Tuesday, November 12

Five Things I've Learned About Correction/Discipline

1. When correcting your child's behavior, bring it all back to the gospel and their need for Christ.  They aren't being mean because they didn't get enough sleep last night; they are being mean because they need Jesus.  I'm not snippy with my kids because I've been up all night with a teether.  I'm snippy because I'm a sinner. The lack of sleep may help this bubble to the surface but there it is.

2. Discipline isn't about behavior modification.  That would be the easy way out.  Have you all seen the Bob Newhart just-stop-it skit?  Of course, as a parent I'd like that method to work! But if I change my own outward behavior but don't deal with the sin causing it, I'm still a lost cause.  The same goes with our kiddos.

3. Humble yourself as a parent.  I grew up thinking Christian adults were perfect and rarely sinned.  I think telling my kids that I struggle with kindness when they are being unkind puts us both on the same playing field, both in need of God's amazing and free grace. 

4. When you pray with your kids, include yourself in those prayers too.  I'll pray something like, "Jesus, Chase and I need Your help.  We are struggling today with being kind and loving.  We both need Your help to be kind and share Your love.  We want other people to see Your love in our hearts.  Thank you for your help and your grace.  Thank you for always being near when we need to talk to you and thank you for forgiving us when we mess up. In Jesus's name we pray, Amen."

5. When it comes time to talk with a kiddo about an area of correction, challenge them to greatness. We have one child who has the tenderest heart and is so sweet and loving.  Unfortunately, this child sometimes struggles with showing siblings this sweetness.  If I need to pull this kiddo aside and remind them about showing the love of Jesus to everyone in our family, I am going to say, "This is not who you are in Christ.  In Christ, you are strong enough to resist temptation to tease.  You are bigger and better than picking on a little kid when Jesus is helping you.  Do you know, your Papa and I are so thankful for the tender and sweet heart God has given you and I know your brothers and sisters love seeing that heart too.  Let's pray and ask Jesus to help you to resist temptation and show love to them, okay?"


Lucy said...

I agree - it really has an impact on my kids when we admit that we had a problem with X issue as kids or still struggle with Y issue now, and we start to feel more like a team, trying to work together to be holy and become saints.

Shanniel Shakespeare said...

Amen. I am not a mother yet but this is the kind of spirit I want God to cultivate within me as I prepare for motherhood (in accordance with God's will). There are some children who live with me and I am definitely gonna use this with the two year old the next time a need for discipline arises :)

Unknown said...

Oh what sweet advice! Sometimes it is easier to just correct and not deal with the root of the problem. Thank you for the gentle reminder.