Sunday, November 3, 2013

MOPS: Children & Discipline

This past Thursday {Halloween} at MOPS we had an amazing speaker!
Her topic was 'Children & Discipline'.

Now just bear with me for a second.
I know that discipline is one of those topics that people would much rather avoid.
Our speaker knew that as well.
I think she phrased it something like this...
"Discipline is one of those taboo topics like finances or intimacy.
People want to discreetly talk about them & get tips or suggestions,
but they tend to reject or ignore any help that is offered to them on those topics.
We as a society often have a hard time seeing & accepting other people's point of view on things
when those views differ so greatly from our own."

She didn't talk about what's right or what's wrong when it comes to discipline.
Whether spanking is okay or not.
Whether the cry-it-out method is right or wrong.
Whether or not it's acceptable to raise your voice.
If or how long you should put your children in time out.
What should happen if they don't try their food.
Which things to enforce, which things to let slide.
She didn't touch any of that.

I'm an overall passive person.
I'm working on being a little more assertive,
but I tend to not discipline as much as I probably should.
I'm not saying I want to be a Nazi mom or abusive by any means.
What typically happens is that I attempt to correct the misbehavior by asking politely,
then when they don't listen time & time again I get frustrated & upset,
& in my frustration I sometimes give up & let things slide.
I'm human.
We try that time out thing.
I raise my voice from time to time.
There are moments when I cry from exhaustion & frustration.
Parenting can sometimes be tough,
I hear that's normal.
However, I love my kids dearly.
I want them to grow up & to be happy.
I want them to be kind & to love others.
I want them to be great parents someday.
I want them to walk in the light.
So it is my duty as a parent to teach them.
To teach them right from wrong.
To help them learn & grow.
To support them in their righteous endeavors.
To love them unconditionally, no matter what.

Anywho, back to MOPS...
I laughed.
I cried.
It brought me clarity.
It brought me comfort.
It was just the reminder I needed.
I got so much out of what she had to say,
& hope that you'll get something good out of the notes I took.

Here are my notes:
If your children don't seem to be listening to what you are telling them,
chances are that they understand you but are misbehaving for some unknown reason.
Dig beneath the surface to figure out why your children may be acting out.
There is always an underlying reason that you may or may not be aware of.
(ex: attention, trauma, illness, etc...)

Anger & frustration are the easy alternatives to patience & understanding.
If we can be patient in figuring out what is causing the misbehavior,
we may be able to help our children overcome whatever is troubling them.

You have to be a student of your child.

"There is no correlation between a well-behaved child and a good parent."
- Heather Forbes

To discipline your child, is to disciple your child.
In other words, we discipline so that we can make disciples.

We're not raising children, we're raising adults.

If we're only disciplining them so that we can get what we want,
we aren't disciplining for the right reasons
& perhaps aren't loving them the way we should.

Stay curious about your kids.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children
is to teach them to ask for forgiveness
rather than just say 'sorry'.
I'll have to work on that.
Little Dudeman has a scripted sorry.
He says this EVERY time I ask him to apologize to someone:
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I was just playing."
He changes the words 'hurt' & 'playing' depending on what he did.
I have no idea where he picked it up.
It's completely adorable the first few times you hear it,
but it sounds so scripted that I never know if he is actually sorry.

Kids don't listen with their eyes, they listen with their ears.
Ask if they can make eye contact with you,
but don't force them if they say no.
They will still hear you.

When we discipline our children we're teaching them two things:
1. They are not the center of the universe.
2. They are deeply loved & there's a spot for them in your home, but they aren't running the show.

It's hard to find love for God in kid-centered homes,
but it's easy to find love for children in God-centered homes.

Anger is often about shame.
When you are angry with your child,
you're likely ashamed of their behavior.

We reflect on our own lives & try to protect our children from making the same mistakes;
but we are the people we are, because of the trials we've overcome.
We come closer to God by overcoming trials.

4 steps to teaching children:
1. I do it, you watch me.
2. I do it, you help me.
3. You do it, I'll help you.
4. You do it, I'll watch you.
Don't skip steps.

Hebrews 12:5-11
Those scriptures talk about how the Lord chastens those whom He loves.
He does this with love because He does in fact love us, & He wants us to succeed.

In summary, what I learned:
It's okay to discipline your children.
Just make sure you are manifesting God's love when doing so.
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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a great speaker! Many words of wisdom....



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