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When there is a strong bond between parent and child, the parent has little use of methods.
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( A Relationship of Love )
Apr 1996 Alan S.L. Wong


DISCIPLINE is a major concern for parents. The issue is how do we get our children to behave according to the standards we expect. What if they refuse to conform?

There are many methods of discipline. The effectiveness of discipline methods varies from situation to situation and from child to child. But whatever the discipline methods, there are prerequisites for discipline to be effective. I call these "the 3R's prerequisites"

  1. Relationship of Love
  2. Reading of Your Child
  3. Recognition of Wrongdoing

A Relationship of Love

The writer of Hebrews told his readers that discipline was an evidence of their relationship with God as their Father. He encouraged them to endure the discipline, though it was painful, because it was intended for their growth in character. From this short passage, we learn that a prerequisite for effective discipline is a strong relationship between parent and child. If a child knows and feels the love of his parents, then he is more likely to accept the discipline. He knows that his parents care enough to discipline him.

As parents, we love our children, but often we fail to demonstrate love in ways that our children can understand. We tend to share more of our treasures with our children than our talents and time. Buying a present for your child can be impersonal but playing with your child involves you as a person. In sharing our talents and time, we are sharing ourselves. This will help to develop an emotional bond with our children.

Parenting requires commitment because it takes time and effort to build and maintain relationships. When there is a strong bond between parent and child, the parent has little use of methods. A strong bond helps prevent many discipline problems because children who are close to their parents desire to follow the family rules and please their parents.