WordNet says discipline is: to train by instruction and practice; espeically to teach self-control.
Why am I 'studying' this? Well, this week, my daughter told a lie. She followed through with human nature...she didn't do her work during school today and was punished(disciplined) for this by having to stay in from her regular play time and one of her little friends, spilled the beans when I picked her up. I questioned her about this; she first said yes, I didn't do my work. I then began to explain that she was going to be punished and that she would not be able to watch her 'go-to' show---Dora! Not a few minutes later, she withdrew her confession and reported that she had in fact NOT, not done her work. Stating that she did go to the gym, and she did do her work....and with lots of other things going on..like on of her little friends pulling her glasses off and I thought that she could have possibly been removed from class for this reason, etc....so I explained what would happen and gave her a chance to tell me whatever the real truth was....so kept with her story that she did do her work, and she did go to the gym. So we proceeded and I knew that I would ask in the morning. She watched over an hour of Dora....I know that is bad...but she goes all day long too and this is her down time in the evenings and I was able to cook a healthy supper for us in that time. Anyway, at bathtime...she tells me that she actually didn't do her work and she missed gym time. At this point....I explained that she was in trouble and that she was going to have to face the music...so to speak. Having to go tell her daddy what she had done, that she lied, and that she understood what her punishment would be. She wasn't happy and she cried but overall she took it well. Justin explained that she needed a spanking for lying and I agreed but the way this whole thing unfolded....I felt like he needed to do it if it was to be done. Just didn't feel like the form of punishment to correct this, if you will. Sooo after a time, she was told that she would have to go to bed alone (without rocking, reading, or me laying down with her, etc) Then came the tears....the calculated 'What ifs' My favorite was....'What if something happens to me?' as if we were going to not check in on her. Anyway, he explained that she would be fine and to bed she went....as I was leaving her, she says: Mommy, "I said I was sorry for that" Break your heart but I knew that these are the battles that YOU HAVE TO WIN..but I do agree they are difficult to do. I took out to my bathtub and avoided the cries from her room and left her daddy to do the tough stuff. As this is where he excels much better than I.
So her punishment continues at the moment. She is not allowed to watch Dora until Friday. 3 days of punishment. 3 days of discipline! and I must say that she is handling it much better than I thought. I almost forgot that part of her discipline...is that she isn't allowed to cry when she is told no about watching Dora. This is usually what she wakes up asking and what she comes in from school asking, and what she wants just before bed....making it a good tool to teach discipline! I hope that she will learn from this that she should always tell the truth and as the week has gone, we have explained at different times that had she told the truth that it would have only been one day without Dora but that her lying about what happened made it THREE times worse. I realize that this is a difficult concept for her...but three days without your favorite thing...has to remind you that you don't want to repeat that act! I overheard her daddy asking her this morning as she was watching the NEWS with him...you do remember why you can't watch Dora, don't you? While this is like digging into a sore wound...I think with her short attention span, this is important. As much as reinforcing that telling the truth, that she has to follow the rules in all settings. If she is supposed to be doing work, that is what she needs to be doing.
Bottom line... I want her to learn early and fully....that life is full of rules; you don't have to like them...but you must respect them or be ready to suffer the consequence that follows if you choose break them.
Being trustworthy and dependable... is paramount to being successful.
That being honest has to be a part of who she is! This is a value I hope to instill in her character. After all, telling the truth in a loving way is very difficult to do.so this week and always we are focused on being consistent in our training that corrects, molds, and perfects her mental faculties and moral character. What an important job! What an intimidating task. It is easy to see why the majority of the world is so mixed up. It is EASY to agree with and let things slide....it takes MUCH more discipline for Justin and I to do the RIGHT thing for Laila than to cave to what is easy. To correct her, to mold her, to perfect who she is...so that when we are not there..we can be confident that she WILL make the right decision 100% of the time! AND that she will be aware when she fails to and hopefully she will also know how to; as well as have the courage to...make it right!!
I could go on forever about how the moral compass of society is off. This past week in Sunday School the speaker made this point...we are not good people that occassionally make mistakes, but rather at the heart of our nature; we are in fact sinners that sometimes do good things! In arguing his point he posed the question of how often do you sit your children down and show them how to hit their sibling, or teach them to lie....it is in our nature...as we came from Adam. We are sinners...and it is a life long battle and struggle to be more like christ....he is the only perfect one, indeed!
So this week.......I am looking at discipline in a different light than I have taken time to before. Obviously these are not new concepts but when you have children, you become aware more and more each day that God has blessed you with one of his children; to have them as your own...but that with this blessing comes the job of shaping someone's moral character...if that doesn't scare the mess out of you....you might want to rethink it! Sure gives me that lump in my throat....you know...gosh I hope I don't mess this up! I sure don't want to mess this up. I don't think that everyone stresses over these 'little' things enough....If we did, there would likely be fewer problems in society. We all freak when they send us home from the hospital with these helpless creatures....but do we painstakingly obscess over all the details and daily corects as we did about those first bottles? Are they eating enough? What is that, a rash? Are they breathing? Do I? Am I missing opportunities to correct?