Monday, July 5, 2010

The Child-Centered Home

I just finished Lou Priolo's book, The Heart of Anger. I found it very helpful. It was filled with practical suggestions for getting to the problems that are causing anger in the home and in children. The book is filled with charts and lists, which the reader can easily refer back to when they need a refresher. Many of the suggestions he makes would apply just as easily to other sins, such as jealousy, laziness, or lust.

One of the first things he does is address the sins of the parents. He states that anger often resides in children because they live in a child-centered home. "A child-centered home is one in which a child believes and is allowed to behave as though the entire household, parents, siblings, and even pets exist for one purpose--to please him." (p. 24) You can see how this would create an angry environment. What is going to happen in a home like this when a child does not get his way? Anger. When I read this I immediately assumed my home was not a child centered home. But then Priolo lists several characteristics of child-centered home. Once I read the list I realized that a lot of these things do happen in my home.

You live in a child-centered home when children:
1. Interrupt adults when they are talking.

2. Use manipulation and rebellion to get their way.

3. Dictate family schedule, including meal times and bed times.

4. Take precedence over the needs of the spouse.

5. Have an equal or overriding vote in all decision making matters.

6. Demand excessive time and attention from parents to the detriment of the other biblical requirements of the parents.

7. Escape the consequences of their sinful and irresponsible behavior.

8. Speak to parents as though they were peers.

9. Are dominant influence in the home.

10. Are entertained and coddled, rather than disciplined, out of a bad mood.

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Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8