Discipline (Some form of it)

Learning discipline is hard!  Learning to discipline myself enough to choose healthy, balanced meals instead of crappy sugar filled ones is hard. Choosing to go for a walk,  run, or to garden instead of sit on my butt and watch television all day is hard. Choosing my words, biting my tongue and listening instead of reacting is hard. Choosing to apologize for those times I do not control my tongue or temper is hard. Choosing to work on my attachment and communication with children instead of reacting immediately with my emotions is hard. Choosing to go to bed on time and not stay up writing a blog all night is hard! (As I post this at 2:30 a.m.)

Teaching discipline is hard! Discipline sounds like a rough word when you talk about it pertaining to children and parenting. I’m not talking about discipline like “punishment inflicted by way of correction and training”, but about discipline: “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill;training” and “behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control”. Now, I’m also not saying “It’s hard to discipline my kids”, that can be difficult to do, but quick and relatively easy compared to teaching our children self discipline and to choose discipline.  It’s easy to give in and let them have what they want, treat me like I don’t matter, or leave them alone when they don’t listen. It’s easy to lose my cool and yell when they don’t listen, to threaten extreme consequences when they misbehave. It is not easy to calmly explain natural consequences, to follow through on them, to sit through the natural storm of emotions and remain a safe harbour when they need comforting. It is not easy to continually reinforce the need for them to do their chores when they are needed to be done, to not give them their allowance when they do not complete things they know they are expected to.

This evening Boy#1 put up a very dramatic fight over going to bed at his known, and agreed upon bedtime. I told him it was bedtime, Hubs told him it was bedtime, he said no twice. He then proceeded to argue with us about why it could not be his bedtime. Finally, after almost five minutes and him kicking a table, I gave him a warning and then took away television privileges for tomorrow. I was not as calm as I would like, I had become a bit irritated with his behaviour.  Boy#1 did not stop here, he then cried and begged for tv back. I stayed in the living room as Hubs moved both boys along to bed. I breathed. Boy#1 re-entered the room teary. I snapped at him. I did not use my own discipline. He left more teary. I breathed. I went to the bedroom and asked him for forgiveness and an apology. I asked him to apologize for his behaviour. I re-enforced that the consequence would not be changed for tomorrow, but that there would not be any further consequences for this past behaviour. However, if the behaviour persisted or started up again there would be new consequences. We hugged and he became quite content and happy.
That was hard. It was painful for both of us, it was messy and emotional and human. But he is learning discipline just as I am. Learning something is never easy, it never ends, and it tends to be messy to begin. I am proud of us tonight. I am proud we made it through that bit of struggle. I love my kids. I want them to grow into strong, kind, honest men of character who know what it is to be disciplined in action and thought. I will screw up again. I have screwed up a lot in the past. Screwing up happens, but through talking it out and acknowledging my own mistakes to them, I hope to teach them that mistakes happen and that we can always accept them, make amends, and move forward. I hope they learn that even adults make mistakes and have to learn from them.

Love these weirdos and their wonderful dear hearts. I am so blessed to be their mom and love on them. The lessons are hard, but the rewards are amazing.



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