Discipline: to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control
As parents we usually think discipline means punishment. We often want to stick it to them so they suffer good and hard and then they will learn. Usually our lips are pursed, our face is pinched, our body is clenched. We can relax once they behave!
Ahhhhhh, though discipline is much, much different than punishment. Discipline is loving and working towards teaching our kids self-control, which is a much, much, much different skill set than obeying us, or defying us. Our kid’s self-control has very little to do with us.
Discipline seeks to strengthen, improve or teach to a given standard (pssst . . . do you notice that it is process, not a destination or an instant).
Kids value their dignity - when we use intimidation, shame, sarcasm, bluster and public humiliation the lesson is lost as they seek to preserve their own self-value.
When we discipline kids (our 9 year old is throwing sand at his sibling, we ask him to stop, sand throwing continues, 9 year old is escorted back to the beach house for the afternoon) the child might feel sad, humiliated, outraged. Totally ok. However, we should not TRY to make him feel sad, humiliated or outraged to teach.
Our spirit of discipline should always be that of course people make mistakes, and NONE of us are smaller or worth less when we’ve made a mistake. We recover so much more quickly when we live in a community of fellow mistake makers.
Some kids/grown-ups go to the school of hard knocks and experience the same problem over and over and over. People ‘get it’ the exact moment they ‘get it’ and not ONE second before.
Kids value their dignity - when we use intimidation, shame, sarcasm, bluster and public humiliation the lesson is lost as they seek to preserve their own self-value. (That one is so important it bears repeating!)