Ever feel unsure in your parenting?Sep 25, 2023
Have you ever wondered what to do when your child doesn't follow your instructions but also isn't entirely disobeying either?
You know those times where you tell them to put something away and they complain about doing it as they put it away ... or maybe instead of complaining about doing it they say "OK, I'll do it in a minute, Mom," but then you find yourself repeating the same instructions 4 and 5 times before they actually do the task ... or maybe they actually get up and do it when you ask and don't even complain but they rush the job and don't actually do it right and you have to get them to do it again.
Just my kids?
I hope not because if this describes anything you deal with when giving instructions to your child, then I made this week's video just for you.
What makes these moments difficult to parent is that our children are not directly disobeying us, but they're really not fully cooperating either. They're caught in the middle somewhere, and so we don't want to seem too harsh and punish them but boy would we like things to change in the way they respond.
When we feel guilty about disciplining children it is usually because we are misunderstanding the purpose of discipline.
Discipline and consequences are not the same as punishments. Punishments are about justice. Discipline is about discipling and teaching. Punishments are about making children pay for what they've done wrong. Discipline is about using consequences as part of the teaching process while still remaining relationally close to our children.
We need to take our parenting cues from God. When we have a less than cooperative response to God, He does not punish us. He builds relationship. He shows us a better way and explains why it is better. He gives us the tools to start living that better way and encourages us all along the way.
Does God use consequences? Of course He does, but they are certainly not His first tool. They also are not used with harshness towards His children. The end goal of consequences with God is still to disciple us into becoming more like Him, and they are always used within the context of a relationship where we know we are loved by Him endlessly.
If we start seeing our disciplining of our children a bit more like this, then we will start feeling less guilty in these moments when our children are not truly disobeying but they also are not cooperating. And that's when our parenting can transition so we can make a difference in the lives of our children so we can see positive changes that last.
Sounds great, right? But now you're wondering how to make it actually happen with your children and in your family, right?
Well, the first place to start is watching this week's video.
You'll be so glad you did.
All my best,
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