Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Art of Discipline

I surely haven't mastered it.  I think discipline is a daunting task for most parents.  My tender heart and my knowing mind find themselves in conflict when it comes to teaching my children good behavior.  I owe it to them to teach them well.  It is my duty to show them, correct them, and lead them into living lives that are true and gracious.  But, it certainly isn't easy.  Tears, fits, and pleads by upset little faces can make staying on top of things difficult.  Sometimes, me just being tired can make teaching my children difficult.  Sometimes, it seems the events of the day want to weigh me down so that it is easy to ignore behaviors that need corrected.  But I must not let that interfere with showing and guiding my children in life lessons. 

The big boy had to move his behavior picture at school yesterday.  This is part of their classroom behavior chart.  He has only had to do this once before in the whole school year.  However, if he corrects his behavior, he can move his picture back up and there are no consequences.  There is no note sent home, and if he did not tell me, I would never know it.  His sweet little heart can't hold those details in. 

He came home yesterday so burdened about his incident.  He was teary and apologetic.  It took a good bit of time to get the whole story out, but in the end it was really a small thing.  He got excited in circle time and was a bit rough with his best buddy.  He put his hands on him and that is against his classroom rules.  I do believe it was just a wiggly little boy being a boy.  But, I listened through the tears and multiple sorries.  We had our little chat.  I told him that he must mind the rules, but obviously he had changed his behavior, because he got high marks on his daily folder.  I assured him that he was fine, and just to remember to try and have better self-control.  There was certainly no need for me to discipline him.  His self-torture all afternoon seemed plenty. 

I sort of felt bad that he was so worried, but then I thought it is a good thing that he cares about his behavior.  It means we, as his parents, have done something right.  We taught him to feel responsibility for his actions.  We have spent time correcting and disciplining him so that he knows what is appropriate and what is not.  It is working, and that is good.  I hugged his little heart and told him that we loved him so.  I told him that I was most proud that he told me about his behavior.  He seemed acutely aware that he has to think before he gets too excited in the classroom.  I know, as his mother, how very difficult this is for him.  He is not a quiet, still little child.  He moves constantly and likes to talk.  He is smart and inquisitive.  He is full of energy and curiosity.  All these things are super, but he does have to learn the art of containing it when appropriate.  I really think he has done fabulous this year with his behavior.  Two warnings for the entire year for my little boy is quite the accomplishment. 

Now, if I could just teach the baby that pinching is very bad behavior.....
We're working very hard on it.  One day at a time is the only way I know to master the art of discipline.  I owe it to them to just keep at it.

B Charmer

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