As a parent, I’m good at it. While most of the time I’m strategic in planning discipline, the comments that I make out of frustration do just the opposite. It can put me in a place where I’m violating Scripture, provoking my kids to anger rather than pointing them to Christ (Ephesians 6:4). Reacting rather than responding is often the cause.1 If my teenager says, “I’m going to quit school and move out of the house when I’m 18.” That’s when we should stop, look like we’re thinking, and say, “Hmmm, yeah—that would mean a huge savings for our food bill every month. Maybe I can help you find a job to pay your $1,000/month rent.” Proverbs 15:1: “Soft answers turn away wrath, but harsh words provoke anger.”

1This Parent Minute is based in part on “Simple Strategies for Effective Discipline” by Dr. Kevin Leman,

Suggested Reading: Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 15:1