Shepherding Ch.7: Discarding Unbiblical Methods

November 21, 2007

23207714.jpgTripp turns his attention in chapter seven to that of discarding unbiblical methods of discipline. He lists several unbiblical methods and discusses the problems inherent in each:

1. “I didn’t turn out so bad” – Some say, “My dad yelled at me. He knocked me around once in a while. I didn’t like it, but I turned out okay.” Many parents unuestioningly employ whatever method their parents employed, whether its biblical or not.

2. Pop Psychology – Some parents resort to bribery or even draw up contracts for their children. Tripp states, “The point of appeal in bribery is crass self-interest. Bribery latches on to evil in the child’s heart and uses it as motivation. The child is not taught to look out for the interests of others. The child learns nothing about being under authority because God is God and the parent is his agent…they are only concerned with the instances of behavior…the heart is not being trained in biblical motives or goals.” (Tripp, 61).

3. Behavior Modification – “Since the heart and behavior are so closely linked, whatever modifies behavior inevitably trains the heart. The heart is trained to greedy self-interest and obtaining rewards. The point of appeal is to Junior’s greed.” (Tripp, 61).

4. Emotionalism – “A young girl in my acquaintance is routinely shamed with threats about her actions spoiling her father’s reputation as a community leader. The appeal is not to obey for the glory of God. Rather, it is an emotion-laden shaming for putting her father’s credibility at risk by her unaccpetable behavior.” (Tripp, 63).

5. Punitive Correction – “Grounding is perhaps the most popular form of privation. Children are grounded from their bikes, the phone, from going outside, the TV, from other children…the problem here is that none of the issues that caused the poor behavior for which he is grounded are being addressed…grounding is not corrective. He is learning to cope with grounding, but his character flaws are not addressed…Grounding is easy…it does not require ongoing discussion. it does not assess what is going on inside the child. It does not require patient instruction and entreaty.” (Tripp, 64-65)

6. Eratic Eclecticism – This is trying a varity of approaches. All this does is confuse the parents and the child.

What direction does the Bile give us for dealing with these issues? The next chapter addresses those questions.


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