The "D" Word
I do a lot of disciplining and correcting behind closed doors. I remember after having my daughter I felt a tug at my heart strings about how much I was disciplining her. I felt like I was always telling her no. It made me feel like a cold, unloving parent. Then one day I realized this was the season we were in. I was once told that major discipline and correction takes place between the ages of 1 - 5. As a parent of young children, I hope the foundation that I am laying now will help my children in years to come.
My daughter is natural rule follower much like myself. She is motivated easier to stay out of trouble. Yet, she has her days when she gets out of pocket, we all do! My son on the other hand is a completely different story. Motivated by very little and eager to break the rules, all the qualities of an active toddler. They have both taught me so much when it comes to discipline. As I watch the newest addition, I’m not sure I’m even remotely prepared lol. But here’s what I’ve learned so far:
Patience - if kids have taught me nothing else, it’s patience.
Stay focused - kids strive off of this. When I get unfocused they are quick to exploit that. When it comes to discipline I try my best to stay focused. I try not to make threats I don’t intend to follow through with.
Trust in the season - if you lay a strong foundation, later correction tends to be easier. You won’t always feel like your discipling (at least I hope not lol), but in the beginning you have to put in the work.
Be prepared for anomalies - we all have day or off days. It’s bound to happen. Hunger and sleep can alter in the best laid plans.
I’m no parenting expert and I can only speak for my experience, but discipline is a necessary part of life. We all need discipline to function. Discipline methods can vary, but having ways to cope with undesirable behaviors is necessary. There’s so much debate on discipline and the strategies used, like corporal punishment (aka spankings) versus time-outs versus redirection, and you name it. I choose not take sides on the methods use, I just think methods for discipline, that truly teach behavioral adjustment, should be employed. Because I feel like my kid’s behavior is a direct reflection on me, which is only true some of time, I tend to be more strict than some. This works well for me because I take the kids more places by myself, and having order and discipline helps.
Unlike Sway I don’t have all that answers. Most times I’m winging it. And honestly, if my kids behave great while they’re in a store, its probably because I’ve bribed and/or threatened them. I’ve spent most of my parenting journey learning from my mistakes. And discipling is no different, do what works for you and your family