What is a Parent's Solution to Prevent Whining, Complaining, & A Bad Attitude in Children?

The answer is one word - HONOR. It is what God asked from the people of Israel in the beginning of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-7) He gave them from Mount Sinai as they journeyed to the land of Canaan. After those commands, they murmured, complained, and had bad attitudes with many of the decisions God made, whether they were in their favor or a means of punishment.

Honorable children come from honorable parents. The nation of Israel experienced dishonorable children because of parents who first failed to honor God. As a result, they held to tradition rather than honor toward God’s laws (Mark 7:5-8). Parents should remember honor in their children comes from parents who honor God not with lips only but actions as well. Every parent should consider the thoughts of Psalm 34:3: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” 

No parent wants a whining, complaining child with a bad attitude. The first matter toward honor in the heart of a child is Philippians 2:14: “Do all things without murmurings and questionings.” Have every parent and child memorize that scripture. Allow God to be honored by convicting each heart in understanding the attitude which does not produce honor.

Next, define honor. Everyone in your home should know its definition and at least one ay the definition can be applied. Honor involves relationships. Relationships involve the way we are talking, the way we are acting, and the way we view one another. Honor is the value we place on another person. We want to treat one another as valuable, which will help us to get rid of some of those negative responses we might naturally have toward others.

Next, do what is expected. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise)” (Ephesians 6:1-2). No child will honor this responsibility and command unless a parent knows the authority God has assigned to them. Your child should be reflecting a servant spirit long before they are accountable for their own souls.

Next, do more than is expected. For a child to do the expected is a difficult task in itself, but whenever a child learns the immediate responsibility toward their parents, they can begin working toward the service they can give to others. “And whosoever shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:41). We need to treat people in honor with more than they might expect from us. This is where a child needs to be trained to have good “observation skills.” A child’s eyesight upon the needs of others is the making of a character trait God will use most in His kingdom. They need to start doing this at home for their parents, then for other relatives and friends.

Next, let’s deny bad attitudes. Sour dispositions frustrate and anger many parents. Unless there is an “attitude monitoring system” installed in your home, bad attitudes will continue to disappoint a parent. A parent has to understand the source of these bad attitudes. The grumbling, stomping, slamming, screaming, or not even following instructions are all signs of bad attitudes which do not need “adjusting” - They need to be denied.

Every child’s spirit is what needs to be taught and conditioned. A spirit of compliance would be great, but it does not happen every time. What then do you do with a spirit which demonstrates a bad attitude? You discipline it. You teach the honorable spirit diligently and its blessings. You punish the bad attitude and allow the child to see its results. Something a parent cannot do is expect a child to “grow out of it.” No child “grows out of” a bad attitude. They grow into it becoming who they are. They grow into a spirit of sharing or a spirit of selfish taking. They grow into a spirit of hateful anger or self-control. They grow into a spirit of lying or telling the truth. A child needs to be taught how to handle success, how to respond to defeat, how to respond to the defeat of others, and how to respond to the success of others. Every child should not be asked to deny their emotions, but need to be trained not to allow their emotions to create bad attitudes. Let the word of God dictate their attitude and how they should respond. Let God control, not the emotions.

What a wonderful world of opportunity to be a parent! It is where each parent helps a child know HONOR is what God hopes He will find in the heart of every child. Find yourself as a parent teaching honor in the car, at the house, in the grocery store, at a party, walking to the park, before nap time, or at church services (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). This way you say goodbye to whining, complaining, and bad attitudes.