Forget Punishment...Decide to Discipline
Punishment – to inflict pain.
Discipline – student/disciple.
It has been a long time since I punished one of my children. The couple of times I remember, make me profoundly sad and sorry. By the grace of God, my husband and I discovered the difference between using formative discipline and punishment.
As the Popcaks state in their book, Parenting With Grace, punishment leads to the need for more punishment, all the while becoming less and less effective, leading parents to come up with more inventive ways to punish.
As I read the Popcaks book, I was stunned at the similarity of our approach to forming and disciplining children. By placing focus on attachment (the love bond), the capacity of children to respond to reason, firmness and consistency, respect, obedience to God, etc., truly there is no need to reward or punish.
This is not a child-lead psychology, but a parental choice to truly lead by example; to parent with grace. It works! It is a process which, over time, produces young ladies and gentlemen with a sense of mission, solid spirituality, and ability to take responsibility for choices.
By offering a child well reasoned, loving, corrective discipline, a close rapport with the child results. By giving example and guidance in building virtue, rather than punishing bad behaviour, the child grows in desire to strive in goodness.
We all respond to our primary attachment. We will respond to and make efforts to please those that we are closest to. There is no need for either carrot or stick. A child responds because the relationship comes first. This comes about when a parent leads with true purpose and with great intentionality.
I welcome your thoughts and questions.