Monday, October 6, 2008

D is for Danger, Disobedience, and Disrespect

Dear Moms,

For the letter D, the key words are Danger, Disobedience and Disrespect. That’s three words, isn’t it? Three important words, I might add. That is because in our home we only discipline for DANGER, DISOBEDIENCE, AND DISRESPECT. Our rules are clear and few, this avoids confusion for the parent as well as the child. If the rules are obeyed, all live in peace and harmony. If the rules are broken, discipline is administered quickly and as an act of love. This is to encourage the behavior to change in a child, not to hurt the child or wound their spirit. We try to make LOVE OUR AIM, as scripture states.

First off, before I begin, this applies to toddlers and above (a two year old toddler and up).
We never, ever discipline a newborn baby, Mom. A newborn baby needs to be cared for and loved. If you get frustrated with a newborn, guess who needs to be disciplined? YOU DO!!!!!!!!! You need to call a Time Out for yourself and call someone over to watch the baby. At the age of one and up, once a baby is mobile, they should be disciplined by slapping their hand, only if doing something dangerous, like running towards the street. This shall be done swiftly, more as a shock to them, and not to hurt them. The house should be baby-proofed in such a way that very little discipline is needed. Plus your baby should be carefully watched so that very little danger exists. Mom, they are babies; they don’t know what is dangerous. They are exploring the world around them. Healthy and normal babies are curious. That is a good thing.

Once the child begins to enter the toddler stage, they begin to test limits. That is their limits and your patience that they are testing. Any mother of a toddler will agree, this is a trying time. Yes, age two is the time to train a child, not only potty train them, but also train them to get under your authority and obey you. If your child is doing something dangerous, this requires an immediate response, without a warning. A quick swat on the bottom or a slapping of their hand works. This would include such things as, touching electric outlets, going in the street, putting their head in the toilet or wrapping the mini blind cord around their neck. I have had my toddlers try all these things. I learned to always be in the same room as them at all times. I also learned that this too shall pass. On my last child, I think he was ten years old before I stopped saying, ”WHERE’S SEAN? If he wasn’t with in my view, I knew that he was up to something.

That brings us to disobedience. Once you have established the rules and they disobey them, they need to be disciplined. You must go over your rules daily for toddlers so they are clearly understood. Toddlers easily forget. I always give a warning, but only one warning, never two. When I was a young mother I read a pamphlet on discipline, and I formed my view of spanking, on the wisdom I gained from that flyer. Before reading the pamphlet, I was totally against spanking, but spanking done in this fashion, I see as a total act of love. I would love to locate that pamphlet again and give it to every mother in the world, but I’ve sinced misplaced it. This is what I gleaned from that little pamphlet: If disobedience occurs, I peacefully take the child in another room. I talk to them about what happened and make sure that they understand what they did wrong. Then, I lie them across my lap and spank them three times with a small wooden paddle, or wooden spoon, just enough to be uncomfortable, not to hurt or abuse. Then I hug the child and make them ask my forgiveness for disobeying. Lastly, we pray to Jesus to first of all forgive them, and secondly help them to not do this behavior again. If they injured another child, they must then go and ask that child’s forgiveness. The whole process of disciplining that child for a wrongdoing takes at least fifteen minutes. It is not taken lightly by me or by the child; it is done in love and never rushed or done in anger. This is discipline administered properly. It is very important that the child knows that you love him even when you have to discipline him. Even God disciplines those he loves. Don’t expect more out of your child than is age appropriate. Saying, “I WILL SPANK YOU IF YOU DO NOT CLEAN YOUR ROOM,” to a three year old is overwhelming. No, it is impossible. There are more ways to discipline than just spanking. We will talk about that in a different key word.

As I stated yesterday, children need to be taught to respect authority. You and your spouse are the authority in your home. Disrespect is not tolerated in our home. As they test your authority, rules and discipline have to be set in place. This is especially true with teenagers. A good discipline is to say, “Go to your room and think about the way you have spoken to me, OR CHANGE YOUR ADDITUDE OR YOU WILL LOSE THE USE OF THE CAR!” Fathers must protect mothers in this area by teaching the children to respect their mothers .

DO you dare to discipline? Do you see discipline as an act of love or a pain in the neck? Take this to prayer. This is a very important tool in motherhood. It is the difference between raising a child to be a blessing to you and others or a burden. I say DARE TO DISCIPLINE--and give your child the training they need to be people of character to make a difference in this world. That’s all for ELLEN.

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