7 Perfect Ways To Train Up A Child The Way They Should Go

7 Perfect Ways To Train Up A Child The Way They Should Go

To listen to this post “How To Train Up A Child The Way They Should Go (Even The Disrespectful Ones)” over reading it just click the play button below.

In this post, I am going to teach you how to train up a child the way they should go and most importantly how to deal with an angry disrespectful child. I am a mental health professional, nationally certified counselor, and I have several degrees in the areas of counseling BUT as a fair warning I am also a mother of an obedient child and I am not one of those professionals or mothers that are against discipline and/or consequences.

First, I want to take an excerpt of my single mom book “Fix It Jesus For Single Moms Only” (which you can buy here). From the chapter train up a child in the way they should go.

Train Up A Child The Way ~ Book excerpt

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6

When children are born, they are always learning and absorbing. Which is why training starts from birth. You cannot be a neglectful mother and then wonder what happened when your child turns 16 and he or she does not respect you or talks to you any kind of way. It is because you never trained them. If you ask me, I will tell anyone that it was never too early to train my son. Even as a toddler, he pushed my limits, and I let him know that the world has rules and in this house he obeys mine. When people look at my son, they think, “Oh you are lucky, because your son is so well behaved.” No, I made him well behaved.

From the moment that children are born, they are selfish. They do not care if you are sleepy; they are going to cry in the middle of the night. They do not care if they should eat vegetables; they would rather eat junk. When they do not get what they want, they fall on the floor and start throwing tantrums. But as a parent, you need to not tolerate that. In this world today, there are all these stipulations in being a parent and allowing your children to roam free, figuring out the world on their own. People want you to think that it is your job as a parent to provide all these “feel good” moments.

And this is why we have a bunch of kids who cannot cope with everyday life. Allowing your children to just do what they want and how they want will not do you any favors. And it is against the Bible. Because the Bible knows that training starts very early. If you instill values and respect in your children, then that is all they will know.

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When it comes to knowing how to train up a child the way that they should go,  I am going to tell you a secret. It is all about FEAR. Now before you get all up in arms when I say fear, I do not mean child abuse type of fear. I mean a reverence type of fear.  Meaning deep respect for someone or something. I am pretty old school. And I remember when I was growing up the reason why I did not do most things is because I feared what would happen to me if I did. And once again I do not mean a child abuse type of way.

Many professionals would tell you that there is something wrong with that, I am not one of them. The fact that I had reverence and fear for my mother and other authority figures in my family so much so that I knew not to just openly act out is a good thing. I am NOT encouraging you to spank your child BUT I grew up with a spanking, punishment, consequences, getting told no, and here I am Dr. Sophia Reed a completely productive human being that is able to manage her own life.  Also, check out my video below with my son and me and where we talk about discipline.  And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel by clicking here.

Before you go about your day and tell yourself that you do not want your children to fear you. Like I said before the type of fear I am talking about is healthy. I FEARED my mother growing up and because of that reverence type of fear that I had, I still will never disrespect her even in my 30s. I do not curse in front of my mother, I do not curse at my mother, I have never attempted to hit her, and I have always been a respectful adult and child. I brought the same mentality to my son and guess what works.

My son does not go around being abusive, loud, and or cursing people. I too have a well-behaved son, not because he was born that way. But because he knows and understands the hierarchy of the parent-child relationship. When my son was born like any child as he got to be a toddler he wanted to be in his terrible two-phase. But it is your job as a parent to hold them accountable and to teach what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Before you report me to CPS I have to illustrate exactly what I am talking about so that you can get it. The last thing I want you to do is to have a defiant and disrespectful child because those types of children turn into defiant and disrespectful adults. If you think your child’s behavior is bad now if you do not nip it in the bud it will get worse.

1. How To Train Up A Child The Way They Should Go ~ What Type Of Fear Are We Talking About?

The easy way that I can explain healthy fear is in a Christian way. If you are a Christian or you believe in God, then you SHOULD have a fear for God, but you should also love God and have a desire to please God at the same time. That is the type of emotion you want your child to feel for you. God is all-powerful and it is within God’s ability to punish you in any way that He sees fit.

I have gotten punished by God for the things that I know I should not have been doing. And I talked about this in my why God chastises us blog which you can click here to read. If you are a Christian this metaphor is going to be so easy for you to understand. And understanding this metaphor will help you understand why you must bring the same mentality to your child.

When God has punished me I KNEW that He was keeping me from making the same mistakes again. Even if you are not Christian, just think about it like this. The only thing that God wants you to do is to be obedient, be good, and really the 10 commandments center around NOT doing anything wrong. Like stealing, lying, and cheating.  And when you think about it the same type of behavior that God wants from us is the same type of behavior that most parents want in their children. Which is why I really need you to get this. When God punished me no I did not like it, but God’s punishment:

  • Made me a better person. 
  • It made me want to follow those commandments so I would not get punished again. 
  • And before long my behavior became more about doing right because it was right and less about the fear of being punished. 
  • It made me think before I acted. 
  • It made me not want to make the same mistakes over and over. 
  • And God punishing me did not make me love God any less. 

2. Train Up A Child The Way ~ Take the following verse: 

My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not loathe His reproof; for the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11- 12

I also want you to check out my blog on how God is like our parent if you are really not getting this metaphor. Because my main point here is that parents seem to think that if you discipline your child then they are going to mad, they are not going to like you, or your child will think that you don’t love them. THAT IS NOT TRUE. A good parent should discipline their child, and to do so is an act of love just like the Bible verse above states. You should love your child so much that you do not want them walking around acting like a fool.

3. Train Up A Child The Way ~ How This Applies To You As Parent

I know that you are not God but as the commandment says, children are to honor their mother and father. They SHOULD understand that you as their parents are the ultimate authority figure in your home.  You have the authority to punish when they do something crazy and they do not have the right to say or feel any way about it. Do not hold this mentality of putting your child on the same level as an adult. THEY ARE NOT.

Their cognitive thinking and reasoning are different than adults and therefore as a child they need to understand that they do not hold all the cards you as the adult does.  You can also check out my video on some examples of bad parenting and what will hurt you as a parent not help you.

4. Train Up A Child The Way ~ Case in point

I was speaking to my friend about her disobedient 3-year-old and she did not know what to do.  One thing that she spoke about was getting into an argument with her husband because her husband called the 3-year-old child to come to him (the father) while he (the child) was coloring.  My friend said, “I felt my husband should have stopped what he was doing and come to my son because my son was busy coloring.

As she asked me what I thought she looked up at my VERY bewildered face.  What she has just taught this child is that when an adult has asked him to do something he does not have to do it. And it is moments like these that encourage defiant behavior because the mother has just shown the child that it was okay for the child to disregard his father.

What if her 3-year-old went into school and was coloring, the teacher asked all the children to line up and her child just sat there because he (as in the child) felt that he was doing something more important? This scenario I told my friend is a very real possibility as this is what you have just taught your child by choosing your child’s side over your husband’s (adults) side.

Train Up A Child The Way ~ What’s my point

There is a hierarchy to the parent-child relationship and the parent should always be on top.  When I mentioned the above story many of you may have not seen anything wrong with it, but in those short actions she has just gone against her husband (the other adult in the home) and reinforced to her son that it was okay to disregard what his father (and other adults) have to say if he feels as though he is doing something more important like coloring.

And that is not true. As a parent, you simply need to go off the “because I said so mentality.” You do not have to justify yourself as a parent, you do not need to explain yourself as a parent, and you do not need to sit and listen to your child give their rationale and point of view for HOURS on end to explain they’re wrong behavior. In order words, stop giving your child more authority in your home than what they deserve.

5. Train Up A Child The Way ~ Case in point #2

In the same conversation, another friend chimed in and she did not have any children.  She seemed to disagree with me. She tried to convince me that children have the ability to discipline themselves, citing her 5-year-old niece who became angry and in her fit of rage went up to her room and tore it up. Once she was “calm” she came down to apologize for her behavior and cleaned up her room.

Once again my face was bewildered. Because I knew on no given day would son be tearing up anything and if he did I would not just accept an apology for his purposeful destruction of property in my house. And it is not an accomplishment that the child wants to clean up something that they have intentionally broken. The accomplishment is them not breaking it in the first place. What they have just taught this child was that when they get angry, they can go around, tearing stuff up, and then they can simply say I am sorry and all is forgiven.  When that is not life. She could do that at someone’s home or anywhere else. Not unless her parents want to get a bill for the damage she caused.

Train Up A Child The Way ~ What’s my point

My point is that so many parents try to put their children on an adult level, by allowing their children to question adults, behave like an adult, talk to them like an adult, and make the child feel as if they can discipline themselves as an adult. That is simply not true.  It is your job as a parent to set the tone for inappropriate behavior and when they act out by showing defiant or non socially acceptable behavior to discipline them accordingly.

If your children does not understand that then I am going to blame you as the parent. Remember when I compared you as a parent to God. Would you just walk up and punch God in the face. Knowing that God is all-powerful and can smite you down with lighting in a heartbeat? Probably not, therefore if your children are punching you in the face (AKA being disrespectful) you have to try to figure out why your children feel comfortable disrespecting you.

And it comes down to you that you have not placed yourself in a position that they understand defiant behavior toward you is NOT okay. And when they are out in public doing defiant behavior that is STILL not okay because their behavior is a representation of you.  Also, don’t forget to check out my video on how to deal with family dysfunction and to not continue the cycle of parenting that does not train up a child in the way they should go, but instead teaches them more dysfunction.

6. How To Train Up A Child The Way They Should Go ~ How To Make Your Child Fear You

  • Train Up A Child The Way ~ You need to stop being your child’s friend. Although my son and I are close never for one moment will I mistake my son for being my friend?  It is my job as his mother to love him, but it is also my job as his mother to punish him when he is wrong. It is my job to set myself up as the authority figure so that he not only fears me but respects me and does not disregard my rules.
  • Train Up A Child The Way ~ Children MUST have consequences for their actions. If you are the type of parent that does not think your child deserves consequences then that is where you are doing them a disservice.  That is why they are disrespectful to you because you do not even respect yourself. You are allowing them to run all over you when they do something wrong. And backing down on the consequences is the same thing as not giving them any.  When you issue a consequence and not follow through on it, that is the same thing as saying “my words are irrelevant and you are giving them permission to manipulate and run all over you.”
  • Train Up A Child The Way ~ Do not Listen To Everyone Else. In this world, people think that we need to create these feel-good moments for our children and not say anything to them when they do something crazy. People say that I am hard on my son.  But what someone has NEVER said to me is that my son is disrespectful, that he does not know how to act, or that he goes around in school acting like a heathen with no home training.

In fact, my son won an award at school for doing the right thing when no one is looking. So while some people are dealing with their own child being disrespectful to them as a parent, my son is being respectful even when I am not even there. This is not to brag but to show you that children need limits. Do not let anyone tell you they don’t. All I have to do is look at my son and he will straighten up, no words are even needed.

7. How To Train Up A Child The Way They Should Go & How To Punish

I do not endorse any type of punishment.  Each parent has to decide that on their own.  But you need to have punishment and the punishment MUST mean something to the child. There is no need of telling your child that as a punishment you are going to take away their veggies on their plate and they do not even like veggies.

What type of punishment is that? When you issue out punish it needs to be so severe that they think about never doing it again. I once told my son he could not watch TV and play XBOX for 4 months straight. And I dared him to say something about it. I pay the bills in my house and he is not entitled to these wonderful things I buy for him. It is important for your child to know that. The last thing you want is for your child to feel entitled to the things that you have worked hard to give them. 

I have no problem telling him that NOR do I feel like he is doing without because he cannot play XBOX and watch TV. The things that I bought. And if he chooses not to follow my rules then the things that I bought can go away. Taking things away from your child is not abuse. What do you think children did 100s of years ago? Read a book or something.  You can also check out my video below for the right and wrong ways on how to train up a child in the way they should go by learning how and how not to discipline.

Train Up A Child The Way ~ Case in Point

A few weeks ago I went with my son on a field trip. While in the gift shop my son wanted something and I said no. His friend then whispered to my son “you better convince her man” as in act out.  My son then had to “try it” because his friend told him to. My son told me that if I did not get him what he wanted he was going to do something that would embarrass me.

When he said this I started laughing. Then I told him to go ahead and try because when all is said and done I was not going to be the one that was going to be embarrassed in this situation….he was. He quickly backed down because he knew better. Not because I caved into his demand and gave him a toy. He just knew not to go there.  He backed down because I am the parent.

I hope that these tips helped you to learn how to train up a child the way that they should go so that when they are older they do not depart from the things that you have taught them.  And you can raise an obedient and successful adult.


  1. I don’t call it fear but respect which can be taught through example just as Jesus taught by example. I am my children mother not their best friend.

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