15 Ways You Could be Crushing your Kid’s Spirit

God is a Father who loves children. He encourages parents, starting with fathers, to be considerate of their children. In fact, God says to parents in Colossians 3:21, “…do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Here are some very practical ways that we adults can discourage a kid:

  1. Making more withdrawals through criticism than deposits through encouragement
  2. Physically shoving, intimidating, threatening, and/or not being physically affectionate in appropriate ways
  3. Correcting without instructing so that the kid has no idea why they are in trouble until after they are disciplined
  4. Verbally yelling, name calling, cursing, barking, or screaming
  5. Publicly humiliating them in front of others
  6. Not distinguishing between sins that require correction and mistakes which happen to all of us. (e.g. disobeying versus spilling a glass of water)
  7. Showing favoritism between siblings, which provokes jealousy and rivalry
  8. Being absent so that the child is neglected and forced depend on someone other than a parent (e.g. older sibling) or fend or him/herself
  9. Leaving the child open to harm and/or abuse due to a lack of protective boundaries
  10. Imposing unreasonable and demanding performance expectations in areas such as sports or grades
  11. Exhibiting an un-relational parenting style that is aloof, unloving, detached, and often encourages the child to just play on technology and leave the adult alone
  12. Not being fun to hang out and make memories with
  13. Not being generous; almost always saying no
  14. Never repenting of your own sin but demanding that the child repent of his or hers constantly
  15. Never asking the kids/grandkids if there are any ways that you are provoking their hurt or discouraging their heart and actually listening to their answer

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