Now that I have your attention I will explain to you exactly what I mean. No I do not abuse my child and he does not shake at the sight of me. In fact my son and I are very close. But we are no so close that he will use profanity in front of me, disrespect me, or try to raise up on me. Granted children are children and they are going to do stuff wrong. But the fear that my son has for me helps minimize the wrongness that he does. Because he knows that we he does wrong that there are going to be consequences.
The easy way that I can explain healthy fear is in a Christian way. If you are a Christian or you believe in God, then you have a fear for God. Or you should have a fear for God. You should not fear Him in the sense that you are afraid to live your life for fear that He will strike you down with lighting. But more of a fear in terms that when you do wrong it is within God’s ability to do punish you in any way that He sees fit. That punishment can be great or no so much. But the knowledge alone with knowing that God has the ultimate and total control to punish you when you do something stupid is what causes us to fear Him. And as a result, we do not do as many dumb thing because we do not want to get punished.
With that being said, I do not want to paint God out as the villain. There are many times that He chooses not to punish us. But there are times that He chooses to punish us so that we do not do something again because God knows that if we keep up what we are doing we will end up in hurting ourselves or maybe even end up in jail. So He punishes us to decrease the likely hood of bad behavior. Make sense?
Now let’s turn this ideology back on to parenting. It is the same thing. Just like we love God, we worship Him, and we see God as our father. Our children see us as their mother and father. And as a result they SHOULD understand that you, as their parents, are the ultimate authority figure in your home. You have the authority to punish them and they should understand that the punishment is not because you hate them or want to be mean to them; but because you do not want them to repeat their mistakes. My son once spent $1,100 of my money on Xbox games without me knowing (click here to read that blog). It was then that I needed to instill the fear of God in him. He needed to understand that you do not go around stealing people’s money. If he was to do that as an adult then he would be in jail. And it was my job as his parent, to punish him so much, that he would be fearful to do something like that again.
During my work I have seen a whole lot of disrespectful unruly kids who do not have respect or fear for anyone. And in this I start to blame the parents. No we cannot control everything that our does. But as a parent from a young age we need to instill fear in them. They need to be scared to disrespect us. Scared to step out of line. And when my son grows up to go to college. I want my son to have so much fear, that he thinks I am going to pop out of the bushes at any moment. That way when someone offers him drugs or underage drinking, he will think twice about doing it. Because he will have his mother to face.
Although my son and I are close. Never for one moment will I mistake my son for being my friend. It is my job as his mother to love him, but it is also my job as his mother to punish him when he is wrong. Children who do not have consequences for their actions, grow into adults who do not think they should have consequences for their actions. And that is not fair to them nor is it fair to the world who has to put up with a crazy adult who was not raised right. People may say that I am hard on my son. And that is okay, you can say that. But what someone has NEVER said to me, is that my son is disrespectful, that is does not know how to act, or that he goes around in school acting like a heathen with no home training. So if me raising my son to be a respectful God fearing man means that I have to be a harsh parent. Then I will be that. Because I know that it is for his own good. And my son knows that when he does something wrong, that I am the all seeing eye in the sky and I will eventually find out about it. And when I find out about it, then I will punish him in the way I see fit. So I repeat. My son is afraid of me. But not like fear, but more like reverence. A respect for me that he will not go out and embarrass me in public. And when he does, he knows that he will have to answer to me.