Taken from Matt Schmucker of 9 Marks, here are 10 things we may be doing that provoke our kids.
- Make it a habit to discipline your child while angry.
- Make it a point to scold your child – especially in public. Mockery and ridicule work well.
- Deliberately embarrass your child in front of his/her friends. Name calling really gets their attention.
- Create double standards so that the child never knows who or what to follow.
- Preach and hold the child to a gospel of self-discipline instead of a gospel of grace. (Note: the Bible presents Pharisees as very unhappy people.)
- Never admit you’re wrong and never ask your children for forgiveness.
- Inspect your child until you find something wrong. Holding them to an unreachable standard makes this task easier.
- Judge a fight between your children before you’ve listened to them.
- Compare your child to others.
- Promise your children things early in the day and then don’t fulfill the promise.
Conversely, parents should provoke their children…in good ways: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on [provoke!] toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24).