(The following blog is the first of several on the theme of discipline. Please understand I am no expert. Please understand this blog is not intended to be judgmental. Please understand that I know God has GREATLY BLESSED me with two amazing kids.)
Now, please excuse me while I rant.
I am scared to death for an entire generation of kids who will generally fail in life because their parents either:
1) don't love them enough to discipline them, or
2) are afraid of the concept of "tough love".
Let me qualify this before I begin said rant: My parents were not perfect parents. I was not a perfect child. I am NOT a perfect parent. My children are NOT perfect children. Also, children are not supposed to be perfect. It is OUR JOB as parents to teach them, train them, love them, discipline them, so they learn how to be teachable, respectable, loving, self-disciplined adults. I have an AMAZING relationship with both my children (now ages 23 and 17) either despite their discipline, or more likely, because of it. Don't be afraid of your children. Don't be afraid that they will hate you or turn against you. (They will almost certainly hate you many times, but . . . ) They are wired to need and want your love, respect and acceptance. That being said . . .
It seems that almost daily now I hear parents complain about their kids. They complain about picky eaters and temper tantrums and disobedience. They complain about dirty rooms and smart mouths and breaking rules. They complain about grades and irresponsibility and lying.
Not only do parents complain, but for the most part, they seem to have this "throw their arms up in the air, shrug their shoulders, there's not much I can do about it" resignation to this being acceptable, something to just grit their teeth and trudge through until the child leaves home at 18. (FYI, if your kid is undisciplined, he/she may LEAVE at 18, but it's almost guaranteed he/she will return home to you as permissive parents once he/she: flunks out of school, gets fired, gets out of jail, etc.)
There IS a solution for this. I promise. It's not even complicated. (Mind you, I did not say it was easy.) The solution works for 2 year olds just like it works for 16 year olds. Ready?
That's it. Sounds easy, but it's not. But the earlier in life your children learn that you absolutely, positively, ALWAYS, 100% of them time MEAN WHAT YOU SAY, the earlier they learn to discipline themselves not to break the rules. WHY? Because you, as their parents, have taught them the consequences to breaking rules are ALWAYS THE WORSE CHOICE.
Next: How to make the right choice easier than the wrong choice.