I Hate to Discipline

I hate to discipline my children. I’m not consistent and I’m pretty sure the consequences don’t fit the behavior. I feel like it’s all just a confusing game to make me give up and let the kids revert to being cave-people. But I do like to instruct my children. Granted, some days are better than others, but I enjoy watching them learn.

I’ve tried a few parenting books. But none of them seem to fit the bill. The last one, I barely made it a few chapters in, before I decided the methods just weren’t going to work for me. I did appreciate the concept of reaching the heart of my children, but I’m left on my own to figure out HOW. You see, this writer suggested I quote Scripture every time my children misbehave. Now don’t get me wrong — Biblical instruction is very important, and we are to teach our children the Word of God. BUT, big but; I sincerely wonder if her own children grew up to walk away from the church. I know I certainly would’ve rebelled if my parents had used the Bible as a weapon to show me all the ways I wasn’t a good enough person. I can hardly see how quoting “thou shalt nots” is a very effective way to lead our children TO Christ. And to top it off, she said herself that her own children twisted the Word to fit their purposes later. I mean, how can a 3 year old be given “He who wishes to be first, shall be last” and not come up with a way to make that fit their own needs. They have no understanding of the context there. No, I’ll pass; thanks.

Discipline just seems like a moving target to me. Take last night as an example. We asked Gracie to go potty; daddy even promised a cookie if she would go. A few minutes later she came back and wanted her cookie. But we said no. In fact, we pointed out that she never moved the stool to the potty, therefore she could not have gone, so she was lying to us. She broke down in hysterics. We told her it wouldn’t help, she had lied and she could not get the cookie…… Fast forward to this morning. I was running bath water for the kids and asked Gracie to potty. She climbed on the toilet with out the stool. Oh no. I apologized for accusing her of lying. I texted Brandon to call as soon as he had a minute. When he called, I explained what had happened. He apologized too. Gracie answered with “I’m sorry for lying the truth.” (Cute-ness makes discipline hard too — just saying.) We explained that she hadn’t lied and that we were sorry because we thought she had. See why I hate to discipline?

I’d much rather teach my babies things. I love that Gracie isn’t even 3 yet and she is already a huge help washing dishes. She can rinse all of the silver wear, bowls, cups, and most of the plates. And she does that willingly, because she loves to help. She is learning to make her bed, and to set the table, and she is great at picking up her toys. Skeet isn’t quite a year old but he is learning to put toys back in their buckets too.

I can’t really pin down what the moral of this story is. I just know that if I can teach my kids to be well rounded, hard working self-disciplined children, teens, and then adults; then maybe not knowing how to teach them to share isn’t as big a deal after-all.


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