October 1, 2013

Parenting: Discipline

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It's pretty much official. We have a toddler. Honestly, I am loving the toddler phase for many reasons. He's more independent, he's developing a sense of humor, he is sleeping through the night, he is learning so much every single day, and he is starting to talk! I love it!

But there is one thing about this stage that is especially difficult...the temper tantrums. We (the newbie parents) are still learning how to deal with them. Thank goodness for our own parents who have been through these stages before and can help us figure them out!

My mom gave us a great book about learning to discipline in a Biblical way. There is one thing that we read that was particularly helpful to me.  So simple, yet so important. It's exactly the way I will explain our rules to our son.
Ready for it?

It'll go something like this:

"Son, I didn't make up right and wrong. God did. He gave us rules to follow. You have to obey them and I do, too."

So simple!  I didn't create right and wrong, but I will help my child follow God's laws. It's my God-given responsibility as a parent. Rules in our house will have an eternal and Biblical perspective. For example: no hitting is a rule in our house, but we have that rule because of God's word:

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32

As I grow as a parent and encounter many instances where I have an obligation to discipline, I hope that I can continually explain why we have certain rules to my son. It will require me to be well versed in what the Bible says. It will challenge me to live according to God's laws in a much more conscious way.

Hopefully it won't create an authoritarian atmosphere, since God is the ultimate authority and our sweet boy will witness his parents submitting to God regularly. Hopefully it will help our son to understand God's rules are meant for our protection. Hopefully he will learn God's character and love in a way that will eventually lead to the most important decision of all: accepting Christ as Lord and Savior.

Have a great day!

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