4 Trends That Are Harming Parenting Success

Published Mar 13, 2024
4 Trends That Are Harming Parenting Success

As we all know, parenting does not come with a manual. New generations are facing issues we never had to face generations before this. Social media, cyberbullying, phone usage, and addiction are just some of the issues kids are facing that parents need to navigate. As society veers away from the principles that guide good parenting, parents who only follow parenting trends may do their kids more harm than good. Here are some parenting trends that harm parenting success:

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Dad disciplining his daughter

1. Sparing the Rod

There's a saying that goes, "Spare the rod spoil the child." But did you know sparing the rod is a biblical principle? Proverbs 13:24 states, "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them." Furthermore, Hebrews 12:6 says, "Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son." Discipline is essential to ensure your child's success. God, in his great wisdom, disciplines his children who are going off the beaten path. If his children are making bad decisions that will negatively affect their lives, He disciplines them to get them back on the right track.

In the same way, it is important for parents to discipline their children accordingly. While corporal punishment may not be the proper step in every situation, using timeout or other forms of consequence to help a child understand the difference between right and wrong is essential in society. In the tumultuous times in which we live, many people have difficulty discerning between right and wrong. Without the anchor of the Word of God to help guide them, kids need parents who will help teach them what is right and wrong. When they understand that bad behavior equals bad consequences and good behavior is rewarded, it's easier for them to understand what the right thing to do is as adults. Parents are responsible for teaching their children character so that when they grow up, they can be good witnesses for God and understand basic morality and integrity.

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Dad comforting crying daughter

2. Equating Shame with Conviction

In this world where it's common to tell people not to judge each other, judgment can be a good thing in a child's life. Society confuses judgment with condemnation. Judgment decides if the situation is right or wrong. It's because of that judgment that proper consequences can be established. Condemnation tells the person they are wrong or bad for their actions. Scripture clearly states, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." All condemnation was eradicated through Christ's blood on the cross. However, people still perform good or bad actions, right or wrong. We do not live in a judgment-free world. If we did, there would be no need for court systems or judges. Judges help plaintiffs and defendants discern whether a situation is right or wrong and who is to blame. That judge does so under the law they have studied. Although the law is a part of what society believes is right or wrong, as Christians, we have our own law: the Bible. As people who should be mature enough to understand the Word, we measure behaviors based on the Word of God. When someone feels terrible that they have done a wrong act, that shame is well placed. 

Shame is misplaced when it is on someone for the wrong reason. For example, if someone places shame on someone else because they're blaming that person for a situation that comes out of their own emotional baggage, that is misplaced shame. However, shame that is well-placed can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Shame is a feeling that is associated with the wrong behavior. That shame brings us to conviction. For those of us living with the Holy Spirit inside of us, the Spirit convicts us when we do sinful acts that separate us from the love of God. Shame is necessary in that it helps us feel badly to look introspectively at our lives and actions. As we measure those actions against the Word of God, we know whether they are right or wrong. Conviction of the Spirit may feel like shame, but when well-placed, it will bring us to repentance. And repentance restores our relationship with God.

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Teacher reading to a class of kids

3. Teaching Them Not to Respect Authority

Additionally, we live in a world where people question authority. Because of our technologically advanced world, we have every pastor and message at our fingertips. We can go on to Netflix or YouTube and watch a popular pastor's sermon. If we don't like what he has to say or don't belong to a local church, we can listen to different sermons until we hear what we want to hear. However, that is not a way for us to enjoy intimacy with God. Society confuses celebrity and popularity with a solid biblical foundation. Christians should go first to the local church and allow their local pastor to speak into their lives regarding how the Bible applies.

Additionally, the local church will support them through small groups and help them apply the Word of God and be wise in its application. A popular pastor sermon on YouTube will not do that. When we become ill-equipped with the skills necessary to anchor the Word of God to our lives, we question everything. We begin to believe we are our own God when it comes to understanding right and wrong. God has placed the local church and local pastor above you for a reason. Don't neglect your local pastor's word for a popular pastor on a streaming platform. Respect the authorities above you and listen. Be careful to do what they say.

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Dad with daughter playing basketball

4. Not Teaching Them How to Lose

Kids grow and want to try out different activities to see where they're most gifted. This includes sports. In today's world, where parents juggle multiple kids' overpacked schedules, they're often on many different sports teams and leagues. At the end of each season, those leagues give participation trophies to everyone participating on the team. However, although this may seem like it's helping the kids' self-esteem, it worsens it. When kids get to be adults and life is unfair (a person got a promotion they wanted, another person got a car they wanted,) they won't know how to regulate their emotions and cope with the unfair situations in life. Teach kids that they can't win at everything in life. Teach them to be good losers. Teach them to congratulate those who do better in life than them. Tell them to be confident in who they are as people rather than find their worth in their accomplishments or popularity.

Parenting is hard enough. Issues in society are things parents in previous generations never had to navigate. Parents need to have a strong biblical foundation to teach their kids the basics of morality and right and wrong. That way, when they encounter people who try to challenge their belief in what is right or wrong, they'll have a good anchor in a book that has been around for generations. When parents are anchored in the Word of God rather than what's popular in society, they increase their chances of having good, healthy, well-adjusted children who grow up to be healthy, well-adjusted adults.

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Writer Michelle LazurekMichelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.com.

Originally published Monday, 18 March 2024.