THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCIPLINING OUR CHILDREN
Updated: Apr 29
“Faithfully disciplining (training, educating, correcting) your child in a manner that pleases the Lord is an expression of biblical love. It also is a step of obedience for you as a parent and provides godly direction for your child.” - John C. Broger
Disciplining your child is not easy, but it is absolutely crucial for their developmental growth, so they can grow up to become a confident, secure, and emotionally healthy adult.
If your child is in between the ages of 3 and 8 (roughly), try reverse rewards. Instead of rewarding for good behavior, take something away for bad behavior. This has been working for us!
Appropriate discipline helps a child
1. Feel safe and secure
2. Manage anxiety and emotions
3. Make good choices
4. Learn self-control
DISCIPLINE BEGINS AT HOME
At our home, we set limits and boundaries for Kai in order to protect him and help him grow up to be a responsible, respectful, independent and confident adult. What children see and experience in their home environment directly affects their life outside of home. "Setting the tone" at home is a crucial part of a child's development. Home should be a safe place- a place where a child can be open and share his/her feelings. If home does not provide this, a child will find another outlet, may struggle academically or socially, and may cause him/her to rebel in various ways.
“As parents, you may confidently rear your children according to God’s Word. While bringing up your children, you are to remember that your children are not your 'possessions' but instead are the Lords gift to you. You are to exercise faithful stewardship in their lives.” - John C. Broger
This couldn't be more important. As parents, it is our job to create a consistent routine and environment where the child knows what to expect- meal time, bed time, chores, etc. Lack of follow thru makes it harder on us in the end because we end up with a child who lacks structure, when he needs it the most (some more than others).
For us parents, if we say we are going to do something, there must be 100% follow thru. For example, threatening your child by saying, "if you do that again I'm going to..." and then lack the follow through, your child will begin to not take you seriously. And believe me, they will test your breaking limits and see how far they can go. It's up to us, as parents, to be the authority, be in control, and set the temperature and standards for all things at home.
*Make rules he/she can keep- remember the age of your child and be sure whatever you set in place can be achieved and understood.
*Enforce consequences- when Kai doesn't pick up his toys before he moves on to another toy or activity, he knows he will most likely lose a toy for a little bit. Guess what, he cleans up his toys 95% of the time. : )
*Watch the dos and don'ts- sometimes I catch myself saying "do" or "don't do that...". Offering another option instead of constantly telling he/she what NOT to do is much more effective and you will help your child not feel "bad". It is more positive reinforcement than nagging. For example, you can say to your child, “I know you love dancing and being silly, but jumping on the couch is not appropriate at this time." OR "I know digging in throwing dirt is so cool and I love that we get to play, but let’s keep it in the garden and find something else to play with.”
“Discipline is based on building the right relationship with your child more
than using the right techniques.” - author unknown
We never want to underestimate the power of redirecting attention. If your child is out of line or throwing a tantrum, sometimes they may need a hug because they feel out of control and need a safe place. Other times, redirecting their attention from one thing to another usually works! Using excitement in your voice, letting go of frustration, can have a huge impact on their response.
Oftentimes, I need to ask myself if I’m emotionally in a good space and if I’m overreacting I need to take a moment to breathe, pray, and RESPOND. Reacting to my child’s outburst or whiney attitude will make matters worse for myself and my child.
YOU’RE NOT PERFECT
Always remember, you are not a perfect parent. You are learning and growing just as your child. We have an incredible gift we have to teach our children. We either foster and encourage a positive self love in our children or we can easily tear them down by our choice words and impatience. How will you choose to discipline? From a place of love and empathy? Or will you choose to act on impulses and overreact and get frustrated.
“You can never truly understand or help others, even in your own family, unless you first look thoroughly into your own life and deal with your own sins without
compromise, excuses, or evasion (Matthew 7:1-5)”
The goal should be to make them feel heard, while administering love, empathy, and then an appropriate consequence. We all fall short and sometimes have outbursts of our own. But how can we so harsh and hypocritical with our children if we ourselves are having an adult tantrum, losing control, and letting our emotions take over. We must listen and learn from our children and find out WHY they are hurt, angry, frustrated, or sad.
“Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.” - L.R. Knost
Our children are depending on us to make wise choices and yearn to feel safe, loved, and understood. If you feel out of control or unsure of how to parent your child, find a safe and healthy accountability partner, get connected in a group of other like minded individuals, or seek help for things in your own life that may be surfacing as you parent.
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old,
he will not depart from it.”