All of us have experienced instances where we are in the presence of children who are undisciplined. The children are running around like helliens and the parents are oblivious to what their children are doing. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that children need to run around and have fun and act like children. It’s not acting like children that is the problem. It involves actions that negatively affect others where the problem lies.
It’s having children interrupt conversations of others without being disciplined. Children need to be heard, but there is an appropriate time for children to be heard. It’s when others have finished their thoughts so children learn how not to interrupt when someone else is talking.
Children need to learn that when a person in authority says the word “NO” it means “NO” and they need to respect the word and not push for their way. Children need to learn where the limits are and respect those limits by not seeking to push until they get what they want. When children are disciplined in the early stages of development, they learn how to operate in the adult world with other adults who have learned how to interact with others.
As I was reading the bible today, I came across a story that flies in the face of children being disciplined in the early stages of life. It’s a story of Adonijah who was the son of King David. He was one of the youngest sons of David and had never been disciplined by his father. He decided one day that he wanted to be king. His father David was still the king of Israel, but he had a harebrained idea that he wanted that post. “Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, ‘I will be king.’ So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. (His father had never rebuked him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?” He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)
Adonijah had never been rebuked. No one had ever challenged his wants and desires. Whatever he wanted he got. In today’s society, we would call him entitled. He did exactly as he wanted to do and made himself king. Unfortunately for him, David had promised the future king to be his son Solomon. When David heard what Adonijah had done, he made a decision to put Solomon on the throne that same day and Adonijah for the first time didn’t get what he wanted.
What might have happened if David would have stood up to his son in the early stages of childhood and said “NO” on occasions Adonijah had wanted something? David might have averted this conflict with his sons taking over the kingship.
On this journey, challenging our children who are developing entitlement issues can ward future pain as they grow into adults.