Apparently all that Loving Your Kids on Purpose and Love and Logic stuff I’ve been doing has finally sunk in, because my daughter Kate has started love-and-logic-ing her friends, her siblings, her cousins and even me.
“Uh-oh Mommy,” she told me this morning. “Looks like you are choosing to have a sad heart. You probably should go find someplace quiet until your heart feels happy again.” Ugh. Serves me right for getting a teensy bit cranky when the cinnamon toast got burned after the baby decided he needed to eat at the very instant that I was finishing up breakfast for the older kids.
And then as we rushed out the door to take my son to school, she stopped me at the door and asked me if I’d gone potty. Then calmly told me that it was my choice if I went potty or not, but if I had to go during the (five minute) car ride to school, we weren’t going to be able to stop. My choice, indeed.
Anyway, aside from being slightly annoyed that my four-year-old has started mothering me, this also got me thinking about my approach to disciplining my kids. Because the truth is that as my older two kids have eased out of the terrible twos and the trying threes, discipline has gotten harder, instead of easier like I expected.
I no longer worry about them putting things in their mouth or touching the oven or climbing onto the table, but now I have to worry about their character. And how the lessons I teach them now will impact them later in life. And that’s scary.
Anyway, while I’m in no way an expert, I’ve come to the conclusion that discipline is never a one-approach-fits-all thing—so you probably won’t find me touting a certain book or idea or author. Instead, I’m praying that God will show me how to reach my kids for him with every word I say, situation I face and decision I make. Because at this point in my life, every word, situation and decision really seems to matter.
Question for you: What’s your approach to discipine? How does it work?