Let's Quit Giving In

This short devotion encourages us to quit giving in to our children and start helping them develop self-control. It offers Scripture and other resources.

Giving in to our children makes them demanding and ungrateful.
  • Timmy stood up in the shopping cart and screamed with all of his might until his parents bought him the toy he wanted.
  • Mom and dad planned to go out for pizza, but Susie insisted they buy her a happy meal, so they ended up at McDonalds.
  • Mom told Bobby to put on his boots, but he raised such a fuss she let him go outside in his good shoes.
  • Mom and dad liked going to small group, but they stopped going when their hostess insisted their children not run all over her house during the meetings.
In many Christian homes, children rule and parents obey. 

Most of these parents are well-meaning, and some are very godly. But they've deceived themselves into believing that their children's behavior is normal, acceptable, or understandable.

They don’t realize they are raising children without self-control, children who will be more resistant to the Gospel. 

A child who usually gets his way doesn't need to develop self-control. And getting what he wants won't make him more satisfied. It will make him more demanding and ungrateful. 

I encourage you to study the verses below that highlight the importance of self-control in the life of a believer. And ask God to help you say "no" to your child so he/she can develop good character.

2 Peter 1:4-7

For more confirmation about the importance of self-control, check out these resources:
Self-Control in an Out-of-Control World.
Scriptures for Developing Self-Control.
Biblical Nurture Doesn't Promote Self-Esteem


  1. Thank you for writing this. I couldn't agree with you more. It's tough work parenting, and I can't count the number of times I verbally tell my kids "I wouldn't be a good mommy or love you very much if I let you behave this way!" It's exhausting, and the devil loves to sow doubts in our minds about standing up to the wills of our children. But if they don't learn to submit to and respect the LOVING authority of their parents, how will they grow up to respect the authority of their land, and even more than that, God, the ultimate authority.

    Grace For That

  2. Great words of wisdom! My husband and I try really hard to mean what we say, but we have fell into this pattern a time or two before. Obviously, we strive to get back to where we need to be as parents, but it definitely isn't easy!!! I would LOVE to have you linkup with me over at: http://www.slowlynatural.com/2012/08/mamas-linkup-2.html

    Words of wisdom that all parents need to hear!

    Erika (Slowly Natural)

  3. I completely agree! However, we also operate on the premise that our children are PEOPLE, just like us. So, their voices are heard in our family, and given equal weight when appropriate. So, if we're deciding on a restaurant to eat at and our children have a preference, we treat it with the same respect that we would treat any other opinion and we discuss/compromise, although sometimes executive decisions are made. We feel this teaches (models) the idea of respecting one another, and compromising and being selfless. However, the caveat is that if there is a fit thrown, or something "demanded" then their voice is immediately squelched by that and the answer is no, even if it would have otherwise been yes.

    I hope this makes sense.

  4. Gail, giving in to our children also trains them to manipulate us and other people. They learn to disregard absolutes because we've shown them that all of life is negotiable. Sadly, even though they think they want to get their way all the time, giving in makes them disrespect us. I know. My mom gave in, and even as an unsaved teenager, I determined that when I had children of my own, I'd mean what I said and stick to it. Thanks for a wise post :)

  5. There are parents who lovingly do not give in (albeit sometimes VERY frustrated as well) and the child STILL throws fits every time, or almost every time she doesn't get her way-- Even if the parent is willing to work with her. (i.e., No television now because we have to go to the grocery store, but perhaps later.) This post seems to say that if the parents are loving and don't give in then everything will be perfect. Also, there are times when the parent should get the child what she wants. Yesterday, at the grocery store, my four-year-old wanted a bread shape cutter. I told no, but my husband (unknowing that I vetoed the child's asking) got it for her. Fine. The cutter is made for square bread (probably conventional white bread), but our whole wheat bread is rectangle. I asked if she could wait to use it when we got square bread. She was a bit pouty, but agreed. I decided to get the square bread out of the freezer.

    As I said, overall, when she doesn't get her way, she often throws a loud, screaming fit. I've even had to take her out of church and home where she proceeded to yell and scream for a half hour after. This post seems too black and white.

    1. Very kindly and with love, I would say you are dealing with a spirit of manipulation and selfish willfufullness in your home... The word says let your yes be yes and your no be no... We are training our littles in obedience to God, which may well save our children's lives here on this planet as well as their souls in the eternal realm... We are raising our niece and nephew... a second generation of littles... These children come from a place of deep wounding and sought to rule the house with soulish and very devilish behaviours, the greatest being manipulation... It has taken a year and a half of wrangling with these littles to get them to a place of sweet submission and nearly (smile) immediate obedience... thru love, blood, sweat and tears... It is HARD work pulling the weeds out of their gardens, but well worth the fruit we are now enjoying! I wish you well as you train up your littles in the way they should go...

  6. I completely agree with you. It has been interesting to my husband and i (and more than frustrating) to see our adopted children behave differently than our biological ones because of the wounds they have on their hearts. Our desire is to reach their hearts so we have had to employ drastically different methods in raising them. Same Biblical principles but different application. Visiting from Intentional Me.
    Marty's Musings @http:www.martysmusings.net/

  7. Saying no can be so hard, but so important...if our kids don't learn to listen to no, what in the world would we do in terms of safety?????
    thank you for linking up!

  8. This is such a good reminder to train our children in self-control. So well put, with such a vivid example.

    Thanks for linking up at Haven of Rest this week.

  9. It is not just about kids, it is about being complacent to manipulation. It will grow until their motives outweigh reasonable requests or means to accomodate. That is where the spolit ego develops. You are enabling an unhealthy psychological developmental relationship. Weather dealing with children, coworkers, or a deviated relationship, ego has to be kept lowest in order for mutual respect and understanding to relate. Otherwise there is no communication only demands and exploitations. The greatest issue I see is someone excusing poor standards of behaviour because of a label,job title, etc. They are all ignorant complacency.