I am the mom of two amazing little boys, and most days, I feel blessed beyond all measure. They are truthfully the most amazing people I’ve ever learned anything from. Sometimes, I think parenting isn’t about teaching children, it’s about learning as an adult. However, there are days when I want to scream, with my eyes bugging out, and jump up and down because they just won’t listen. I’ve been thinking about grace, and the beauty of it. God doesn’t scream at me like that. Sometimes I’m sure He gets frustrated by me, though! And each day is NEW in His eyes. How many times have I gotten up in the morning, anticipating a day like we had yesterday? My poor children are then subjected to my apprehension. Inevitably, we have a rotten day. So, how about the beauty of grace? Can I extend that to my children? Let’s see how this looks the way I’m doing it now:
Today, you were careless and spilled your water, so I put you in timeout.
Tomorrow, same thing. So you had to put your nose in the corner in timeout.
The next day, same thing. So, I swatted your butt.
At what point does the progression have me strangling you because you just aren’t listening?! Too often we allow offenses to build on offenses. Whether they are the same or not. We should treat each offense as a new offense, and deal with it as such. Discipline is necessary, progression, not so much. A repeat offense doesn’t mean they are being stubborn (sometimes, but not usually), they are small and they forget. I am big and I forget! So, I’m going to stop progressing my discipline and holding a grudge against them for yesterday’s offenses…or the offenses of an hour ago. Or ten minutes ago. I’m going to deal with each incident as it’s own separate incident, and see how much better we do.
This is forgiveness in action, and if I’m going to teach it to them, I have to demonstrate it. Forgiveness is not holding an account of the offenses against us. That includes when our children commit an offense against us!
How do you deal with discipline, poor choices, mistakes, and the simply “forgotten” rule?