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 practice contentedness.

For problems with selfishness

Biblical basis

Ecclesiastes 5:11-12 “As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.”

Suggested disciplinary action

Sometimes, wealth breeds discontentment. Bless your child by removing their “riches.” Remove toys that are causing discontentment or strife in your home. For example, a child may own ten, twenty or even fifty Matchbox® cars. For our children, owning this many cars brought out the worst in them. They hoarded their cars and were extremely possessive. The older one feared losing even one of his cars. When we took away all but one car for each child, almost all of the fighting stopped. Ecclesiastes 5:11-12 teaches that as goods increase, so do those that consume them and that the abundance of a rich man allows him no sleep.


Encourage your child to reflect on what it means to have plenty and what it means to be “in want.” Read Philippians 4:12: “…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Pray with your child, asking God to teach them the “secret of being content” and to give them a generous heart.

For problems with greed

Biblical basis

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18, 2:1-16.

Suggested disciplinary action

Take the child who is being discontent outside to chase the wind. Have them run until they are tired. After running outdoors, take time to read from Ecclesiastes. Explain that the wisest man who ever lived worked hard to get more wisdom, knowledge, houses, pleasure, food, gardens, animals, servants, gold and silver. After getting everything he ever dreamed of, he was still not satisfied and said that all his efforts has been “chasing after the wind.”

Whenever a child is envious or jealous of another, coveting things, is gluttonous, discontented or dissatisfied with something, ask them if they are “chasing the wind” as a reminder to check the attitude of their heart.


Encourage your child to reflect on what he/she should be thankful for. Have him/her quote a paraphrase of Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all I need.”

Pray together, asking God to help him/her to be content. Alternatively, read Proverbs 21:26: “All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” Pray with your child, asking God to teach him/her the “secret of being content” and to remove his/her cravings for things.