I suppose one of the things that helps me is the verse in Proverbs 15:1 which states, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh work stirs up anger." I do not want to stir up anger or rebellion in my children so I need to remember to use gentle answers with them. It's not always easy but Proverbs also tells me in 15:4, " The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, by a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." My answers can be sarcastic and full of bitterness sometimes if I'm not careful and the last thing I want to do is crush my child's spirit, so I try to remind myself of these things often. The book of Proverbs has 31 chapters so I read the chapter that corresponds with the day of the month. It keeps me in check.
Also, I try to think, "If my home were a workplace and I were the boss, would my children want to work there or would they be looking for another job." Ask yourself, "Would I remain here if this were my place of employment and I had a choice or would I be looking for another job as soon as possible? If I don't create a caring environment in which my children can learn and grow and makes mistakes without being reprimanded harshly, then when they are old enough to drive or move out they will choose not to be around. I do not want that. I believe there has to be a balance in the home. If I'm too soft and do not discipline my children they will hate me later, if I'm too harsh my children will rebel. If there is not consistency in my home and my children feel that they have to constantly walk on eggshells or feel like they are walking through a mine field never sure exactly when they are going to hit that soft spot that causes and explosion then they will not be happy and they will leave the first chance they get. I do not believe that I need to live in fear of not doing exactly the right thing and destroying my children's spirit, but I do need to make myself aware of how I treat them. This is why I pray everyday for wisdom and discernment. I want God to show me what's best for my family and to help me choose to show love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. I also work hard to make sure that my husband and I have our children's hearts and not someone or something else.
Since this is a topic close to my heart I will probably touch on it often. Check back and feel free to ask questions. For now, be encouraged. There is hope for your home to be a peaceful and inviting place. Fortunately, God gave us the manual on parenting. We just need to use it.