Encouraging Self-Discipline (part five)

One of your primary concerns in using a friendly and firm manner in guiding your child’s behavior is to help him realize you love him. Hopefully, he will also realize what you require of him is for his good. You must keep in mind that your child is immature and may protest your decisions and declare how mean he thinks you are. Remember, he is a child and deep down he is comforted to know you are in charge and that you are there for him. Stay the course of loving your child through friendly and firm discipline.

A major assumption in the discipline of our children is they need to grow in their understanding of how life works best and their responsibility for their behavior. If your child has all that down your job is complete. But that isn’t the case, is it?

Good discipline can bring about positive change. Children who are disciplined by love generally find it quite easy to follow the directions of their parents.

Loving discipline and your child’s decision to willingly obey brings about the process of internalization of what you are attempting to teach him. This internalization, making your teaching his own, begins in the preschool years, continues in childhood and youth and is refined and owned as the maturing process continues. Sometimes you see the fruits of what you have tried to do when your children have children of their own. Don’t give up on the process.

Hopefully, by the time your child is on his own you will be able to cut the strings with the confidence he has the basic tools to not only survive the challenges of life but to make a positive difference. When he holds himself accountable for his life and orders his choices by an internal set of values which honor God, himself and others ,what you have worked and prayed for is in place. His life will be blessed and others will be blessed by the self-discipline you have encouraged in him. Congratulations will be in order. Give yourself a pat on the back. You have worked yourself out of a job!

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