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Effective Discipline part 1 - Issue 195
April 08, 2011
Hi there! ....

This week we’ve had four adults and one baby staying with us. They are members of a missions team from Sydney Missionary and Bible College. They have been in town making contact with various parts of the community and learning themselves about ministry in remote areas, and especially in indigenous communities. It has been a busy time with extra food to cook, clothes to wash and getting people in and out of town but it has been a blessing too. Whenever you open your home to people, and you take the opportunity to get to know people you will be blessed. They have taken an interest in our children and have related to them as individuals – encouraging them in their unique pursuits and interests. They have shared a little of their life with us as we have shared our life with them. Hospitality doesn’t have to be on the big scale like it has been this week for us – it is about inviting in your neighbour, getting to know the elderly in your church, or befriending a newcomer – it is a blessing to have people in your home, and to share whatever it is you have to share.

Live life with your kids!

If you are an Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Effective Discipline - Part 1

Discipline is a popular issue amongst parents. We often fall into the temptation looking for a quick fix or a formula that will turn our kids out okay. But there is no such thing. Discipline is necessary but, there are no quick fixes!

Unfortunately the word discipline has come to mean punishment but that is not the beginnings of the word. Discipline has its roots in the Latin word – disciplina – which means instruction and knowledge. To us, these days, we would see training and teaching more along these lines.

I like the idea of correction and the images that this word brings to mind. I liken this to Peter flying a plane – he sets his course and sometime during his flight he correlates his instruments with his maps. When he sees he has veered off his intended course he makes a correction – he takes action to get himself back on track. This is what we need to do with our children – take action to get them back on track.

This really sums up the idea of effective – if the course of action we take does get them back on track we can say we have been effective. If the course of action we take makes no difference to their behaviour then we aren’t being very effective at all!

Whenever we start talking about discipline we want to know what to do to our children – we want to focus on our children’s behaviour – on how bad they are and what we can do about it. The thing is, as with most things – it actually needs to start with ME – the parent.

Effective Discipline starts with me being Attentive, Available and Active.

Attentive – we need to watch and listen to our children all the time. There is a difference though between an attentive parent and a hovering parent. A hovering parent is so close the child isn’t able to stretch their wings, and do anything by or for themselves, they are hampered by their parents presence. An Attentive parent though is aware of where the child is at – physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, morally and spiritually and will be on the ready to step in for their child’s benefit. An attentive parent doesn’t take time off – even when they are visiting their friend they are still aware of where their child is at (physically, morally, emotionally etc…), while shopping and focusing on the grocery list they are still aware of what their child is doing, while talking on the phone they are still aware of where their child is.

Then the parent needs to be available – once they have seen or heard that their child has a need they are available to step in and do something. Once again we don’t take a break – regardless of what we are doing if our children need help we step in. Often though we say we are available – we are there physically but our emotions or our mind is taken up with something else which limits our true availability to our children.

Active - Our role as a parent is to make our child successful. If our child is struggling with self control, it is our job to help him be more successful. If our child is struggling with sharing, it is our job to help him be more successful. If our child is struggling to stay focused with their studies, or homework, it is our job to help him be more successful in that area. This is being an active parent. We cannot just sit back and see our children struggle or fail in these areas, neither can we dish out a punishment and hope that everything will be okay – our children need our involvement if they are going to change and grow.

So next time, before you set out on a course of correction, ask yourself if you have been attentive, available and active in the training and teaching of your child. If not, then maybe there are some other issues you need to work on first before you deal out the “discipline”.

Next week we’ll look at part 2: Effective Discipline: Who is the Boss?

Live life with your Kids Blog

I'm sorry to say, that I haven't been blogging this week though I may get a post or two up over the weekend. I did a guest post over at Homeschoolblogger Company Porch: Our Front Yard which talks about why we have a garden (sorry no photos - still having issues with uploading photos)

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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