Parenting with Love & Limits

06 Jul

The material below is part of what I shared yesterday morning in the Sojourners Sunday School class at First Central Baptist Church in Chicopee, MA. You can download the full handout by clicking on the link.


Parenting Styles – “4 Parenting Styles” are based on studies by Reuben Hill, University of Minnesota (1947, 1949, 1958, 1959, 1983) and Diana Baumrind, University of California, Berkeley (1967, 1971, 1977, 1979, 1989, 1991)

4 Parenting Styles

Neglectful Parents

  • Low Demanding/Low Responsiveness; Parent sets no limits and provides no support
  • Kids have high rates of antisocial behavior, poor self-image, internalize problems, and have poor academic and social performance

Permissive Parents

  • Low Demanding/High Responsiveness; Parent does not regulate child’s actions
  • Kids are impulsive, lack self-control, perform poor academically and have high rates of antisocial behavior

Authoritarian Parents

  • High Controlling/Low Responsiveness; Parent wants the child to comply without question; enforces demands through parental power
  • Kids are not competent (academically or socially), unhappy, have low self-confidence, and display high levels of antisocial behavior

Authoritative Parents

  • High Demanding/High Warmth & Responsiveness; Parent sets clear limits, enforces limits, provides choices within limits
  • Kids are competent (academically and socially), popular with peers, in control of their own behavior, and display little antisocial behavior

The balanced, authoritative parent who combines high levels of support with high levels of control typically produced children with high self-esteem, good coping skills, and a positive relationship with parents

Hebrews 12:4–11 explains how God balances love and discipline, relationships and correction in helping us grow to maturity. It provides us with an example of how to parent our children with love and limits.

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Discipline is teaching obedience to God and His Word through consistent consequences (actions) and clear instructions (words) in an atmosphere of love

Five characteristics of good (biblical) discipline:

  • Necessity – to prevent destruction (4)
  • Means – actions & words (5)
  • Motive – to express love (6-9)
  • Goal – to teach obedience (9)
  • Result – short-term pain for long-term gain (10-11)

Discipline vs. Punishment (I originally found this chart in a book by Dr. Bruce Narramore, but I lost the reference. It has since appeared on the internet without a source.)





Penalty for offense

Training for maturity



Personal growth


Past misdeeds

Future correct deeds

Attitude of parent

Frustration, anger, hostility

Love & concern

Results in child

Fear & guilt





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