"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Monday, July 26, 2010

"This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."

You know I have been thinking a lot about discipline. You know the kind we try to instill in our children. Let me tell you what started this thought process.

We went to the library today-- the big one in Johnson City and not the little county one we usually go to. We were looking for some great audio books and some of the Adventures in Odyssey CD's for our trip to the beach. While we were there I tried to get Olivia to pick out some audio books and after some arguments and me telling her once more to do it, she huffed at me very disrespectfully. So, we left the library and came straight home, with not one book. She was pretty peeved and thought that by apologizing and promising not to do it again she would earn her way back into the building to get the books we had gone after, but she was way wrong. I don't know that it hurt her as bad as it hurt me. We did make the 20-25 minute drive to town, used the gas it took to get there and now we will have no constructive entertainment on the road trip. Ugh!

With a story like that being pretty typical in parenting, I can see the draw to give in. You know the parents who would have accepted the apology and gone back into the library so as not to waste the trip, or the kind of parent that would just ignore the behavior and accept the disrespect so as to finish what they came to do. (Um, I am only pointing fingers at me because this is what I have been doing for 5+ years.) These are the moms who try to bribe their kids into behaving (I've done it so don't get offended). The thing is when do we/you draw the line? When they are teens and the bribing no longer consists of a sucker or a sticker, but instead a smart phone or a car? Ummm YEAH, I think we may lose the battle if we wait that long. Me, I am waiting no more. I am the "Queen Mom"! I am wearing my invisible crown of authority and I will no longer tolerate the disrespect, even if it really does cost me more than it costs the girls in teaching the lesson.

Do you remember when our fathers used to tell us, "This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you"? Well, I know why now. Teaching discipline to our children costs us dearly. If we think of our kids as our friends and that maybe they won't like us anymore if we stand firm, then when we do stand firm we have lost our friend-- parents this is NOT a healthy relationship goal until your kids are grown. Another scenario: If we have to leave all of our groceries in the cart and take the child home then it costs us the embarrassment of telling the clerk what is going on, our time we spent shopping, the trip to the store and the hassle of returning to re-shop at a later time... this list could go on, but by being the mom and carting the child out of the store for pitching a fit over not getting the kind of cereal he/she wants then this lesson may hurt you now, but it will be so beneficial for the child as they get older. Many parents just give in and the kids gets what he/she wants just so the parent can get the shopping done, but wait till you go down the cookie/candy aisle; the whole fit starts all over again. I know, I've been there!

Olivia has picked up on how hard it is for me to use my authority. She plays the emotional cards in just such a way that it makes it even more painful to discipline her. She will tell me that it hurts her feelings when she gets in trouble and do I still love her when I make her go to her room. And why, if I love her, would I like her feelings to be hurt? Here is my typical response. I love you and that is why I try to teach you right from wrong. AND For example in a situation where I have told her no and she gets her feelings hurt and questions my love, I tell her "What if you had asked me to go play in the street and I said yes because I loved you and yes means love?" Of course she thinks about being squashed by a car and then says that it would not be good for me to say yes to this. So I go into the whole spiel about how when I tell her no it is because telling her yes would not be good for her.

I remember as a teenager trying to figure out why my parents were so strict compared to other kids parents. I felt like such a dweeb not being allowed to do certain things like party at my friends house when their parents weren't home (I was naive and I didn't know what they were doing, but my dad knew it ALL) or I thought it was weird to not be able to have my friends that were boys in the house when my parents weren't home. Now I know why my parents suffered my reaction to their rules-- they loved me. The parents who allowed their kids free reign to do whatever they wanted did not love them enough to battle the wills and lay down the law.

I am the laying down the law from now on. I am starting early, not as early as I should have, but early enough that it should not land anyone in jail... joke! It will take consistency on mine and Ernie's part, but it will be worth it in the end to raise women of integrity and not spoiled brats. So to all of our wasted trips to the store or library or pool or whatever fun thing we have to stop doing because of my new law-- "If you disrespect mom, you will not have fun,"-- here's to the future, may it be one where they will look back and thank me and then turn around and teach the same thing to my grand babies.

You know, in God's discipline of us it cost Him very dearly too. He was willing to become a man, and live a perfect life in an imperfect world and to pay the cost of our sin by hanging on a tree. He was willing to go that far and went that far out of love. He is God; He could have just forgiven us and restored our relationship with Him in the garden, but what would we have learned? Where would we have been the next time the serpent came along-- this time on his belly eating dust? I doubt we believers would love God as much as we do. We could have never known how much He truly loved us if He had just taken the easy way out. So parents join me in this reclaiming of my throne and crown and show the kids just how much you really love them and are willing to sacrifice for their future well being!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post!! I am all too guilty of letting my FOUR YEAR OLD assert her authority b/c she is so strong willed. I guess I need to put on my Mommy Crown more often. ;) Thanks for the visit! :)


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