The book The Heart of Anger describes two different homes. One is the the Child-centered home and the other is the God-centered home.
Here are some characteristics of the children in the Child-Centered home:
1. Interrupt adults when they are talking.
2. Use manipulation and rebellion to get their way
3. Dictate family schedule (include meal times, bedtimes, etc.)
4. Take precedence over the needs of the spouse.
5. Have an equal or overriding vote in all decision making matters.
6. Demand excessive time and attention from parent to the detriment of the other biblical responsibilities of the parents.
7. Escape the consequences of their sinful and irresponsible behavior
8. Speak to parents as though the were peers.
9. Be the dominant influence in the home.
10. Be entertained and coddled (rather than disciplined) out of a bad mood.
Now contrast that with children in the God-centered home:
1. To joyfully serve others.
2. To cheerfully obey parents the first time.
3. To not interrupt parents who are speaking to eachother.
4. To understand they will not always get their own way.
5. To work their schedule around their parents' schedule.
6. To have input into family decisions but not necessarily an equal vote.
7. To understand that God has given their parents other responsibilities in addition to meeting their needs.
8. To suffer the natural consequences of their sinful and irresponsible behavior.
9. To not speak to parents as though they were peers but honor them as spiritual authorities.
10. To esteem others as more important than themselves.
11. To fulfill various household responsibilities (chores).
12. To protect themselves from certain bad influences.
13. To not divide parents over disciplinary issues.
14. To not be more intimate with either parent than the parents are with eachother.
Ladies, which model does our home best represent? I hope this list provides a starting place for us to identify weak spots and strengthen them so that the rich Christian homelife can come shining through.
Note: Remember children are in constant training and need plenty of patience! The goal is not to have perfect homes or children but to raise children to one day obey and serve the Lord.
(List from The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo)