“Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”—Col.3:20-21.
Many books about raising children have struggled to express the wisdom contained in these two verses of the Bible. It is easy to emphasize one verse at the risk of excluding the other. Some parents are so focused on making their children obey them that their children become discouraged. On the other hand, some parents are so afraid of embittering their children that they never correct their children for any reason. Both approaches lead to unnecessary conflict in the family. A careful balance of these two verses is preferable.
Someone once pointed out that raising a child is like holding a wet bar of soap. Too firm a grip and it shoots right out of your hand. However, too loose a grip and it also slides away. A gentle but firm grasp keeps it under your control.