Tim and I rarely use the word “discipline” when we talk about parenting.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not the kind of parents who just let our kids run amuck, but…
We don’t desire “quaking instant obedience or marionettes of fear.” We want our children to be kind-hearted question-askers who love God and love others.
We want them to know the God we know – not a towering shadow of wrath, but a good and generous spirit who brings children near.
In our family, DISCIPLINE IS…
– gently showing the how and the why of common courtesies.
– extending grace, more grace than we offer to our friends (or ourselves).
– finding creative ways to solve problems.
– listening well and not minding questions.
– holding a child close when you want to push them away the farthest.
– giving specific encouragement in frequent doses, often publicly.
– having conversations in private about things to work on.
– nudging in the right direction, with warmth and confidence.
– spending quantity time making memories.
– saying no and explaining why.
But most of all? Discipline is BEING the kind of person I want my kids to be.
And…saying sorry when I fall short.