Parenting is difficult. Hands down this will be the hardest job I will ever encounter. Daily I fear if the choices I make for myself and for my children are the right ones needed for their happiness, their growth, their structure. My worst nightmare is one of my boys not knowing the loving hands of God, not grasping the importance of kindness and stewardship, not having a desire to be the very best them. I struggle with knowing where the line is in mothering boys for obedience.
Ryan and I have had to reevaluate how we approach disobedience and consequences with Jake. He's been getting into a nasty habit of talking back, not listening and hitting. After a long conversation with Ryan, prayer and study of the Word, I think Ryan and I have found some solid ways to maintain consequences while still maintaining a loving hand. It's such a delicate balance between being firm and exercising compassion because, after all, Jake is still only 3.5.
Tonight was difficult for me. Jake talked back to me again so he was put in his room and firmly told why he was being punished. He wanted out so badly but we held firm and I continued getting Andrew ready for a bath. Jake had to be placed back in his room twice and to hear him plead he wouldn't do it again was hard to hear but we knew he really didn't get what was wrong. Later, we sat with Jake and talked with him about obeying and being a good Jake versus a bad Jake. It took a little while but Jake finally started getting what happens when rules aren't followed. Then,finally, he was starting to put together how his actions were being good instead of bad and, of course, we offered lots of praise with his good actions. It was rewarding for myself to see first hand that firm guidance wasn't going to break his little spirit.
Still, I think one of the most important things we have to work on with Jake is understanding emotions. We've noticed Jake gets frustrated and doesn't seem to understand cause and effect and how being disobedient hurts Mommy and Daddy and it is not OK to be silly when apologizing. I think we're going to have to work on displaying emotions and placing a name with actions.
If anything can come out of what I studied and what Ryan and I worked on together is that it takes a team to rear children and a unified front. I'm thankful Ryan and I can work on this together. (Lord knows we're going to need it when Andrew hits the two's.) It was comforting to be able to piece discipline and Biblical teaching to one another as well. If our children cannot have respect for us, then they will surely not have the respect for the Father. I know my boys have big, sweet hearts. It is my duty, and Ryan's duty to rear them in the ways they should go so that they never depart from them. I would rather it hurt me now to punish, then hurt them later.
Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
Do to others whatever you would like done to you