What is discipline today and what should it really be?
Most people use and understand discipline as punishment for ‘misbehaviour’. For example: that is it, you are not going to your friend’s house now, or Do that again and I will throw your favourite toy away, or Hit/yell at me again and I will remove all technology from this house FOREVER.
Parents need to be the parents, so kids can be kids. We are kids for such a small fraction of our lives, let them be kids while they can be. Being parents has become a battle ground for many families and a very common theme within parenting facebook pages and society in general. Parents view their kids as the enemy to be controlled, dominated and boundaries forced upon. My big question is why?
Why are we viewing kids as our enemy?
Why do we feel insecure as parents that have to enforce ‘obedience’ to our control and the boundaries that we have deemed vital?
Why, when we can’t control anyone but ourselves?
Why when all we want in our lives is to feel significant and important?
Why when we are hardwired for attachment and connection?
All of these questions (and more) influence the form of discipline and parenting we undertake. First step in become a good enough parent is to consciously think about our parenting choices. Yes, you have choices. Secondly, parent yourself first, understand and make sense of your upbringing and how you were parented as it is undoubtedly influencing your parenting today. Whether you like it or not. Continue the great healthy legacies within your families and make new ones where legacies are not healthy. Third, join Reclaim Discipline, by swapping out punishment for teaching. In a moment where you go to punish your child, ask yourself, “In this moment, what do I want to teach?”
When we think about it the word discipline comes from the word disciple, meaning to teach. Or even better 'a follower or pupil of a teacher, leader, or philosopher', which links stronger with step four. Step four, our kids come with lessons for us to learn about yourselves. They give us the gifts of healing and growing in the areas we need most, yes that is because they challenge us and at times in the most painful ways. Viewing our children and ourselves as teachers to one another has been such an awesome and helpful mind shift for me personally. I have also seen and felt the benefits for my children in their attachment and behaviour.
Join me by reclaiming discipline, let us be teachers and pupils.