Parenting Is Not Primarily About Information Transfer

Ephesians warns fathers not to exasperate their children. To be sure, there are a number of ways to exasperate children. But, I believe one of the most subtle and discouraging ways of doing this is the wrong use of explanations in disciplining children. Explanations can become damaging when they are based on attempts at persuasive argumentation or even manipulation. One way to know if explanations are being wrongly used is if you hear yourself constantly saying, "How many times I have told you not to do that!" This is an example of seeing instruction as an exercise in information transfer. When information transfer is the main focus of child rearing explanations will become a problem instead of being useful. You will tend to become exasperated with your children and they with you. Your goal in parenting is not primarily information transfer, but to see transformed hearts.

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