Friday, December 7, 2012

Love and Discipline

Why is it so hard to discipline our kids?
The other day, I watched as a mom friend told her son to stop doing something.  He didn't stop, and it was obvious to me that action was required on her part.  I am pretty sure that she realized that she needed to discipline her son as well, but she decided that it was just easier to ignore the behavior.  Now, maybe her reasoning was that she had company and didn't want to ruin the fun; I don't know, and I'm not judging her - I've done the same thing many a time.  It made me wonder how many times I have chosen to ignore an undesirable behavior instead of taking time to address it right away.
So often I would rather just ignore the behavior of my kids.  It isn't really hurting anyone, right?  Wrong.  It is hurting my kids.   By ignoring misbehavior, I am telling my kids that it is okay to misbehave.  I have seen my daughter look at me as she does something she thinks might be wrong.  She is wanting to know if I'm going to stop her, or if I'm going to let her continue.
Ignoring bad behavior is the same as condoning it.   Plato said, "I shall assume your silence gives consent."  If we teach our children to ignore bad behavior now, will they speak up as adults when they see wrongs done?  By addressing bad behavior in our children now, we are also teaching them to address wrongs when they see them.
As hard as it is to discipline our kids right away, we do them a huge disservice when we don't.  The Bible says a few times that the Lord disciplines those he loves.  If we love our children, we will discipline them when they are doing wrong, when they are sinning.  My job as a mom is to raise my children to be responsible adults, and responsible adults speak up when something is amiss.
I love my kids dearly.  Yet, sometimes it is so hard to do the right thing and discipline them when they need it.  I am going to challenge myself to address the issues right away with my kids.  Will you join me on that challenge?