Recently my daughter shared this “confession” on her Facebook page:
Confession: I always knew parenting requires wisdom. I just didn’t think I would feel the need for it before our child is even 1 year old. Have I mentioned that all parenting theories go out the window when you become a parent?
There are certain children I know, who I used to think were bratty and their parents not strict enough. My child has now been “less than perfect” in front of others (for example, she whined and cried through much of that photo session yesterday, although you wouldn’t know it from the pictures!), and I realize that sometimes kids are just having a bad day…and that doesn’t make Tori a bad kid, or make me a bad mom.
It was embarrassing to me, and I wanted to make excuses and apologize…which taught me something about myself as a parent. I don’t ever want to “put on” in front of others, or discipline Tori just because others are watching.
I loved her honesty in this post, and the reminder that we need wisdom in our parenting!
How many times have you felt that way — embarrassed by your child’s behavior? It is SO easy to forget what is important when our kids are behaving wrong, and discipline out of selfish motives, such as how their behavior makes us look.
Some things to remember when your kids need discipline and training:
1. The reason for the discipline.
Discipline should not be given because our kids made us mad, inconvenienced us, frustrated us by their behavior, or because they are embarrassed us.
All discipline is about bringing our children into a right relationship with their Heavenly Father that He might bless their lives. It’s not about controlling behavior, modifying behavior, or minimizing embarrassment. ~Cary Schmidt – Passionate Parenting)
2. The goal for the discipline.
The goal of correcting our kids should always be to correct the problem in the child’s heart.
All too often we get so focused on the wrong behavior, that we forget to look for the heart issue which needs to be addressed. In the book, Passionate Parenting, author Cary Schmidt asks the question,
If you had to quantify your parenting focus with following words, which two would be most accurate: managing behavior or mentoring hearts?
Just as important as addressing the heart issue, is focusing on seeking to keep the heart of your child when discipline is necessary. This requires loving calm discipline, and a willingness to take time to deal with the heart issue, while striving to help them get their heart right with God.
When done in the right spirit, your child will sense your love and concern for them, and it will bring them closer to you. On the other hand, discipline that is harsh or done with an angry spirit is very likely to cause your child to close their heart to you.
Biblically correcting your child is one of the greatest ways to win their heart to you and to God forever. (Cary Schmidt – Passionate Parenting)
3. The tool for the discipline.
The best tool is always the Word of God. Often we frantically search for answers in all of our parenting books, or we ask other parents for their suggestions. It’s okay to do this, but our first source for answers should always be the Bible.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
As you raise your kids, don’t be surprised at the MANY times when you really don’t know what to do. It’s normal and it’s okay, because it reminds you of the importance of depending on God and seeking His wisdom. God loves for us to come before Him in prayer to seek His wisdom in teaching, training, and disciplining our kids. Plug in to that power source, and don’t try to figure it all out on your own.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5