Creative discipline

Few parents enjoy their God-given responsibility of disciplining their children, and even fewer children enjoy being on the receiving end. The Bible tells us to expect discipline to be uncomfortable, but also promises positive results. This section will provide you with innovative suggestions to use when correcting your children, to help them learn to be more considerate of others.

For problems with saying hurtful or unkind things

See the “creative discipline” section of the lesson on courtesy.

For problems with a general lack of concern for others

Biblical basis

Galatians 5:13-16 “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Suggested disciplinary action

Selfishness leads children to treat others with a lack of consideration. Galatians 5:13-16, however, states that we should “through love serve one another” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

To give your child ample opportunity to consider the needs and feelings of another person, have them spend time serving the person they have shown a lack of consideration for.

For example, if they have barged through a door ahead of another person, have them come back and hold the door open for that person and for others. If they have been thoughtless toward a sibling, have them think of something kind they can do for their sibling, such as straightening up their bookshelf, doing their chores or reading them a story.


Read Philippians 2:1-4 in The Message paraphrase: “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if His love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care – then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Assure your child that you believe they want to love others as they love themselves. Pray with your child and ask God to help him or her to be thoughtful of the wants and needs of other people.

Relevant Scripture

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.