chose to do what he knew to be right, even when others didn't.
  • He used his own money to help someone else. He was unselfish, kind, and above all, knew what would please his heavenly Father.

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 1 Pet. 3:8

But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1Jn_3:17

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psa. 145:8

Tell your children about the Lord's compassion. It's interesting to note the five times the gospels mention the word compassion in connection with our Lord, it covers every act of compassion we should possess. Notice: 

  • Compassion for others who were lost spiritually: But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Matt. 9:36
  • Compassion for the sick: And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. Matt. 14:14
  • Compassion for those who had physical needs that weren't being met: Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. Matt. 15:32 
  • Compassion for one who needed forgiveness: Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. Mat 18:27-35
  • Compassion for those in grief: Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.  And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. Luke 7:12-15 

4. Keep a good balance of being there for your children and allowing self-sufficiency. Full-blown narcissistic adults usually grew up with parents who gave them too much attention, always taking care of every little need, supplying everything they could to prevent them from being unhappy. However, some narcissistic adults had parents who often ignored them, would shower praise and attention on them at improper times, but wouldn't give them the teaching and empathy when their needs were at their highest. Either way the child craves attention and grows to be self-focused either to continue in the way of life he/she is accustomed to or seeking the life they wish they had.

Our children need  our attention and our good common sense when they are struggling with a problem, but they also need to learn how to handle difficulties on their own. We can hug them, we can let them know we feel for them, and we can give them advice, but then we need to pull ourselves away from the temptation to smother them in pity, taking over their problem and trying to solve it ourselves. We mothers, especially, may hurt inside for our child, no matter what their age is, but we must allow our children to grow emotionally and learn to take care of their problems as best they can. We can be a listening ear and give sound wisdom but let the child learn to work on the problem himself so that he too will learn wisdom and be a steadfast, reliable individual.

5. Allow NO abuse of people. From an early age we try to intimidate our fellow playmates with being bossy, not sharing, and perhaps even resorting to name-calling and hitting or kicking. Children don't have the ability to "reason things out" so they will use whatever means they can to get their way. This is when we, as teachers, step in and show them a better way. We teach them reasoning, even if it takes time to get them to understand. The key to their education is in our persistence and consistency. We need to continually teach them that verbal and physical violence is not the way to go and it's OK to give in and allow their toy to be taken, rather than resort to hitting and name-calling.

I am amazed when I see Christian parents ignoring their child bullying another one. Do they not see? Do they not care? Or is it they don't believe their sweet innocent child would do such a thing so there is no need to oversee the situation. If a fight develops surely it was the other kid's fault. Not only is their attitude unfair to the other child but it is unfair to their own child as he/she will learn they can "pull the wool" over their parent's eyes. Children are quick learners on how to get their way and by the time they are teenagers, some become experts. Stop the abuse now. If you don't, they will be lonely or will end up associating with other bullies.

Children should never be allowed to abuse their parents whether it be physically or in disrespect. This will be discussed in more detail in the next issue.

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

6. Allow NO abuse of animals. I'm also amazed when I see Christian parents allowing their children to abuse animals. I've seen children kicking dogs when they are visiting someone's home or they may terrorize the cat and the parents don't particularly love animals themselves so they could care less what their children are doing. Teaching your children to be kind to animals is teaching them to have a kind, empathetic heart to the innocent, as well as respecting other people's property.

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Prov. 12:10

You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep go astray and hide yourself from them. You shall surely bring them again to your brother.  And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it into your own house, and it shall be with you until your brother seeks after it, and you shall give it back to him again.  In the same way you shall do with his ass. And so shall you do with his clothing. And with any lost thing of your brother's, which he has lost and you have found, you shall do the same. You may not hide yourself.  You shall not see your brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely help him to lift it up again. Deu 22:1-4

7. Teach them right from wrong, using God's word as the standard, NOT men's philosophies. Don't get caught up in catch phrases from the advice of  "experts": "Self-esteem," "Just because you are you," "Turn a negative sentence into a positive one," and "You can't love others unless you love yourself."  Overt emphasis on praise has contributed to a generation of self-obsessed, irresponsible and unmotivated young men and women. Man has it wrong, the Bible has it right in that God-esteem rather than self-esteem helps us to be happy, productive, unselfish people. Esteeming God teaches our children to be motivated in good thoughts and good works. They will learn to respect God, their parents, and all people; the end result will be self-respect in seeking the praise of God, rather than man.

 

Our children need the right balance that is presented in God's word. If you notice Paul's writings, for example, you will see how he praises the church he is writing to and then he proceeds to discipline them where they have sinned or are lacking in some area. The balance of praise and discipline is exactly what our children need. They are both motivators; one to encourage to continue in doing well, the other to make them understand where they have failed and to teach them to be better in the future. If we don't allow them to see themselves in their true light how are they ever going to learn to examine themselves as adults to see whether they are in the faith? How are they going to correct the wrong in their lives if they refuse to see the truth in themselves. The outcome of a lack of self-examination will result in being selfish husbands and wives, irresponsible parents, and untrustworthy workers and friends. Esteeming God and His word will give your children confidence in all aspects of their lives because they will learn to trust in the wisdom and direction of God and that always results in success.

 

8. Teach self-control and accountability (admitting wrong, apologizing, punishment).

Give consequences for bad behavior and be sure to follow through. Children learn at a very young age when threats are just that, threats without any action. I spent some time with a mother of a toddler some years ago who gave one threat after another for her toddler's misbehavior. She even told her little girl she would leave her if she didn't obey. The child knew good and well her mother was not going to punish her, much less leave her so she continued to ignore her mother's instruction. (A mother should never threatened a child that she will leave them but that's another article in itself.) The mother would turn to me in exasperation and would say, "She doesn't listen! I don't know what it will take." My suggestion fell on deaf ears. Why? It takes effort and a strong will to be consistent and it's much easier to just let things go, or so she thinks. In reality, ignoring your child's bad behavior takes more effort in the end. Listen to this wisdom:

  • *The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Prov 29:15 
  • *Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. Prov 29:17

Another reason why this mother didn't discipline her daughter is because she doesn't want her hurt her little girl's feelings. It pains her to see her child hurt and far be it for her to be the one to be the source of pain! Listen to wisdom:

*Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction. Prov 19:18

You may say, "I would never purposely hurt my child!" However, God tells us if we ignore proper chastening of our children, we are setting our heart on their destruction. If we want happy, peaceful children who have a much greater chance of safety as they grow older, discipline them now!

9. Be the authority: Don't be afraid of your children and don't allow them to use and manipulate you.  Oh, this is such a problem today! Parents afraid to discipline because they don't want their little one sad or angry, especially angry. If the child gets angry that will mean it will take the next 1/2 hour or more to calm him down and parents feel they don't have time and energy for that. Parents may also worry that the child may hate them if they don't give him what he wants.

No child wants to be disciplined and there is a pretty good chance he will get very sad or very angry, after all discipline is not suppose to be fun! The word, discipline, means "a training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character."  We understand that if we want to train ourselves to be better in any given work or character we must give up certain traits that prohibit personal growth. We don't enjoy our discipline but we understand if we want to reach our goal we must. Young children lack this understanding and it is up to parents to help them to understand in order to get along in this world and to obtain happiness that comes by living a higher moral standard. It takes time, energy, and a great deal of patience. But in the end there is joy in the child and the parent.

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. Pro 29:17 

Have you seen children who are well behaved and not only get along with their parents but seem to really enjoy being with them? This did not come naturally. It came with the same diligent work of teaching and disciplining in love. These families are not set for life, as discipline is a continuing process as it continues into teenage years and, with some, even into adulthood.

 Children who are disciplined in love don't grow up to hate their parents, rather they come to understand their parents love them so much that they are willing to take time and energy in teaching them the right way to live. They grow up to be polite and respectful of authority which, in turn, gives them joy in their good relationships with family, friends and authoritative figures. On the other hand, children who always get their way and those who have parents who grovel at their feet are grouchy, bossy, and irritating. Their relationships suffer because friends, teachers, and later, spouses, are not going to be willing to give in to them and there will be ongoing friction. This is not what God wants for His people. He expects parents to take on the responsibility of bringing their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Chasten thy son, seeing there is hope; And set not thy heart on his destruction. Pro 19:18

Remember, even at the most difficult, tiring times disciplining our children is being godly and loving our children as God loves us. Notice the key words in the verses below that are associated with discipline: Love, respect, good, holiness, peace, and righteousness.

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Heb 12:5-11

 

10. Never allow lying. Teach your children how God hates lying. Show them by your own example how important it is to tell the truth. If they see you lie they will learn it's OK to get out of trouble or, at times, when telling the truth is too difficult. Narcissism is all about lies as it not only is self-deceit but this personality feels it must not fail, therefore, lying is important to keep up the pretense of self-importance.

11. Don't live through your child. It's not about you. To a certain extent, most, if not all parents, want to give their child something they were deprived of when they were young and this is normal and natural. What becomes unnatural and harmful is when this goes much further and the parent showers their child with undeserved praise, materialism, and forcing all their hopes and desires on their child, whether the children want them or not. This is not healthy emotionally as the child will either be terribly spoiled and expect the same treatment from others or he will downtrodden as he can not live up to the parent's expectation and rebellion may take place if he has no desire to live up to his parent's unfulfilled dream.

12. Allow disappointments and failures, but be supportive. Your child doesn't have to be happy 24 hours a day. According to Allan Josephson, M.D., chairman of the Family Committee of the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children are more likely to act selfishly if they are either undervalued or overvalued. Those who depend on outside praise to feel good about themselves tend to struggle later in life when teachers, employers and friends do not shower them with compliments.

13. Encourage the completion of work without your interference. Beginning with toddlers, at times allow them to learn and explore on their own with the proper guidance so they don't get hurt. Teach them to put up their toys and to accomplish what they can within their ability. Of course, due to their youth they often need their parent's guidance but when there is opportunity teach self-sufficiency. Continue this as the child grows, allowing them the satisfaction of completing a work as well as the habit of finishing what they begin. This involves wisdom on behalf of the parent because there must be a good balance of knowing when to stay out of their project and when to help. Helping is also important when the time is right as we all need guidance; just try not to take over and complete their task to the point they are being taught to give up as mom or dad will eventually take over.

14. Teach them to appreciate their friend's talents and abilities; teach humility. Unfortunately we are often of a mindset to compete and we want our children to be #1. There are competitive sports and it’s OK to teach them to try their best to win but what if they lose? Do they see our disappointment? How about in everyday life when a friend of ours achieves success? Do they see us “rejoicing with those who rejoice,” or do they see envy?

15. Teach them thankfulness. One of the main problems with today’s narcissistic generation is being unthankful. Ingratitude breeds lust, envy, a sense of self-entitlement, and discontent. Children should see gratitude in their parents; not just at the dinner table but throughout the day, every day. Parents should teach their children to say "thank you," and appreciate when others do something nice for them. Gifts given to them by others should never be thrown aside without appreciation and thankfulness. And, above all, thankfulness for their heavenly Father should be taught on a daily basis by helping the child to recognize blessings received from God.

16. Persevere. You are training your children to prepare for adulthood and reality. If you give up in training them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, you are inhibiting their spiritual, emotional, and mental growth. Parenthood is not something we can choose when it is convenient. It is a lifetime commitment. If you don’t desire to spend your life for the good of your children then please don’t become a parent. The last thing this world needs is another forgotten child who grows up to be a self-indulgent, self-obsessed  individual.

 

 

Try your best to stop these characteristics from developing in your children: 

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be

  • lovers of self,
  • lovers of money,                          
  • proud,
  • arrogant,
  • abusive,
  • disobedient to their parents,
  • ungrateful,
  • unholy,
  • heartless,
  • unappeasable,
  • slanderous,
  • without self-control,
  • brutal,
  • not loving good,
  • treacherous,
  • reckless,
  • swollen with conceit,
  • lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
  • having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

2 Timothy 3:1-7




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November 2017