We had the best speaker at MOPS the other day. She spoke about discipline-what it is, what it should look like, what worked for her. Her only credentials were raising three kids, one of whom was extraordinarily strong willed, and being tuned into the Holy Spirit. Her talk just lit a fire under my bum about how I have kind of slacked off in the area of expecting full time, first time obedience.
When we got home on Tuesday, I sat my girls down for a chat, and told them I was sorry I had been allowing disobedience in their lives. I told them God expects me to discipline them when they disobey and they need to answer me when I say their names, they need to do as I say without whining, arguing, or complaining, and they need to always be kind and respectful to everyone.
Who’s to blame when I get frustrated if I say “Brielle.”….”Brielle!!” …”BREE-ELLE!!” and then she comes?
Me. I’ve trained her to not listen until I raise my voice.
Who’s to blame if I start to lose my cool when my four year old argues with me?
Me. I’ve trained her that she will get a response, she obtains an ongoing dialogue if she talks back to me, instead of just expecting obedience and disciplining her if it doesn’t happen.
Who’s to blame if they drive me crazy by fighting and bickering with each other?
Me. I’ve trained them by allowing them to disrespect one another.
I realized after this talk that I have let the standard slide as of late. I’m going to have to interrupt Cadrian’s nursings. I’m going to have to pull the car over. I’m going to have to get up and get a hold of the offending child. I’m going to have to get–and stay– more consistent.
Discipline sometimes scares me–I grew up in an angry home; where yelling, screaming, belittling, criticism, hitting and striking in anger were the norm. I was very strong willed, and I found I could push and push and get my way. This is the opposite of what I want for the lives of my children.
I don’t want raised voices. I don’t want my kids to feel like failures if they don’t do it “right”. I don’t want hurt feelings. I don’t want my emotions to rule the home, but the standards of God. I want my children to know what treasures they are. I want my children to know how loved they are. I want my children to realize they have value simply because God created them. I want them to feel secure in the boundaries in our home.
And I hope and pray that by returning to the basics of discipline, God will accomplish this through me.