Friday, July 31, 2009

4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 2]

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 5:33 PM
Often we don’t feel like we’re loving our children when we discipline them because it feels bad. We wish that our children would be perfect or that we could get them to understand through reasoning (which hardly ever works, no matter what age the child is.) Without a doubt we are called to consistently discipline our children. It’s dangerous to rely on our feelings or physical energy in applying discipline. Feelings are fickle. Our strength must come from our relationship with God. Knowing things like the fact that, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” is very helpful as a parent. I never realized that the unpleasantness of discipline also applies to the one who doles it out!

Most people can rectify the ideas of love and discipline as being complimentary in parenting, but consistency and flexibility seem to be obviously incongruous. They, however, like love and discipline, are both essential for effective parenting. The issue of being consistent continues to show up in parenting research and education classes (Sells, 2003; Welchel, 2005.) Children feel most comfortable when there is consistency in their lives. It feels safe when they know what to expect. Children need consistency not only in daily routines, but also in discipline. It completely throws a child off balance when they do the same action but get different results each time. Imagine what it would be like if you used your lunch hour every day to sit at your desk and catch up on some reading. On most days if your boss comes by he stops and chats a minute and then walks on. Then, randomly, he yells at you for eating at your desk. It would make you extremely uncomfortable and unsure of yourself. That’s exactly how our children feel when we let them get away with some behavior until we are “fed up” with it and yell at or punish them; or when we change the rules mid-game. As parents, it’s our job to determine what the rules are, make them clear, and then enforce them. If you don’t have the energy or desire to enforce a rule or boundary, it’s best to not ever make it an issue.

0 comments on "4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 2]"

Friday, July 31, 2009

4 Essential Elements of Parenting [part 2]

Often we don’t feel like we’re loving our children when we discipline them because it feels bad. We wish that our children would be perfect or that we could get them to understand through reasoning (which hardly ever works, no matter what age the child is.) Without a doubt we are called to consistently discipline our children. It’s dangerous to rely on our feelings or physical energy in applying discipline. Feelings are fickle. Our strength must come from our relationship with God. Knowing things like the fact that, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” is very helpful as a parent. I never realized that the unpleasantness of discipline also applies to the one who doles it out!

Most people can rectify the ideas of love and discipline as being complimentary in parenting, but consistency and flexibility seem to be obviously incongruous. They, however, like love and discipline, are both essential for effective parenting. The issue of being consistent continues to show up in parenting research and education classes (Sells, 2003; Welchel, 2005.) Children feel most comfortable when there is consistency in their lives. It feels safe when they know what to expect. Children need consistency not only in daily routines, but also in discipline. It completely throws a child off balance when they do the same action but get different results each time. Imagine what it would be like if you used your lunch hour every day to sit at your desk and catch up on some reading. On most days if your boss comes by he stops and chats a minute and then walks on. Then, randomly, he yells at you for eating at your desk. It would make you extremely uncomfortable and unsure of yourself. That’s exactly how our children feel when we let them get away with some behavior until we are “fed up” with it and yell at or punish them; or when we change the rules mid-game. As parents, it’s our job to determine what the rules are, make them clear, and then enforce them. If you don’t have the energy or desire to enforce a rule or boundary, it’s best to not ever make it an issue.

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