Discipline Without Guilt??!! Really? How Does That Work?
Discipline is the part of parenting that parents hate most. If you read my last blog post, about how much control you “should” have over your child, you’ll see the first reason why parents hate discipline so much – it’s because they don’t have clarity around what they do have control over, and what they don’t.
But the biggest reason that parents hate discipline is that our culture is not good at conflict. We think everything should always be nice-y nice-y. We don’t get passionate about what we believe or how we feel because we don’t want to offend anyone, and we don’t want to be perceived as trying to control anyone else. AND since we think discipline means punishment, we don’t want to be seen as the big meanie, so we feel resentful when our children push us to “have to” punish them.
What a mess.
First, we need to rethink that whole discipline-punishment thing. (Go HERE to find out more or register for my upcoming Discipline Without Guilt class.) What if, for a very young child, discipline just means that the child hasn’t developed the internal discipline to control his or her own impulses? Well, then, if we feel peaceful about being there to clearly show them where those impulses need to develop, and to be those impulses for them, aren’t we HELPING, not hurting? Punishment is when you hurt your child, ON PURPOSE, to teach them a lesson. What if, for an older child, discipline means supporting the child, in a less and less overt way, to determine what matters to them, and where they want to develop inner discipline, and to take the steps to help them develop that? Since we know that punishment doesn’t work to do this, anyway, what if we just dropped that mindset and focused on our actual goal?
Second, we need to develop clarity around what things, FOR US, are important enough to justify stepping in to consistently help our young child see clearly where those impulses need to develop, and readjust this yearly, as our child grows.
And, more and more, especially for an older child, we need to develop skills around understanding, problem-solving, coaching, and ***advocating for our own needs***.
“Oh, shit,” I hear you say, “I’m bad at that.”
Yeah, I know. Me, too.
But, here’s the thing. When you practice, you get better. You stop being afraid that someone else will flip/tantrum/be sad/meltdown, and you start standing in your own power (such an overused phrase, but exactly what I need to say) and declare what matters to you, while still respecting what’s going on for them, AND doing what you need to do to be the parent your child needs, from a place of heart, clarity, purpose, and love.
I’d love to help you bring this all together!
Discipline Without Guilt starts April 11th, 2015. Find out more HERE.
Here’s to you. Here’s to your child. Here’s to peace in your parenting, and solutions that work for both of you.
I would love to share Discipline Without Guilt with you, and help you find a new groove. Check it out here.