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 self-control.

For problems with self-control

Biblical basis

Mathew 5:29-30 “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

These verses take a pretty hard line on sin. In order to teach our children the importance of self-control, we can choose to take a softer approach. As you read Matthew 5:29-30, realize that Jesus was not suggesting people cut off their body parts; rather, He was telling people they needed to deal with the sin in their lives very seriously. Lack of self-control is a serious sin as it opens the door for Satan to cause us to sin in a number of ways, most commonly through hurting others and ourselves physically, emotionally or spiritually.

Suggested disciplinary action

When a child loses self-control, do not allow him/her to use the body part he/she sinned with for a given period of time. Base this on the age and maturity of the child. For example, if a child shouts or speaks unkindly, he/she can be sent for a quiet time out. If the child hurts another with his/her hands, he/she can give his/her hands a time out by sitting with his/her hands together for a set time. Similarly, if the child uses his/her feet to disobey, he/she can sit with his/her feet still for a set period time.


Read Luke 11:13 with your child. Explain that God wants to give them a wonderful gift – His Holy Spirit. Pray together asking for the “good gift” of the Holy Spirit to come and help maintain self-control.

Another excellent verse to use for affirmation is Proverbs 29:11. Let your child know you are confident that with the Holy Spirit’s help you believe he/she can be a wise boy/girl.