Once again research has confirmed what the Bible has taught parents for centuries – loving discipline works.  A new study in the Journal of Early Adolescence found that dads who are relational disciplinarians are in a unique position to instill persistence and hope in their children, particularly in the pre-teen and teen years. The key is the parenting style.

The study placed dads in one of two camps.  In our words, the Relational Disciplinarian – the father who developed a relationship with his child, encouraging autonomy and emphasizing accountability and the Dictator Dad who loved his child but ruled with an iron fist and was harsher.

The Relational Disciplinarian was more likely to have kids who developed the art of persistence, leading to better outcomes in school and less misbehavior.  The Dictator Dad’s kids were much less persistent.

The Relational Disciplinarian who listened to his kids, established a close relationship, set appropriate rules AND granted appropriate freedoms had children who had a sense of accountability and who developed persistence.  These dads listened more than they lectured.

On a side note, moms can also instill these values, it just seems that men and fathers may take on this role more often.  Single moms, you will have to assume this role in your kids’ lives, being a listener, setting the rules and encouraging accountability.  It is an added bonus for you and your children if you can connect your kids with a godly male role model.

For both mom and for dad it is important to remember… Rules with Relationship leads to Respect! (And perhaps to bulldog tenacity too.  J )

Do you think it is important to help a child develop persistence?

Fathers teach kids to keep on keeping on

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