When you were learning to drive, what was the first thing you father, mother, or instructor showed you? Was it the ignition? I doubt it. The accelerator? Hardly! It was probably the brake!
“This is how you stop the car! Put your foot here! Press down. Understand?
Stop the car with this!”
Just as it is the most crucial thing in driving to know where the brakes are, so in every area of life, a child must learn early on how to put on the brakes. Let me explain.
When a toddler doesn’t get what they want, their temper accelerates. They scream. They throw themselves into the floor and have a tantrum. Let’s say it’s dinnertime and the child will not tolerate sitting at the table for even 5 minutes. The fit begins. Enter the instructor (parent). Now is the time to teach the applying of the brakes. Don’t merely distract them. Teach them. You get the child’s attention so they look you in the eye and say lovingly, but firmly,
“Julia, No. You may not get down. Mommy has your dinner here. It’s time for us to eat.” Give them a bite of food. If they continue to throw a fit, remove them from the table, and go to another room. Then apply a couple of stinging swats on the top of her leg with a ruler or other small paddle. This is brake application! “Mommy loves you and has your dinner for you to eat. You must obey and sit at the table with us.” Then pray briefly with her, “Jesus, Help Julia obey Mommy and sit at the table and eat her dinner. Amen.” Then return to the table. Repeat every time it’s necessary.
If you help her “put on the brakes” every time she starts to “accelerate,” pretty soon, you’ll stop having head-on-collisions with your child! Oh, she will test you, but her will will be broken eventually and there will be fewer wrecks on the highway of her life. She must learn to obey! The sooner the better. They key is consistency in your instruction.
If you want to stop fearing the impact of taking your child anywhere, and want to start enjoying the ride, remember The Brake Principle; it will keep many disasters from happening!