Parenting Tool: Firmness

parenting tool - firmness

Hey there, Momma!

It sounds like FIRMNESS might be the best heart-based parenting tool to use with your son right now.

You want to connect with your son’s heart, but you’re not sure how. Using firmness will help to build character in your son and allow you to connect with him on a deeper level.

Below you will find some practical tips on how to use firmness to help develop your son’s character.

This is just one of the 7 heart-based parenting tools. Check your inbox over the next few days and weeks for more practical tools you can use to connect with your son’s heart.

Your first email should be in your inbox now!  (Be sure to check your updates folder). This email will tell you what it means to parent from a heart-based approach.

Heart-Based Parenting Tool:  Firmness

Firmness builds character in our sons. It’s drawing a line in the sand and saying “we’re not going past this line.” The goal of firmness is to train our children. We don’t want to move to consequences too quickly.

Firmness helps our child develop a sense of obligation — “I need to” must overcome “I want to.”

Firmness is not the same as harshness. Firmness builds character. Harshness, on the other hand, pours emotional intensity on the situation, involves anger and ultimately damages relationships.

Practical Tips for Using Firmness

Here are some practical ways to use firmness with your son: 

  • Teach your son to follow instructions. 
  • Practice “coming when called.” 
  • Give clear instructions — “You need to… right now.”
  • Expect a response — Affirm that they heard you.
  • Move closer — don’t shout from across the house.
  • Make eye contact when giving instructions.
  • Ask them to report back to you once they’ve completed the task. Then go and inspect their work.
  • Practice do-overs:  “Go back and try that again.”
  • Don’t allow kids to manipulate the discussion by arguing or complaining. Tell your son you will not discuss the situation until he stops nagging or whining. 
  • Don’t interact with a child who is yelling or throwing a fit. Tell him you can discuss the problem after he has calmed down.
  • Don’t get sucked into his emotions. Remain calm, even if he is out of control. Don’t let his emotions dicatte your emotions.
  • Consequences are part of firmness.  In a behavior modification approach to parenting, consequences are always “if you do this, then you’ll get this punishment or  reward.” The goal is justice. In heart-based parenting, consequences are forward-looking — the child must accomplish something before earning a privilege back.

For example:  “I want to give you the ipad back, but you must first show me that you are working on being kind to your brother and improving in this area.”

  • Teaching our kids to live within their limitations and accept “no” as an answer is another part of firmness. Don’t be afraid if your son pushes back and tries to manipulate you. Don’t be afraid of his negative emotions.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of Redeeming the Chaos where I interview Dr. Scott Turansky, founder and CEO of the National Center for Biblical Parenting, and we discuss the topic of contentment, living within limitations, accepting “no” as an answer.

Expect resistance!  When you start setting boundaries for your kids and saying “no” more often, your kids will push back. Remember, firmness is not harshness.

We are firm with our kids because we love them, and we know what’s best for them, just as God is firm with us. Don’t get caught up in your own emotions when your child resists correction or a change in routine.

Some of these tips may sound simplistic, but you will be surprised at the difference you’ll see in your son, after putting them into practice for a short time.

Go check your inbox right now for your first email from me.  Be sure to check your “updates” folder. Then, right-click on the email from Laurie Christine, select “Move to Inbox,” then select “Do this for future emails from this sender.” That way you won’t miss out on any of the parenting tools I’ll be sending your way!

biblical parenting coach

Laurie Christine is a Certified Biblical Parenting Coach, trained by the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP). All information covered in this series of emails is courtesy of the NCBP. For more information, check out the resources on their website,

Laurie Christine


Laurie Christine is a certified Biblical Parenting Coach, author, podcast host, wife, and mom of four wild, loud, adventurous boys.

Her podcast, Redeeming the Chaos, invites moms of boys to join her in the wild, wonderful adventure of raising courageous boys and connecting them with Christ.  

In addition to hosting a podcast, Laurie writes devotional Bible stories for families. As a mom of four young boys, she understands how important it is for parents to connect with their children, while communicating the truth of God’s Word to them in a way they can understand.


Check out these resources from the National Center for Biblical Parenting

Parenting is Heart Work

(Affiliate Link)

In this book you will learn:

* How to connect to your child’s heart to bring about change.
* Ways to correct that are more powerful and last longer.
* To help your child reign in emotions.
* How to use common, everyday activity to build life-skills. 
* Biblical, practical tools that work.

PHW Training Manual

(Affiliate Link)

In this book, you will learn:

* How to develop strategic, biblical, practical routines of family life.

* How to give day-to-day instructions in a way that builds cooperation and responsibility.

* Practical ideas for connecting with your kids emotionally so that their hearts will be soft and teachable. 

* How to integrate key success principles into your family.

Motivate Your Child

(Affiliate Link)

In this book you will learn:

* How to parent in ways that build internal motivation so that kids don’t have to rely on you to get things done.

* The four promptings of the conscience and how to coordinate your parenting to takeadvantage of them.

* Ways to energize your spiritual training with fun and creativity.

* How to help children respond to mistakes instead of blaming, defending, or justifying.

MYC Action Plan

(Affliate Link)

In this book, you will learn:

* A step-by-step guide to identify a specific problem and then define a character-based solution.

* How to craft a parenting plan tailored to your child’s unique gifts and needs.

When parents have defined plans, they move forward with more confidence, see changes more quickly, and experience hope as they grow in their relationship with their child.


Are you interested in working with Laurie Christine in our eight week, one-on-one parent coaching program?