Children naturally determine goodness by their circumstances. Since children are also naturally self-centered, circumstances often become the focal points of conflict. Children frequently have a different view of what is or is not a good circumstance from what their parents have. So meals, bedtimes, chore responsibilities, playtimes, etc., can become battlegrounds. Your mission as a parent is to help your child expand his natural understanding of goodness to also include what is behind the circumstances of his life. Reality is that God orders circumstances for his glory and not our for immediate pleasure. You must help your children understand that each circumstance brings the opportunity to serve God as opposed to serving themselves. In other words, the battle must shift from having what I want, to learning how to serve God and those whom he as placed in our lives. Thus, meals are an opportunity for gratitude, bedtimes are for submission to authority and God's command to rest, household chores are occasions to serve, play times are opportunities to delight in making others happy.
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