April 8, 2015

The Art of Disciplining Children


We cuddle and care for our little ones but at some point there is a shift. A shift when we as parents need to take on a disciplinary role. Our drooling little jelly beans intentionally cross the line and suddenly the thought crosses your mind, "did he just defy me on purpose? He knows better. Why would my precious angel ever {fill in the blank}?"

And then said thing happens again and again (and again) and you notice a pattern of defiance. Your toddler is exploring boundaries and so you quickly have to set those boundaries and expectations. But how? Do you spank, use timeout, scream and shout, ignore bad behavior in hopes it will 
stop when he doesn't get the attention your toddler is seeking?

I don't have all the answers. I just hope I have a couple, or enough to successfully help my son navigate through life with his feet planted firmly on the ground, a strong and faithful conviction in the Lord and a sense of family and an integrity that cannot be shaken. 

Each parent needs to find the disciplinary action that works best for them. It's not my place to be judgmental I can only speak from my experience and my experience is that parenting is hard. None of us really know what we're doing, we're all just trying our best to raise the best children possible. 

When it comes to discipline, no matter what your method, you have to be consistent, it should come from a place of love and respect for the child and the punishment should fit the crime.  

1. Consistency is key. As children grow older they will test the boundaries to see just how far they can push back on the restrictions they face. As a parent it's imperative that you stand strong in your resolve. Wavering once you've set standard leads to confusion for the child. They need to know that their actions have consequences or else they will grow up believing that you will waver with everything and that there are no ramifications for bad behavior. 

2. Love and respect for the child comes before all else. Disciplining your children should be about instilling virtue in their life, keeping them safe from harm and mentoring them to become active participates in their community. It's so easy to become frustrated as a parent - to hit a limit and a breaking point. Remember that the purpose of the disciplinary action is to teach your child a lesson, to guide him or her in the right direction. If you come from a place of love and respect instead of anger or impatience you are more likely to actually impart those lessons.

3. The punishment needs to fit the crime. This is a principle that we base our whole judicial system on so it only seems fitting that it would apply in the home as well. Don't over or under exaggerate the punishment. For toddlers, a good rule of thumb is timeout should be as long as they are old. For example, my two-year-old sits in timeout for two minutes.

Be Blessed,
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  1. Yes to all of this...especially consistency! That is so important!

  2. this is great! consistency is definitely important!! I'd say you're doing a great job. what will be the age gap when the little nugget is born?

  3. Love this, great post. I'm enjoying this discussion today although I'm not quite there yet with his age (1) I know we will be soon. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Thanks so much Whitney! It was shortly after 1 that I started to question all of this - it was really hard for me to make the transition to just loving on my little guy all the time to having to accept the role as a disciplinarian as well. If you have any tips in the next couple months I'd love to hear them!