25 Ways Parents Provoke their Children

1. Lack of marital harmony (Gen. 2:24; Heb. 12:15)
2. Establishing and maintaining a child-centered home (Pro. 29:15)
3. Modeling sinful anger (Pro. 22:24,25)
4. Habitually disciplining while angry (Ps. 38:1; Eph. 4:26,27; Jas. 1:19,20)
5. Scolding (Eph. 4:29; Mk. 14:3-5)
6. Being inconsistent with discipline (2 Cor. 1:17,18; Ecc. 8:11)
7. Having double standards (Phil. 4:9)
8. Being legalistic[2] (Mt. 15:8-9)
9. Not admitting you’re wrong and not asking for forgiveness [3] (Mt. 5:23,24; Jas. 5:16)
10. Constantly finding fault (Job 32:2,3; Pro. 19:11)
11. Parents reversing God-given roles (Eph. 5:22-24)
12. Not listening to your child’s opinion or taking his or her “side of the story” seriously (Pro. 18:13,17)
13. Comparing them to others (2 Cor. 10:12)
14. Not making time “just to talk” (Jas. 1:19; Ecc. 3:7)
15. Not praising or encouraging your child (Rev. 2:2-4)
16. Failing to keep your promises (Mt. 5:37; Ps. 15:4-5; Col. 3:9)
17. Chastening in front of others (Mt. 18:15)
18. Not allowing enough freedom (Jas. 3:17; Lk. 12:48)
19. Allowing too much freedom (Pro. 29:15; Gal. 4:1,2; Heb. 12:6-9)
20. Mocking your child (Job 17:1-2; Ex. 4:11)
21. Abusing them physically (1 Ti. 3:3; Num. 22:27-29: Balaam struck the donkey in haste because the donkey embarrassed him, and Balaam was out of control)
22. Ridiculing or name calling (Eph. 4:29)
23. Unrealistic expectations (1 Cor. 13:11)
24. Practicing favoritism (Lk. 15:25-30)
25. Child training with worldly methodologies inconsistent with God’s Word (Eph. 6:4)

[1] Priolo, Lou, The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children. Amityville, New York: Calvary Press
Publishing, 1997, pp. 30-51.

[2] “The legalism I am referring to is that strain which elevates manmade rules to the same level of culpability as those commands
which God has [explicitly] given in Scripture.” (p. 36; the word “explicity” was added for emphasis and clarity)

[3] For a biblical and practical treatment of forgiveness, please read Jay Adams, From Forgiven to Forgiving. Amityville, NY: Calvary
Press Publishing, 1994.

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