Restraining Your Child

Have you ever felt like tying your child to a tree, or locking them in their room? Sometimes kids can be very exasperating! Parents can be overwhelmed emotionally and mentally by their inability to control their child.

A screaming child is a great annoyance to the shoppers or people they pass, but spare a thought for the poor parent who cannot walk away from the child and escape the noise. The same is true with a demanding child and a disobedient child.

Have you seen those parents who have their arms full, while their young child simply stops and won’t follow the parent? The mum can’t abandon her child, can’t grab him either, and can’t make him come. How exasperating.

Tied to a Tree

This picture was set up for fun by some friends of mine, and it captures the solution some parents wish they could resort to at times.

child restraint

If their problem child could simply be restrained for a while they could get some rest, or get some things done. Or maybe they could be sure that nothing would be broken and no more trouble would be created.

I am not advocating child abuse, or that you tie your boy to a tree. This is just a gag.

Train Up A Child

The Biblical way to deal with our children is not to simply restrain them, but to “train” them. We are told to “train up a child”. Our responsibility is to prepare them for correct behaviour, not just while they are young, but for the whole of their life.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

If you will not “train” your child you will end up struggling to “restrain” your child. The easier choice is to train properly. In fact – ‘to train is to restrain’.


While modern parents are directed by pop-psychology to concentrate on all the “self” issues of their child – like self-esteem, self-motivation and self-discovery, the Bible tells parents to teach “self-control”.

The key to child training is to bring the child to the place where the child makes the right choices, and controls their own actions, to bring their behaviour into line with what is appropriate. If a child is out of control, the parents have failed. If the child needs the parent to maintain the control, then the parents have failed.

Notice in Proverbs 22:6, quoted above, that the child’s personal will holds them in the right path. The verse tells us that if we train up a child in the way he should go then even when he is old “he will not depart from it”! It is “he”, the child, who will maintain his steps in the right path. This is self-control.

Two Simple Tools

Parents have two simple tools at their disposal to train the heart of their child to do right. Those tools are a rod of correction and words. The Bible refers to these as “the rod and reproof”, and both of these work together to bring wisdom to the child.

“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” Proverbs 29:15

The Rod is a means of physical punishment. It is a mechanism for inflicting a small amount of pain to a child to affirm to the child the parent’s commitment to directing the child to correct behaviour. The rod motivates the child, through their desire to avoid pain, to make right choices. When the child makes right choices, as an act of their own will, their will is strengthened in making right choices.

Reproof involves words that are used to rebuke, correct, direct and affirm a child. Parents have great power in their words to impart wisdom, instruct the heart of the child, expose evil and affirm good in the child.

Get Wise Not Mad

If you are often getting mad with your child then you need God’s wisdom. God promises to give wisdom to those who cry out for it. So call out to God for the wisdom you need in your home and with your children.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it will be given him.” James 1:5

Now it is wise to listen to God and to obey His Word. So, another path to wisdom is to read God’s Word, the Bible, and put into practice what God says. The Book of Proverbs has much to say about child training.

You will find much of that wisdom explained in my book, Parenting Horizons, available from the website. You will also find godly wisdom from many other Christian authors, such as the Ezzo’s Growing Kids God’s Way course.

So, don’t get mad, Get Wise!

Your Secret Signals as a Parent

Whether you like it or not you are sending negative signals to your children. And most likely they are Secret Signals – not because others don’t know what you are doing, but because YOU don’t know what signals you are sending out. When I teach on Communication Skills I point out that everyone is “broadcasting” all the time. As parents we are broadcasting signals to our children that we are not aware of. That’s why I call them your “Secret Signals”.

So I’m here to rattle your cage about the Parenting Messages you are sending to your kids. It’s about time you became aware of what you are saying to them, even though you don’t know you are saying it to them!

Know Thyself

The ancient adage “Know Thyself” challenges us to move away from self-absorption, to self-awareness. Being aware of ourselves is not the same as being ‘self-conscious’. We can have feelings of self consciousness which make us uncomfortably sensitive to what others might think about us, but still actually be quite unaware of significant things about who and what we are.

To know ourself we need to be attentive, observant and reflective. We need to tune in to our own broadcasts and check what secret signals we are sending to others. We need to get past our self-justification, rationalisation and intention, and see how our messages impact the hearer, despite what we might intend as a sender.

Taking responsibility for our communications means we take responsibility for what the hearer receives, not just for what we broadcast. To take responsibility we need to become much more aware of what is going on and who and what we are. We must recognise our secret signals.

Tune In To The Family

I have heard many accounts of people who failed to tune in to others. They keep insisting that things be perceived their way, without taking the time to understand what others perceive, need or struggle with.

On a camping holiday, many years ago, I led my infant son out of our tent into the darkness, on our way to the shower block. We both had torches and the ground was gutted by recent storms. I told my tiny son, “Shine your torch where you are going.” Within a few steps he fell over and I scolded him for not being careful. Again I told him “Shine your torch where you are going”.

A few paces later the lad stumbled again, crying from hurting himself. I was impatient and exasperated. I scolded him firmly. “I told you to shine your torch where you are going!” With tears he replied, “I did! I was pointing it at the shower block.”

My boy was doing exactly as I instructed, but not as I intended. I had not tuned in to his interpretation, so I had not helped him walk safely. I felt ashamed of myself, especially since I teach Communication Skills and had failed to communicate effectively with my son.

Parenting Messages

Parents send value statements to their children all the time. When a parent continually becomes distressed about the smallest things, that sends a message. When a parent is always exasperated with their spouse, that sends a message. When a parent doesn’t care what their children do, that sends a message.

These messages from the parents can often be quite different to what the parents think they are teaching their children. They are secret signals, which may contradict the intended messages sent at other times.

When a parent tells their children to have faith in God, but ignores God except on Sundays, the children learn that religion is a game of pretend.

When a parent insists that money should be spent wisely, but continues to blow cash on impulse purchases, the children learn to be careless in their spending.

Copying Mr Grumpy

Your attitude says much more than you might think. If you are given to anger, grumpy responses, impatience, hasty reactions, or the like, you may be sending unwanted signals to your children.

A serious problem in the home is that our wrong behaviour is learned by our children.

King Solomon warns us to avoid bad company, because we learn to act like those bad examples. We are told to keep clear of those who have an anger problem or we will learn to be angry and that will bring damage to our whole life.

“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go: Lest you learn his ways, and get a snare to your soul.” Proverbs 22:24,25

If you are impatient, grumpy, disparaging, cynical, aggressive, intolerant, touchy, selfish, irresponsible, or any such thing, your children will copy you, to their own hurt. This is most tragic in the situations where the parents are simply not aware of what they are doing and modelling for their children.

Let me reiterate that you need to be aware of what you are broadcasting as an example to your family.


There is a very powerful process which parents set up in their home that impacts their children, for good or bad. I promote this process as a way to powerfully impact your children for good. Sadly, it is mostly used, unconsciously, as a means of teaching children bad behaviour.

I call this process “Normalising” because it makes certain things “normal” for he child.

What ever the parents do in the home becomes “normal” for a child. If a husband beats his wife then wife-beating becomes ‘normal’ to some degree in the family. If a parent lies, steals and cheats, they make that behaviour normal. If they get drunk, show anger, falsely accuse others, or engage in any other wrong behaviour it becomes normal to some degree in the home.

People who regularly eat spicy food think it is normal, while other families find it very strange. People who go on exotic holidays several times each year think it is normal to do so. People who go through divorce and family break-up tend to think it is not such a strange experience.

Parents who pray with their children and engage them in real worship make those things normal. Parents who share their faith make that normal. Parents who show compassion to unlovely people, give sacrificially, go on mission trips, take active roles in church or lead home study groups make those things normal to their children.

So, your regular “broadcasts” to your children make whatever you broadcast ‘normal’ to your family.

My Family Broadcasts

When my older sons reached adult years they got around to letting me know some of the secret signals I consistently broadcast to them. I was not happy to hear their report.

It seems I consistently told them two things I did not realise. I told them these things by my reactions. My responses to them over the years confirmed to them that one of my strong parenting messages was, “Don’t disturb me!”

Oh dear! That was just so true! Whenever I settled down to anything, I wanted the luxury of being able to give it my attention. Even if I was simply sipping a cup of tea and looking out the window, I wanted to be able to do it with peace and quiet. Sadly I unwittingly told my children they were not always welcome in my personal space.

The other message I did a good job projecting to my family was, “Don’t cost me any money!” If one of the boys damaged something I would be quick to say with exasperation, “Now I have to go and buy a new one!” I was always reluctant to spend unless it was a purchase I took interest in. I unconsciously saw all other purchases as an imposition and inconvenience. I wanted to spend as an act of delight, not as a chore.

Your Epitaph

I don’t want to be remembered as the man who said, “Don’t disturb me and don’t cost me any money!” So, what do you want to be remembered for?

What would your children say was your regular Parenting Message to them? Would it be flattering to you?

Would they say, “She’s always in a bad mood”? Do they hear from you, “I’m busy!”? Or do you send off the signal, “I have more interesting things to do than pay attention to you”? Is your message, “I can’t cope!”? Or is it, “I don’t like you”? Maybe your signal says, “It’s all about me! Not you!”

If your Parenting Message was defined, would it look good as an epitaph on your tombstone? What do you expect your family to be getting as a signal from you? Is that really the signal they are getting? Is there a secret signal you are sending, but have not realised?

New Program

Tune in to your own broadcasts. Decode the secret signals you are sending. If they are not what you want then be ready to change.

It may be important for you to start broadcasting a brand new program to your family. You may need to take your existing program off the air immediately. Stop broadcasting negative, selfish, unholy messages to your family. Start broadcasting love, peace, faithfulness, patience, compassion, care, interest, holiness, faith in God and other positive messages through your home.

However, you need a new Program Manager in order to do that. Your own intentions won’t be enough. Romans 8:13 points out that the way to get rid of our bad human stuff is “through the Spirit”, not through human effort.

So, take time today to prayerfully ask God to tune you in, show you the errors of your secret signals, set you free from weaknesses and lead you into God’s highway of holiness. Then the Holy Spirit can become the program manager who implements the new programming you broadcast to your family.

Child Discipline Video

Disciplining Children has become a topical issue in many countries where people have sought to restrict the age-old parental responsibility of training and disciplining their children.

Pastor Chris Field provides an important summary of the key Biblical points which clarify the parents’ responsibilities with regard to the training of their children.

The points made in this video are taken from Ps Chris Field’s book, “Parenting Horizons”, which is available from

Our prayer is that this simple teaching video will lead parents into the effective processes which God calls them to employ.

Other videos by Ps Chris Field include ….

SEXUALITY VIDEO“Sacred Nakedness”

MARRIAGE VIDEO“What is Marriage?”

MARRIAGE VIDEO“50-50 Marriage?”

MANHOOD VIDEO“The Manhood Call”

MANHOOD VIDEO“Sacrificial Purpose of Men”

TRUTH VIDEO“Where Does Your Truth Come From?”

PARENTING VIDEO“Heart of a Child”


Heart of a Child Video

The most important part of a child that parents need to give focus to is the child’s heart.

This is not just a sentimental idea, but a Biblical truth. We can have a child’s obedience, but not their heart. We can have a child’s compliance, but not their heart.

Parenting is about achieving a relationship at “heart” level that is precious and powerful.

So that’s the topic of Ps Chris Field’s video “Parenting – The Heart of a Child”.

Other Videos by Pastor Chris Field include ….

SEXUALITY VIDEO“Sacred Nakedness”

MARRIAGE VIDEO“What is Marriage?”

MARRIAGE VIDEO“50-50 Marriage?”

MANHOOD VIDEO“The Manhood Call”

MANHOOD VIDEO“Sacrificial Purpose of Men”

TRUTH VIDEO“Where Does Your Truth Come From?”


PARENTING VIDEO“Child Discipline”

Godly Seed Video by Pastor Chris Field

God has a specific vision for our children and that is that those children become “godly seed”.
There are two challenging factors to that objective. One is that our children must be “Godly”, not just “good”.
The second challenge is that our children must become “seed”, which will reproduce future generations of “godly seed”.
Pastor Chris Field presents these truths clearly in this short video segment, which we encourage all parents to watch and pass on to their friends.
So, here is Pastor Chris with his look at Parenting Godly Seed.

Other Videos by Pastor Chris Field include ….

SEXUALITY VIDEO“Sacred Nakedness”

MARRIAGE VIDEO“What is Marriage?”

MARRIAGE VIDEO“50-50 Marriage?”

MANHOOD VIDEO“The Manhood Call”

MANHOOD VIDEO“Sacrificial Purpose of Men”

TRUTH VIDEO“Where Does Your Truth Come From?”

PARENTING VIDEO“Heart of a Child”

PARENTING VIDEO“Child Discipline”