Father’s Do Not: Reflection #4

‘Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger…’ (Ephesians 6:4).  Selfish discipline is guaranteed to make our children angry.

Eph 6b

Dad has had a horrible day. He was late at work because his transport got stuck in a traffic jam. He was expecting a promotion but someone else was given the job instead. He had to stay late to help his boss finish a project. He came home boiling inside.

His daughter met him at the door asking for help with her maths homework. He knocked her aside shouting, ‘Get out of my way and do your own silly maths.’ She had done nothing wrong but he was taking out his frustration on her.

It is all too easy for fathers to relieve their anger on their children by beating them or treating them cruelly. It is better to go out and to chop wood as viciously as we like, than to smack our children when we are angry. If we are in danger of losing it, it is better to pause and breathe deeply or wash our face in cold water before dealing out severe discipline. Selfish discipline angers our children.