I was reading tonight in Proberbs 29:15 "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." When this scripture talks about rod and reproof I don't think it's meant to be indicating any type of beating (which I think we all know) but I focused on the child left to himself part. It seems that we are here as mothers to be instructors for their welfare to help them learn right from wrong- or merely remind them as I believe it is innate in all of us and just needs to be cultivated.
I thought about the same quote by Joseph Smith(?) to "teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." I also thought about the quote to, "reprove at times with sharpness them showing an increase in love."
I read that the role of disciplinarian comes from the root word of disciple which is to follow. My thoughts are right now that we are suppose to help our children understand consequences of choices. The Savior taught with love and gentle persuasion vs. coersion or forcing. However he did show/express when he was displeased with something. I guess i'm saying that I do think it's OK to set limits and expectations, that it's better to do so than to just let a child run loose expecting that he'll/she'll figure it out for themselves. I think it's much better to help the child learn to want to follow the rule not b/c you said so though but b/c they understand that it's in their best interest. But I understand that it takes time...at 18 mo.s I think I have to pick my battles (no hitting, throwing hard objects
) and try to stay out of power struggles while still setting expectations, whew- it's a hard job.
Oh, one other thing...there was a talk given by President Hinckley several years ago (and he's since repeated his analogy in other talks) of a tree that was beside his house that grew up sideways b/c he had neglected to put the little tie on it when it was younger to help it stand against the canyon winds. He had to chop off half the tree when it was older and he thought of how he could have saved the tree so much pain and ugly scarring if he had just put a little tether around it while it was younger vs. not being able to do much after it had grown in it's own way when it was older. Maybe this could help our discussion?
Last thing: I found this article under "discipline" at http://library.lds.org
I thought it was helpful
"The long, cold winter in upstate New York had begun to take its toll on everyone’s nerves. We had been practically confined to the house for five months. One day, our eleven-year-old son, Taylor, decided to use the living room as a basketball court, and in the process broke every branch of our struggling Boston fern.
Faced with the dilemma, his mother could follow the natural inclination to hide the basketball for two weeks, send Taylor to his room for the evening, and broadcast our displeasure. Or she could discuss with him the consequences of disobeying a family rule and arrange for him to replace the plant. The contrast in approaches is the difference between punishment and discipline.
Punishment calls for “retributive suffering.” But discipline is “training that corrects, molds, or perfects.” Punishment is directed at the child himself. Discipline is directed more at the objectionable behavior of the child; it is something we do for our children, not to them."
edited for quotes