Being a parent is one of life’s most delightful and rewarding experiences. At the same time, it can be one of life’s most exasperating and demanding challenges. Parenting works best when we are loving and understanding, consistent and calm in our reactions, and wise and mature in our actions and attitudes. But who on earth does all of that all the time? We’re parents who are grateful for our children, but we’re still part of fallen humanity. This means that we’re often too busy and too impatient, too quick to jump to conclusions and too extreme in our reactions. The last thing healthy parents want is to hurt and discourage those they love so much. Yet, standing firm is a necessary part of training, which means our love must sometimes be “tough,” and our actions must sometimes be strong. After all, we’re dealing with children who will one day have to discipline and restrain themselves. They learn how to do that from parents who discipline them for wrongdoing and restrain them from defiance and rebellion. Simply put, we must learn how to shape each child’s will with wisdom.