Dare to Discipline

Discipline.
It always sounds like such a negative word.
For some of us, it only brings back bad memories as well as painful emotions.
Others might have a hard time distinguishing true discipline during their childhood.
Listening to talk shows and reading articles about discipline, we might come to the conclusion that discipline is actually abuse.
Children have the right to sue for independence because their parent spanked them.
It is now politically incorrect to condone spanking because it is considered inhumane and abusive.
Now, just to be clear, I am talking about open palm on the bottom. I DO NOT condone abuse and I believe that if at any time someone suspects that a child is being harmed, that child needs to be removed from a dangerous situation immediately.
There is a distinct difference between discipline and abuse. I know that there are way too many ‘guardians’ out there who enjoy their power over innocent children and wield it harshly. Abuse tends to reap abuse. It is a vicious cycle. It has to be stopped.
But, to tie parent’s hands when they are attempting to raise their children up to be decent people? I question this.
We are so busy being friends with our children that we are refusing to do the necessary teaching to make sure they become adults that we would like to know.
We are letting children run the show in the home and in public.
I am not yet blessed to be a parent. But, I have taken care of numerous children and I have eyes that take in the unapologetic horror that children have become in public.
I cannot help but think, “I would never have been allowed to do that!”
I am a woman who was shaped by the love of my parents.
I am a woman who understands respect and honor for those who are older than me.
I have learned how to wait patiently for my time to talk.
I have learned how to be helpful and dependable to those I work with.
I have learned the value of my word as well as keeping my promises.
Discipline DOES NOT need to by physical. But it does need to be a part of child rearing.
Instead of rewarding a child for misbehaving, there needs to be repercussions for not listening.
If a child runs out in to oncoming traffic after you distinctly say “no” what do you do?
I was spanked. I was hugged then I was promptly spanked. What do I remember crying over? My mom’s fear.  She was terrified and wanted me to know it. I was spanked twice after being hugged, then I was hugged again and sent into the house. I don’t remember the pain, because let’s admit it. Two open palmed spanks are more startling that hurtful. If I remember correctly I was still in my cushy underpants, so there isn’t much chance of it hurting that much.
I had my mouth rinsed out with soap, because I spoke disrespectfully to my parents and used language that needed to be corrected. It was only once and once was more than enough.
I did not grow up to be a bully because I was disciplined. I grew up to be someone who stood up for those who were bullied. And I think it was because my parents loved me enough to be my parents, not my friends. I now count them my closest friends, but it is because I respect them for who they are and the fact that they never swerved in how they took care of my brother and I.
Admittedly, I had my moments of teenage anger, because like most teens I thought I understood the world and didn’t much care for the way my parents were leading me.
But, now? I can go back and thank them for their care and support.
I knew that I could not play my parents against each other. They spoke to each other and agreed the best course of action. They were a united front when they dealt out discipline.
They did not talk negatively about each other to us children, which I think is key to my respect for them.
Discipline is needed.
It shouldn’t be a hit and miss type of discipline, but a rule that children can rely on. I honestly do believe that children crave discipline. I have met numerous people who speak about their ‘free’ childhood, where they got allowances for doing nothing, all of the newest  toys were theirs for a simple beg, and they went on expensive vacations, and they rarely now talk to their parents. Why? If they got everything they wanted, why wouldn’t they love their parents?
Most of their complaints seem to be that the parents were trying to buy their affections or their good behavior. Most admit that they were spoiled brats who got away with what ever they wanted to do.
Friends that were raised closer to my own childhood almost all respect their parents and are raising their own children in a similar manner.
Would you rather see more children running free in the store? Yelling and throwing items? Or would you rather know that each child is being a watched by a parent who will keep them close?
When you are sitting in the restaurant, would you like to see children sitting quietly with attentive parents? Or have your ears blown out with screams and having to scrap off food that was tossed?
If I ever had acted like that, I would have been quickly taken out of the restaurant or store and put in the car. One parent would have stayed with me while the other finished paying and then we would have gone home where I would have had to go to my room. There was no tv in my room, no video games. All I was allowed to do was sit quietly until I was released. Then I was given special chores to complete.
Dare to be different in this world of being ‘easy’ parents, dare to discipline.
Dare to be the parents that God calls you to be. God does not discipline us because he hates us, but because he loves us. True love shows discipline.
How do I know that I am a child of God? He corrects my behavior by disciplining me.
It is not always comfortable, but is always needed.
How can we do any less if we wish to raise children of worth?
It’s hard. It’s messy. I know this. Emotionally it can be horrible because you don’t want to be the mean one. But would you rather raise your children right and know that you have given them as much help as possible in facing the world? Or would you rather give them no help in realizing that the world will not give them anything simply because they demand it?
Discipline is much different than abuse. Abuse is horrible and must be stopped. Discipline does not need to be physical to be effective.  Discipline is needed so that we can raise up the next generation of honorable and respectful people. If we call our children our future, shouldn’t we want to see them ready to take it on?

Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child the way he should go; even if he is old he will not depart from it. 
Hebrews 12:11- For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

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