Discipline is always a tough issue to talk about! I think when most people hear the word they think of spankings and punishments. If there is anything I have learned this last 16 years of being a parent, it is how discipline should be more about the heart than anything else. ANYTHING!
I want to have my children’s hearts! I want them to know how loved they are and how much God loves them! When I was a child parenting was much harsher overall. I understand there were benefits to some of that. We learned respect, honor, and self-discipline (clearly things that today’s generation is lacking) but we as children often felt like our opinions didn’t matter and punishment could be very harsh. It was about changing behavior and not so much about what was going on inside!
I have been guilty of punishing out of pride, being harsher with the consequence because I was embarrassed something my child did.
I have been guilty of punishing when I was angry and trust me no good EVER comes out of that.
I have been guilty of punishing when I allowed my child to push and push (while I’m ignoring it) UNTIL it gets to me, then watch out!
None of these scenarios is fair to my kids!
On the other side of that
I have been guilty of being too lenient, giving too much grace, and letting things slide too long. If we are honest most of us parents can say the same thing! We are human; we often do things out of our emotions.
I think we can be somewhere in the middle but I will tell you this: If I could only choose one way to go-too lenient or too harsh I would pick the first every time. You know why? Because you will have a far greater chance of losing your child’s heart the other way! Children can grow up angry, bitter, and never find their way back because of an overly strict, difficult parent. I would rather take my chances on being too laxed and not losing them all together!
Please don’t misunderstand me, kids need discipline. They need strong, wise parents that will guide them into adulthood. They need to know consequences are real and need to happen when they don’t make the right choices. I have just seen so many kids growing up to hate their parents and I don’t want to make their mistakes. The books that I have loved the most and have helped me more in my parenting than any are these: They are from Effective Parenting.
I also love
How to Have a HEART for Your Kids by Rachael Carman
I like them because they are about getting to the heart! They make you and your child think and help them make better choices.
Don’t you want a healthy relationship with your kids? One where you spend time laughing, enjoying life and learning about God together? Don’t you want adult children that become friends and want to come home to visit?
Of course you do! I will talk more about this in future posts but remember if you win your children’s hearts you win them! Those will be relationships that you will benefit you for a lifetime!!
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