Discipline kids, don’t punish them – Here’s what I mean. Punishment usually flow out of anger. Punishment is often an un-thought through reaction to a child’s action. Discipline, on the other hand, flows out of love. It is intentional. It seeks to teach. It is done calmly and rationally with an explanation for why you are doing what you are doing. It does not exasperate as this passage talks about.
Live with integrity/model a relationship with Christ – Kids are ALWAYS watching – even when you think they aren’t. They are watching the way you and your spouse treat each other. They are watching what your relationship with God is like and whether it is just a Sunday show. They are watching how you treat people when you are out and about. They are watching how you deal with their brothers and sisters. They are watching what you are watching on TV and the internet. Most of what your kids will learn from you will be through non-verbal instruction – because they are ALWAYS watching and learning from you.
Choose significant others to invest in and encourage your kids – Especially as your kids move in to their teenage years and begin to rely less and less on you, it will be to your great advantage to have other spiritually minded adults that are investing in your kid’s lives. This might be a youth pastor or volunteer, or a coach or a family friend. Really anyone who loves God, loves your child, and is willing to be intentional with them – to help encourage them and build godly character into their lives. You can help to foster these kinds of relationships in the early years by creating for them significant relationships with adults as well as with other kids.