My Brand of Discipline
My husband and I were raised by good-hearted parents who, along with their peers in the 1960’s, raised their families with harsher forms of discipline than seems to be the norm today. Yes we learned to respect others, to follow rules and most of us continue leading responsibly productive lives; but the mild corporeal punishment, the frequent grounding from privileges and the notion that children should be seen and not heard were difficult avenues of instruction.
As a parent, teacher and now a grandparent, I’ve chosen to not engage in belittling or harsh discipline in teaching others to; follow rules, respect right vs wrong, make good choices and be kind. My husband and I chose to raise our children with loving kindness, lots of words and a superabundance of family time.
Parenting is the world’s toughest job, requiring a 24-hour a day commitment for at least the first 18 years of a child’s life. We all have good days, and not so good days. We all have faults, issues (health-related and otherwise), strengths and weaknesses. We are human.
It Starts with Me
I’ve discovered it’s my perspective and attitude that determines how I interact with others. When I’m having a good day, the people around me are more pleasant to be with. Healthfully balancing my week by eating properly, exercising and practicing self-care leads to a peaceful and patient outlook, reaping amazing results.
I have a special needs child who deserves my patience, understanding and ability to help develop coping skills. Thankfully, my husband and I were able to make lifestyle choices supporting the diverse needs of our children, giving them ample opportunities to learn in a calm and peaceful setting.
I once asked my son why I never had to punish him. Why I never had to yell, scream, ground or otherwise engage in harsh discipline. His response? “Because you and dad always explained things that made sense.”! ! My brand of discipline continues to be driven by loving kindness. I’m certainly not perfect, but my intention is to make choices enabling me to be kind. All of which starts with responsibility toward myself and flows outward from there.
Look for Part II next week: Examples of loving kindness…
Diane Mann is an author, blogger, mother, and grandmother. Check out purpledotter.com for more.