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Christians, how do you discipline your children? - Page 3

post #41 of 75
Two quick thoughts:

Your son probably WILL act up more for a little bit because he's trying to figure out the new system. And he's 2. But if you can get through this, you'll have a child who really listens and not one who reacts out of fear.

My second thought is that your friends aren't just spanking their children. They are abusing them. I know that there are people here who claim that all spanking = abuse. I would argue that all spanking is harmful, but there is a difference between spanking and abuse -- and I think that your approach vs. your friends' approach illustrates the difference. You spanked your child occasionally. Your friends are switching their child 15 times in one evening and she screamed so loudly that everyone could hear? I would strongly consider doing more than praying for those children. They may need someone to intervene.
post #42 of 75
nak

My ds responds very well to short sentences explaining to him what's going on. He frowns and glares and is obviously thinking about what I'm saying, and almost always does what I ask afterwards, even if he was staunchly opposed beforehand.

An example:
He wanted me to hold him and was super fussy at supper time. I got down right in front of him and said...

"(his name) wants mama to hold (his name). (..) is hungry. (..'s) belly hurts. (..) needs supper. mama will make supper for (..). mama needs two hands to make supper for (..). mama cannot hold (..) while she makes supper. (..) can play while mama makes supper. Then (..) can eat and he will feel better. Okay? (..) play trucks while mama makes supper?"

and I hand him a truck, and a slice of cheese or something.
And the hungry little boy went to play trucks. This doesn't always work, but nearly always, especially if I take the time to explain BEFORE he gets worked up.

My little guy (just turned 2) can be a real spitfire. He just can get SO mad. I've had a lot of success with sending him away from me. It was hard to try that because I strongly feel children should be with their mothers. It seemed wrong to me to send him away just when he needed guidence the most. But, it really has worked for us. He just gets more upset if I try to hold him/help him when he's really mad.

I take his hand and lead him to his bed (which is very low). I put him on his bed and say, "(..) must talk nice to Mama. Everyone has to talk nice. You may come out when you will talk nice to Mama." If he comes out yelling, I turn around and gently take his hand and put him back on his bed. "Oh...(..) is not talking nice to Mama. Mama wants to help (..), but (..) must talk nice. You may come out when you are ready to talk nice." He might throw a fit in there, but I ignore it. I do return him to his bed every time he comes out yelling. (By the way, if he starts yelling at me and stops when I pick him up and head to his bed I still go all the way to his bed. If I have to get up, we're going all the way and he can come right back out, but I do want to be very clear with him that it is not okay to not be nice to Mama. I don't say "mean to Mama" because I don't want him to think that HE is mean. I prefer to speak in positives anyway. "Do this", not "Don't do that.") Anyway, within just a few days I am able to say "(..) is not talking nice to Mama. Will (..) talk nice to mama? Or will he need to go sit on his bed?" And almost every time he will change his tone and "talk nice"

I would have taken him home over the bench thing, too. Not because I never change my mind about things, but because I never allow ugliness. The issue to me is NOT that he didn't obey, but that he was ugly about it. So, if you can't "talk nice to Daddy", then you can't go until we can trust you to "do the right thing". "Sorry you're sad, but everybody has to talk nice. Maybe you can try again tomorrow when Daddy needs to go to the post office."

YMMV
post #43 of 75
As for your friends, I wouldn't argue to spank or not to spank. I'd approach it differently.

I'd talk about how I realized I was spending a lot of time telling them what not to do, and not very much about what TO do. DH and I often talk about the sweetness of thier hearts and their desire to please us. Our children are not rebels, they are just unknowing. The more time I spend telling them what TO do (and not necessarily to correct them, just in general conversation), the less I have to spend in correction. If your friends are spanking the "bad" behavior out, but not filling in the gap with what TO do, all they have done is leave a void. That void reminds me of the parable of when the man was possessed with demons and then they were sent out and the man didn't nothing to fill the space. So the demon returned and finding everything swept and in order brought his friends, too. We have to replace the negative with the postive.

Suggest saying things like, "We are going to so and so's house. Their little boy likes to give hugs. It would be nice of you to hug him back. You might be scared because he runs so fast to the door. Mama will be with you, so you will be safe. If you don't want to hug, you may say, "no, thank you". That's a nice way to tell him you don't want a hug quite yet.

Mrs. Whatever is going to make supper. If I find something on my plate that I don't think I'll like, I'll probably try a tiny taste anyway. If I don't like it, i just won't eat it. I won't push it around my plate or anything, and i won't say I don't think it tastes good. I wouldn't want to make Mrs. Whatever sad. She worked so hard to make a yummy supper for us.

After supper we are going to the park. What would be a nice thing to do for so and so at the park? You know what? There are only 2 little swings. We live right next door tp the park, so let's let so and so swing this time.

Etc."

I prep them for what we're doing all the time, so they know ahead of time how they can repsond in various situations.
post #44 of 75
I didn' t read the whole thread, but is it legal to treat children like that? If it is, it shouldn't be. To me that sounds like real abuse and I would consider getting the CPA involved. Those kids deserve better.
post #45 of 75
Thread Starter 
Wow, thank you so much for all the wonderful responses. I was sooooo scared of admitting I spanked on MDC

Tonight we had dinner with our friends and played at their house with their puppies. I explained what I was going through with my son and what I noticed about his behavior and how it's changed. We debated bible verses for a while and I think it got them thinking. There were no spankings tonight, so that was good news.

My son is doing so much better. There were a few incidences tonight where I was super worried about how he was acting (running with a giant stick and trying to hit the girls with it, total boy fun, I know ) but he responded SO well to my talking and explaining to him why it wasn't okay that I was shocked.

I think the hardest part to get over is feeling like I need to punish him. I'm just trying to say to myself over and over, not punish!! guide and teach!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunShineSally View Post

By the way what is switching???? if already answered Sorry I did not read the replies yet
switching is hitting with a switch.
post #46 of 75
Mama, good for you and your DH (and DS!). It's so awesome to see people really think about these cultural norms (because really, hitting has nothing to do with Christ) and question them.

Here's a link to a thread about Virtues Parenting that I found really interesting and thought-provoking: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...tues+parenting

As for your friends, I think you can explain a bit at first, share some Scripture. Then, if for whatever reason that doesn't do the trick, keep it short and simple>

"We're trying to teach by example. Pass the bean dip!"

As for your DS acting up: normal, normal, normal for a 2 year old. And I totally agree with a PP about compromising. Before you say "no" to something out of hand, think really hard about why you are saying no, and if that no is really necessary. If it isn't there's probably room to compromise.

Good luck!!!
post #47 of 75
Can I jump in here and ask a question? (Aimee, I hope you don't mind! )

I'm very much in the same boat as the OP. We've struggled with the angry side of spanking for some time now and have stopped. Our church is VERY pro- Pearl, Shepherding a Child's Heart, etc. But I've never understood how you separate anger from corporal punishment. I know when I felt angry, spanking felt so wrong. I couldn't do it any longer. So this thread is a God send.

My question is do you expect obedience? When I ask my children to do something, I expect that they'll respond so I know they heard me and then go and do _______. (their chores, get dressed, school work, etc.) If not, why is it wrong to expect obedience from them? We often explain that we all have to answer to someone (spouses, boss, God!) and listening to mommy is practice for the rest of their lives. I try to explain to them often that we all have jobs in our home to keep it running smoothly, etc. and that they need to be helpful and not lazy. If you don't expect obedience, how do you get them to respond or do chores?

And does anyone know how to get onto the Gentle Christian Mothers message board? It keeps telling me registration is closed. Thanks!
post #48 of 75
mrsjtc, I am probably not the right person to answer your question, because while I am a Christian, I am not of the evangelical or Protestant kind . However, I'll answer your question anyway!

To me obedience is reserved for God. I would not ever want to teach my child to be obedient to all adults, as I feel strongly that we human beings are imperfect and fallible, and telling my child to be obedient to everyone is setting him up for some serious problems with critical thinking, not to mention putting him at risk for abuse of all sorts.

That said-- when I ask my child or my husband to do something I expect *respect*: i.e. an answer to my question. I expect *helpfulness* and I expect *conscientiousness*: these are virtues that I want to instill in my children!

Once again, I encourage you to go look up the thread about Virtues parenting. It really helped me think about how to be more precise in my definitions of what virtues are, which helps me implement them.
post #49 of 75
Anyone can get obedient children.. who will later on have many mental issues. (I have a dh who has gone through this... and is still healing.)

TBH, I do not consider these types of people Christians. I consider them people who cling to some Christian ideas but are mostly rather lost. If your religion tells you to hit your child, there is something wrong. I do not, for a moment, believe that Mary ever hit Jesus. Neither do I believe that these parents never hit "innocent" children (in case anyone would say Jesus did not "need" to be hit). Once you down that path you also let loose your own temper.

Some Christians (at least Catholics) teach that a child under 7 or so is still under the age of reason. IOW, not completely able to understand things and control himself. To me this seems much more truthful... Our dd often makes bad dedisions due to her weakness, due to living in the moment, due to trying out something new, etc.... because she is a child.

We are getting closer and closer to no discipline. It demands a lot of the parent to be a couple of steps ahead of the child and his moods, to be playful, etc. But not only does it help the child to be happy and healthy, it also helps greatly with having a child who is great fun to be with and who, IMO, is one of the best behaved kids of her age we know.
post #50 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post
To me obedience is reserved for God. I would not ever want to teach my child to be obedient to all adults, as I feel strongly that we human beings are imperfect and fallible, and telling my child to be obedient to everyone is setting him up for some serious problems with critical thinking, not to mention putting him at risk for abuse of all sorts.
But it says in Colossians 3:20 - Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.

So isn't some level of obedience good and right? I think first time obedience from a young child is excessive. But a response, an explanation and completing the task at hand is something that i wise for a child to learn.

Maybe I'm some weird morph of obedience training and grace-based parenting
post #51 of 75
Aimee, the friends you mentioned don't sound like spankers but abusers. I was spanked, and taught obedience. But nothing remotely like that. :

OTOH, you might pass by my house and hear my 3 yo screaming like I was cutting off his toes , but it wouldn't be because he was being beaten. I always get a little nervous when people talk about *hearing* children screaming because really we honestly don't know what is going on there. Both of my oldest have been screamers.

All of the devout Christian parents I know parent lovingly and kindly. Some may spank, I don't know. But what I see when we get together is beautiful. I would say my River Brethren friend, who is the strictest in requiring obedience, is also the calmest, quietest, and the gentlest. Her family of origin is like that, her husband is like that, and her kids are growing up like that. It's quite amazing. I have never seen her spank or heard her raise or voice (nor anyone else in their church, they take "being the quiet in the land" very seriously).
post #52 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsjtc View Post
But it says in Colossians 3:20 - Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.

So isn't some level of obedience good and right? I think first time obedience from a young child is excessive. But a response, an explanation and completing the task at hand is something that i wise for a child to learn.

Maybe I'm some weird morph of obedience training and grace-based parenting
That's why I said I probably wasn't the right person to answer your question!

Parents can be horrible and do very wrong things, in general, and to their children. They are human and fallible.

So I prefer to think that the spirit of that commandment is that children owe their parents respect, consideration, helpfulness, etc. But maybe I'm a Scripture-interpreting weirdo, lol!
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsjtc View Post
But it says in Colossians 3:20 - Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.

So isn't some level of obedience good and right? I think first time obedience from a young child is excessive. But a response, an explanation and completing the task at hand is something that i wise for a child to learn.

Maybe I'm some weird morph of obedience training and grace-based parenting
Yes, it says "CHILDREN obey your parents" not "PARENTS make your children obey" It is God's direction for them, so if they are to do that they are choosing to be obedient to God - this is different then teaching children to just flat out be obedient to all adults, which is dangerous as the previous posted pointed out for several reasons.

For me though, the goal is not to make my children obey. That is their responsibility to God to choose to obey. My responsibility to God is to guide my children, not *make* them obey, but to create an environment in which it is safe for them to be compliant (so that they can more easily obey God's direction to do so) There are parents who have told their children to kill. Would God want them to be obedient then? Of course not. This blind obedience that some people seek because of that scripture is not a Godly outlook. We are not to force them to obey, they are free to choose to obey. Our obedience belongs to God, as does their own. If they are obeying us because the word says for them to obey us it is still them showing obedience to God. This is all a choice *self* makes for *self* (I decide for me, my children decide for themselves - Ultimately they answer to God, not me.) The problem is when parents take on the role of God, as if they are the substitute teacher instead of a vessel for Him.

You can discipline your children because the bible says to discipline, but not to discipline because the bible tells your children to obey. That is their responsibility to the Lord.

I do not require my children obey me. The Lord requires they do. I just make it possible for them to choose to safely follow His Word.

It is not that we *must* make *obedient* children. It's that God tells our CHILDREN to be obedient, and tells us to provide discipline (guidance - to teach). I don't think the Bible is suggesting we demand obedience from our children or *expect* it. I do expect my children to do well, because I know they intend to do well, and when they are having a hard time doing well I look at what is "blocking" them from doing well, because I trust that when everything is right with them they will do right things. I don't expect it in the sense of I expect them to do whatever I say and if they don't I will make them because I must make them obey.

ONE of THEIR responsibilities if they follow a Christian path is to be obedient to their parents. As a parent, it is not my responsibility to force this obedience, only to discipline them and make it safe for them to follow that path if they choose.
post #54 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Aimee* View Post
switching is hitting with a switch.

That is horrible! also scary: I would call CPS and I do not say that lightly as I know good desent loving parents who had to fight for their babies! Please protect them as best you can! I know many believe that it is not our place to interviene on parenting styles but when children suffer and will suffer their whole lives them we as good people must do all we can to protect them!


I am happy that starting GDing is going so well. The hardest part for me is figureing out if what he is doing is age appropreate or just not listening mostly it is age appropreate I get lots of slack from family for not spanking my whole family did it my step mother and my father got at me once and after awhile of explaining why I don't I just said point blank he is MY son and I will NOT instil frear in him I WILL instil love and grace and the ability to know right from wrong and not FEAR if he choses wrong once in awhlie. Now this arguement happened on a day he was crazy and they felt they had a point most of the time he is not crazy but he is happy and a child and they are not used to that I also looked at my father and said I was spanked I even had the belt at times did it help you and my Mom out?? No it didn't! I am happy that you were able to make a point on a day that your Dc was behaving the way you want him to I hope it all works out for you family!!!!!!!!!!

Again please think long and hard about protecting those little ones that have no one to stand up for them
post #55 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Glue Mommy View Post
Yes, it says "CHILDREN obey your parents" not "PARENTS make your children obey" It is God's direction for them, so if they are to do that they are choosing to be obedient to God - this is different then teaching children to just flat out be obedient to all adults, which is dangerous as the previous posted pointed out for several reasons.

For me though, the goal is not to make my children obey. That is their responsibility to God to choose to obey. My responsibility to God is to guide my children, not *make* them obey, but to create an environment in which it is safe for them to be compliant (so that they can more easily obey God's direction to do so) There are parents who have told their children to kill. Would God want them to be obedient then? Of course not. This blind obedience that some people seek because of that scripture is not a Godly outlook. We are not to force them to obey, they are free to choose to obey. Our obedience belongs to God, as does their own. If they are obeying us because the word says for them to obey us it is still them showing obedience to God. This is all a choice *self* makes for *self* (I decide for me, my children decide for themselves - Ultimately they answer to God, not me.) The problem is when parents take on the role of God, as if they are the substitute teacher instead of a vessel for Him.

You can discipline your children because the bible says to discipline, but not to discipline because the bible tells your children to obey. That is their responsibility to the Lord.

I do not require my children obey me. The Lord requires they do. I just make it possible for them to choose to safely follow His Word.

It is not that we *must* make *obedient* children. It's that God tells our CHILDREN to be obedient, and tells us to provide discipline (guidance - to teach). I don't think the Bible is suggesting we demand obedience from our children or *expect* it. I do expect my children to do well, because I know they intend to do well, and when they are having a hard time doing well I look at what is "blocking" them from doing well, because I trust that when everything is right with them they will do right things. I don't expect it in the sense of I expect them to do whatever I say and if they don't I will make them because I must make them obey.

ONE of THEIR responsibilities if they follow a Christian path is to be obedient to their parents. As a parent, it is not my responsibility to force this obedience, only to discipline them and make it safe for them to follow that path if they choose.
Really great thoughts. I need to chew on this awhile. I think that I very much agree.

Oh and I wholeheartedly agree with the dangers of blind obedience. Any adult - no way. Being aware, respectful and compliant to adults who are responsible for you - I think that's good. I think compliant is a word I need to enter into our vocabulary. Doing what is expected of you in your environment - helpful, kind, gentle. Those are the words that come to mind when I think of compliance. Good stuff.

So discipline. (I'm not sure this is the are for a discussion on discipline. Sorry if I'm breaking a rule.) Is it more of a cause and effect discipline rather than a punishment? ie: If you are smart-mouthed and disrespectful, I cannot reward you with a special evening out. Rewards are for children who are demonstrating good character, kindness, etc. Is that how it goes? Throw a toy, it gets taken away kind of stuff rather than do as I say or I will ________ (spank, time out, yell, etc.)

Thanks Aimee for starting this thread. It is really blessing and challenging me.
post #56 of 75
my grandfather was responsible for my sister. He also molested her. I hope for my children to treat everyone respectfully - but I also don't expect them to want to be respectful towards people who are not respectful towards them. Age and Status do not entitle a person to respect.

Discipline means different things to different people. So does punishment. So there isn't really a black and white answer to that. Our family though does not use spanking, time outs, or yelling. We don't "do to" our children either. We work with them. We treat our children the way Jesus treated his disciples and others.
post #57 of 75
SuperGlueMommy, that was a beautiful response on obedience. I think I need to just start following you around with an ITA sign.

On the questions regarding cause and effect and discipline, there are a lot of different viewpoints. Personally, we don't rely on rewards or punishments. Instead, we try to be proactive and then give lots of practice. So in the scenario you mentioned, we'd really work on modeling respectful speech, giving them practice and letting them redo it, and so on instead of taking away an evening out. Also, I feel like when kids are acting up, they need more time with us to reconnect rather than time away (unless either of us just needs to cool off).

If a toy is being misused, then I think taking it away is reasonable, simply to keep everyone safe.
post #58 of 75
We are Catholic and faithfully practice we don't spank or really punish at all minus the occasional very modified time outs. I believe grace is there for all including our children and we as the parents are to help teach and guide and through patience forgivness a healthy teaching of humility and most of all grace we will guide our children. Spanking humilitation (which greatly differs from being humbled) degrading and shame are not in Gods design and wont be in our home... Sayingthat I have spanked I was brought up as a spanker and old ways can be hard but I grow stronger and better and the more I grow in my faith the more I am totaly convinced its wrong.

Deanna
post #59 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsjtc View Post
But it says in Colossians 3:20 - Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.
This verse is not directed at parents. It's directed at children. It does not read "parents, make your child obey." I fully believe that with gentle discipline, a child will want to do as her parent asks. Gentle discipline doesn't mean no discipline.
post #60 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsjtc View Post
So discipline. (I'm not sure this is the are for a discussion on discipline. Sorry if I'm breaking a rule.) Is it more of a cause and effect discipline rather than a punishment? ie: If you are smart-mouthed and disrespectful, I cannot reward you with a special evening out. Rewards are for children who are demonstrating good character, kindness, etc. Is that how it goes? Throw a toy, it gets taken away kind of stuff rather than do as I say or I will ________ (spank, time out, yell, etc.)
Some people do use what you're describing. I do, but I wouldn't call those times my proudest parenting moments. Children learn by example. Treating them with kindness, empathy, gentleness, and respect encourages those qualities. I don't believe punishment, or withholding rewards, does that. I don't believe offering rewards for good behavior is effective either. I hope that my dc will exhibit the virtues we believe because it feels natural and good to them, not because there's a gift in it.
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