Saturday, September 13, 2008

Discipline

One of the repeated conversations that my wife and I have is over discipline. How do we discipline our kids? How much is too much discipline? What things do you not worry about because discipline is not that big of a deal for them? When do you raise your voice? Do you have to spank them every time? All these things swirl around. Today Trenton wanted to play with some styrofoam cups we had leftover from our friend's going away party. I told him no. So he decided he was just going to grab them anyway. I told him NO again but still he did not stop. Finally I grabbed his hands and pulled him away and gave the classic "don't make me ask you again line." His response to that was to pick up a toy and throw it at me. Beautiful. What to do...what to do...So I immediately marched him over to a corner and made him stare at the wall for a few minutes followed by a short talk on listening. Not sure how much an almost 3 year old can comprehend...but then again he is really smart so I'm not going to sell him short on understanding. All this to say that I don't exactly know what I am doing. I do not want to be the strict Christian parent that keeps my kid from doing anything and punishes any sign of wildness. On the other hand I don't want to be the laissez-faire parent who doesn't discipline at all and as a result produces little hellians who do not respect any authority and end up getting into all sorts of self-destructing crap. Where is the balance? Of course the Bible is full of stuff on the importance of discipline and God disciplining us like we discipline our kids and so on and so forth. But as much as "spare the rod, spoil the child" looks good on paper - when does it apply and how is it properly applied to make sure my kids learn, grow, mature, and develop into solid men? How do I teach them that discipline is for their benefit? How do I teach them that I absolutely love them and that is why I discipline them? All of this is swirling through my head this morning as I try to get a grasp onto what exactly I am supposed to do as a parent via discipline. Then on top of all that, every parent with more than one kid has told me that each kid is different and you have to learn how to discipline them in their own way. Oh man. I guess this is all part of learning how to be a parent...

2 comments:

jeffreygibson said...

You should borrow my rod. It's still shaped like Kelsey's rear end.

Andrea Sipe said...

This is a hard one . . . one of the things that I think helps to balance things out is to remember the FULL definition of discipline. To discipline a kid means more than just correcting them when they do wrong, but also instilling in them the discipline to be responsible - picking up their toys, doing homework (when you get there), following through on a commitment, etc. You get the idea. I have found that when I am diligent in that kind of discipline, the other kind doesn't happen as often. Let your kids tag-along with you, help you when you're fixing stuff, teach them discipline through your own actions . . .

OK, that's enough. It's still hard, and other than that, I can only tell you that I'm new to this too - with each day it is new, and I STILL mess up!! :) Just keep at it and love them like CRAZY!!!