We should discipline our kids in Christ-like manner. I need to "Be the Adult", not returning evil for evil, but give a blessing instead.
Over the years I have carried a small newspaper clipping in my pocket:
I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the family.
It’s my personal approach that creates the climate.
It’s my mood that makes the weather.
As the parent, I possess a tremendous power to make my child’s life miserable or joyous.
It can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations in our home, it is my response that decides whether crisis will be escalated or de-escalate it.
My response will determine if my child is humiliated or lifted up.
Disrespect at Dinner
You are at dinner and one of your children throws you a disrespectful bomb in an attempt to derail and disrupt the unity of the moment. The choice now sits before you. A literal fork in the road. "You could respond and say, You’re messing with the wrong dad today bud!" And then proceed to toss a bomb right back at them and return evil for evil. Publicly maligning my child will certainly shut them up for the moment. When my flesh rises and I flash back, I am not walking in accordance to what God lays out for my role as a parent. Extend grace. Be the adult. Addresses it as an adult.
My Response Sets the Tone
Your initial reaction is going to be an indication of how the rest of the situation is going to play out. Crushing the spirit of my child is a poor trade-off to somehow put this kid in their place. Worse yet, when I act out in the flesh and verbally retaliate, at some point my kids will begin to seek to one up me, further escalating the situation. At this point, things have gone from bad to worse.
Be like Jesus.
Jesus gave us the example to follow. Don’t lash back and crush your kid. Don’t return evil for evil, but give a blessing instead. In doing so, you are actually embodying the attributes of God.
When reviled, he did not revile in return. When he suffered, he did not threaten. What Jesus did under the painful remarks, ridicule and even torture? He kept entrusting himself to Him who judges righteously. 1st Peter 2:23