Ted Tripp has a lot of wisdom, but I really think he’s been away from toddlers too long.
In his videos, he does a session on disciplining children zero to five. Now apart from the fact that his examples are mostly children not age zero to five, I think he misses something important. I do not believe you can disciple a two year old the same as a four year old. And saying that the primary goal of disciplining a 6-month-old baby is teaching submission to authority is dangerous, in my opinion, particularly when there is no difference explained between that baby and a five year old. This is why a mom of a toddler will listen (or read) Tripp and shake her head in discouragement.
Some have responded to this weakness by saying, “Well, you cannot disciple a younger child like Tripp is saying. You just train the toddler, and disciple the preschooler.”
I disagree. I believe the key is adapting the spiritual truth to the understanding and attention level of the younger child. I find out about their attention by watching their response. I find out their understanding by asking questions. Sometimes I find my instruction too complex or lengthy, and I find the need to restate what I am saying. And sometimes I teach by asking questions. In every case, I need wisdom to understand how to apply Scripture to the particular needs of each child.
And now I must examine myself. Have I even mentioned the Bible to my children in the last few days? Is my Bible really in the same spot it was the other day? I know what to do first.
Thanks for sticking with using God’s Word in training your children. You are an encouragement to me do so also. 🙂
Part of the reason that I started writing down my thoughts was it helps me to actually try to put them into practice. I do a lot more self-evaluating this way. Thanks for your encouragement.