Disciplining is tough! It’s not one of my favorite roles as a parent, but I believe it is so necessary. Recently, the phrase “discipline with love” has been popping into my mind. Our 20 month old is starting to show some rebellious behavior and like any toddler she is pushing the limits. It isn’t anything terrible, but it’s something new. She is starting to show her independence and when she doesn’t get her way, watch out. We definitely don’t have it all figured out so this post isn’t a how to, more like a sharing of our experiences and beliefs.
What does discipline with love mean?
As I said before I’ve been thinking about what is means to discipline with love. My first thoughts on this topic:
- Discipline means to correct or instruct.
- Discipline with love means remaining calm and not yelling or screaming.
- It means making the hard decision to correct misbehavior even if you feel worn down.
- By using instruction or discipline you are shaping your child’s life.
- We are the Holy Spirit for our children until they can ask Jesus into their hearts. Part of the Holy Spirit’s role is to instruct, convict and order steps.
Seeing your child cry isn’t a good feeling. It’s in our nature to love and comfort our children. But does that mean we should not discipline? To me, discipline with love doesn’t mean giving in to your child’s wants because they are sad. Obviously you want your child to like you and feel your motherly love. I’m sure when Izzy gets older she may say something like “I don’t like you, you’re mean!” I know I said it to my parents. In those moments I think it is so important to remind ourselves why we are correcting. It isn’t because we hate our children and want to see them upset. It’s because we love them and want to instruct them. Here are some of my favorite scriptures on this topic:
- 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. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
- Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 (NLT)
Lastly, we are not perfect in this area. We are learning as we go and I often ask my parents and in-laws for their perspective on discipline or behavior matters. I love learning from the older generation who has gone through the toddler stage many times.
I’d love to hear from you! I want Heart of Deborah to be a place of sharing and encouragement. How can we encourage each other in this area? I’d love to hear about your family experiences and how you handle correcting misbehavior.