Thursday, May 19, 2011

Composure, control, and creativity!

Just to let you know, I do LOVE my child with all my heart but there are days when I would rather eat cauliflower(BLECH!!) than deal with ONE MORE battle of wills!?!? I'm pretty sure that days like those are why God created chocolate, coffee, yummy creamers, diet coke and nooks! But we can argue theology another day! Today we can discuss ways to discipline effectively. I want to state that I am in NO WAY an expert! Yet I do have experience on both ends of the "stick" being a "spirited child" as well as the parent (for 3.5yrs) of a "spirited" child, I also hold a degree in early childhood development to give me added "umph" to my ideas. 1.) BREATH!! Unless the child is in imminent danger, or putting someone/something in imminent danger you have time to take a deep breath, count to five and think rationally! 2.)Think to your self "is this really a big deal?" I mean really, is it going to do eternal damage if he has his toast in his arm pit? will blowing bubbles in his milk really create his soul to be in peril? I'm going to go ahead and say probably not... However these are things that you might not want to happen at a restaurant, other peoples houses, etc... so deal with them accordingly. "When you blow bubbles in your milk, do it at your little table, don't make a ginormous mess and make sure your eating as well." 3.) Deal with them on their level. Lecturing a 3yr old probably isn't going to go farther than the first few words you say, lets face it no one likes to be lectured. Short sweet and to the point "Because you did this ___ this ___ will happen" eg. "Because you used your mouth to be rude(Yelling at Mommy) you will get 'sours' (lemon juice) on your tongue". Be specific, be short, be shrewd! 4.) Be creative! While I am a firm believer in 'spare the rod spoil the child'. I do not believe that every situation is a 'rod' situation. I save that for DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE (thanks Mom & Dad:) "B you may not go in the street" He goes in the street, it's a 'rod' situation! Most others can be "solved" by creative discipline! Sours for offensive mouths, time outs for un-wise usage of "free time", removal from a situation (usually into a time out) for being rude and disrespectful in the situation. Or for older kiddos 'hit them where it hurts' usually the bank:) Charge $$ for issues that go on... and on.... and on... 5.) GRACE is a good idea! Explain it, pray with them, and give it when it seems appropriate but not as freely as one might think. 6.) Prayerfully consider, with your spouse/partner in crime a plan of action for all courses of discipline! I know I put this one last, it should be first but I figured I'd give you some "fool proof" ideas before I gave you the "meat and potatoes". Write out this plan, post this plan, live and breath this plan but also be flexible with in the plan.... life is ON THE RUN! You never know what's happening next (although my 3yr old would believe that ALWAYS knowing "whats gonna happen next" is a must!). Start your day in the word and HE will guide your steps!(PS I am encouraging my parents to write a book on creative discipline so if you see them tell them, 'How to heat a hiney with out a match' Is a great title!!)

1 comment:

Jessica Van Marter said...

just fyi "broken record" phrases are a great idea!! My mom's was "if you don't have anything nice to say, DON'T say it at ALL!" And a few others... ours is "be a helper, not a hinder-er" Yes, my 2yr old(when we started that phrase) know's what a hinder-er is, to the best of his abilities:)