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Now, someone asked if you should always be a strict disciplinarian? NO, no, no...... It's called balance. If it is a problem that will cause your child to lose friends and to hurt their lives then it must be dealt with. But deal with it in the same manner you would like your own parents or your employer to deal with a problem you have.
Have creative suggestions.
Be understanding of how hard it is to change a habit.
Once you have their attention, be compassionate and a little funny.
Don't be a nag.
Give lots of hugs and praise.
And create balance with every problem.
Remember, nothing is solved in a day. You can't possibly change one of your bad habits the first time it's noticed. Don't expect that of your child. Give them the room to try and fail. Teach them that failing isn't the end of the world if you get up and try again.
I love what Gloria Gaither said in one of her concerts. She was talking about her children and how hard it was to balance life and career and children. I don't remember it word for word but it was something like this:
"Good parenting is all about balance. It's knowing when to insist they clean their room and when to make smores and have a picnic under the dining room table. It's knowing when to make them do their homework and when to drop everything and go see a movie. It's knowing when to look at hopeful faces and understand that the chores can wait one more day while they go out with their friends. Good parenting is trying very hard to treat your children with the same wisdom and compassion as God treats us."
Wow! Yep.... that just about says it all.
We were having supper last night with Ron's sister Cheryl and her family. The conversation drifted into past experiences on the farm and then to things each family had done. I was thinking about yesterday's post and was pretty sure the kids would get to some "disciplinary action" that Ron or I had imposed. For two hours we talked and the things that seemed to be most important were the times that we giggled, laughed, had water fights and played games.
I thought about that a lot last night. Perhaps what parents need to understand is that when we discipline or train our children - they will love us for it and will not have a problem with it if.......
.........FIRST we are their friend. FIRST they have wonderful days of fun and laughter to remember.......FIRST they get hugs and kisses.
It's much easier to learn life lessons from someone you trust, admire, love and have fun times with. No one wants to learn from a grouchy, mean spirited nag.
So.....Talk to your child about how to be a good person. Hug them hard. Wait 20 minutes and then challenge them to a water gun fight - just be sure you have the largest gun!
God loves you,