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Monday, February 11, 2008


I was teaching a newborn class once when a teen mother raised her hand and said, "I don't believe in discipline. I'm not going to put a lot of rules and regulations on my child."

I glared at a young mother who had been arrested for having her newborn sitting in her carrier on a street corner, uncovered and chilled at 3am while she gabbed with several young men. The same discipline that I was trying to teach had to apply to her. How am I going to get through to this girl? I said a quick prayer and took the plunge.

"That's fine. You don't have to ever require anything from her. I would suggest that you save your money. You are going to need it to bail her out of jail at age 12. You will probably also need some extra money to pay for the casket she will need at age 17. It's your choice of course. You are the parent. You can do anything you like. I'm just explaining the results."

I definitely had her attention. She patted her baby and gave me the evil eye. "You can't say that. How do you know that will happen?"

"Because my dear, discipline is all around us. Discipline or lack of it is what causes us to make every day decisions. Without discipline every single person on earth would be no more than cavemen. Without discipline we do anything we want without a thought for any other person. Without discipline your daughter would just as soon take a knife to your back as look at you. Without discipline your daughter will climb out of windows to disobey you. She will take drugs, steal and yes even kill if necessary to get what she wants. It's easy to look at most 7 year olds and tell you where they will be in 10 years. But you, darling, you've made it a snap for me. If you are not going to give this precious little one any discipline at all....then her life is already set. It's not me that's sealing her fate - it's you."

I moved my eyes from her to others in the room. I saw the dropped jaws and wondered if I was inspired or if I may soon be teaching to an empty classroom. By now, the teen mother had lifted her child from the carrier and looked at me with tears in her eyes. "My parents beat the life (she used choice words that I won't repeat) out of me. I don't want to hurt her like that."

I walked over and put my hand on her shoulder..."Good. You shouldn't. There's a huge difference in discipline and abuse." She was now ready to listen to proper discipline.

Discipline is NOT slavery. Getting your child to do everything you want is slavery.

Proper discipline is simply "Training your child to make good decisions".

So how can you accomplish proper discipline? It's a tough subject and deserves every minute of my two-hour class. For now let me just leave you with this....

In order to succeed at anything in life you must be a disciplined person. As parents the best gift we can give any child is discipline.
  • Discipline will help them make and keep friends.
  • Discipline will help them learn to go potty.
  • Discipline will help them accomplish tasks.
  • Discipline will help them learn and make good grades.
  • Discipline will help their faith.
  • Discipline will keep your relationship strong and healthy.
  • Discipline will help them find a "wonderful" mate.
  • Discipline will make them strong citizens.
  • Discipline will help them find and keep a good job.
  • Discipline will make them great parents.
  • Their entire life will be changed by discipline.

The mystery is how to successfully discipline your child.

You must parent from within.

Only when a child believes with his mind and soul that something is right or wrong will he be changed.

Only when you have made an impression on his heart will you make an impression on his life!

What do I mean by that?

You must be fair in your analysis of any situation. Not lenient, but fair. You must try to see both sides. Once you have listened to both sides you have to present a fair argument. Imagine you are locked in a room with your child, Satan and God. Both good and evil are talking to your child. As your child's attorney you are responsible for interpreting the information into a format your child can understand and accept. You have to find a way to prove to your child that what you want done is not just your preference, but also the "Right" thing to do. Once you've done that, the child will take the "truth" you have presented as his own and from that point on he will fight for it.

Most children disobey because they aren't convinced the parent is right. They listen to their "peers" and believe them because their parent hasn't been convincing enough.

This is a deep subject and there's a lot I don't have time to cover here. Things like:

  • You must be responsible and a person of character.
  • The proper placement of guilt in all our lives.
  • Every child is different.
  • Never punish a child for being a child.
  • Respect your child and cultivate his respect for you.
  • Punishment should fit the crime.
  • Many more....

Dr. Ava Siegler states, "When punishment works, it teaches a child to reflect on his behavior, discern right from wrong, and remember that actions have consequences."

Dr. James Dobson states, "When properly applied, loving discipline works! It stimulates tender affection, made possible by mutual respect between a parent and a child. It bridges the gap which otherwise separates family members who should love and trust each other. It permits teachers to do the kind of job in classrooms for which they are commissioned. It encourages a child to respect other people and live as a responsible constructive citizen."

Discipline is the best gift we can give our children. Remember that it is not your job to force your child to do anything you want. You job as a parent is to make responsible decisions about right and wrong and teach those findings to your child. You and your child both must be dedicated to finding truth and right behavior in everything you do.

You can purchase my 60-minute tape of Basic discipline for $12.00 or have your group schedule a class.

God loves you,


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