“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” – Bette Davis
Of all the responsibilities of parenting, disciplining is probably the most difficult. When my kids are disciplined for bad behavior, the whole house feels the punishment. Disciplining is not easy, and it involves crying, screaming, and the child gets upset as well. Discipline requires patience, because children will test your limit. Discipline requires consistency, as a child will not forget what happened last time and will call you out on inconsistency.
In the moment of discipline, we can wonder if we are truly making a long-term difference and it can feel like we are failing as at being a parent.
What makes discipline even harder is that disciplining is not a one-size-fits-all responsibility. Oh I wish, that it was simple as a sending your child to their room, but every family, every child, and every situation requires a careful analysis to tailor what is best suited for the appropriate discipline.
Although there is no one-size-fits-all method, the result of discipline should all be the same. As a Christian parent, I want child to show honor and respect to us and one-day to honor and respect God as well.
Our goal in discipline isn’t behavior modification, but character transformation.
Proverbs 22:6 say’s “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
One day honoring God is what I want my children to learn. But, honor needs to start with learning to honor your parents. Can a person learn how to honor God without honoring parents? Yes, of course, but even if they learn to honor God first, that person must go back to honor parents. A child nor adult can honor God without honoring their own parent.
I already wrote a blog about how to discipline better, so I won’t repeat that blog post, but I wanted to leave you with a few questions to think about how effective you are at disciplining.
What are my kids learning from me when I discipline them?
Are you a yeller? Are you a shamer? Are you passive-aggressive? Those are some negative traits that we can use to curb negative behavior. Using negative to fix a negative doesn’t result in the long term outcome that we want. The goal is to build character, so make that character positive.
How can I be consistent in my discipline, but also tailor the discipline to my individual child’s personality?
Growing up, I was grounded from the indoors. I was made to go outside to play and use my imagination. Worst grounding ever, right? Would that have worked with my brother or sister? Nope, but it worked for on me. Find the right punishment for the individual.
Hopefully those questions, help you check how effective you are currently disciplining your children. I know discipline is difficult, and it seems like it isn’t making a giant impact. But remember it is an important tool for you to transform your child in becoming an adult of honor.