Nobody every said that parenting was easy, but I don’t remember too many people talking about how much of a reminder it is for us as parents. Sure, we can think back to what it might have been like to be a child and on the receiving end of discipline, but that’s not what occurred to me today as I was disciplining my son.
He had trouble sharing a plastic car (the kind you sit on and use your feet to propel) with his little sister, so he was sent to time out following the plan outlined in 1-2-3 Magic. Unfortunately, instead of calming down like usual, he began kicking his door which he knows is a no-no. I warned him that if he didn’t quit, I would have to take away the plastic car. He continued and lost the car.
Since the kicking still didn’t stop, I warned him that he would also lose all his Thomas the Tank Engine stuff (his very favorite toys) if he didn’t quit. He continued and lost the other toys. Luckily for him, he stopped kicking shortly after that, so I didn’t have to take away anything else.
It took me quite a while to collect all his Thomas the Tank Engine stuff from all over the house, and it was during that time that a realization/question came to my mind: is it by design that we discipline our children to remind us that actions have consequences?
As adults, the circumstances and decisions that we face can be very complex. Sometimes we get caught doing things we shouldn’t, and other times we don’t, but there are still consequences for our actions. Children usually receive their punishment pretty quickly after committing the crime, whereas we may receive ours in this life or perhaps the next (if you believe as I do that there will be one).
This idea may not be too novel for you, or it might not strike you as strongly as it struck me today, but it may be that you never gave it very much thoughtful consideration.
Question(s) of the day:
What lessons have you learned about yourself while teaching, raising, and disciplining your children?