We had class two of the series I'm taking, and this one really clarified a few things for me. The main point of the class was the concept of discipline. When we think about discipline, we think about the things we do to correct the actions of our children.
We think about the time out chair.
We think about the spanking.
We think about all the things that we do to our children to correct their behavior. But why do we do any of it?
The thing I learned from this lesson was that the most important thing we can teach our children is the art of SELF- discipline. Why do we give them a time out- so they remember that what they are doing is not the right thing. But what's behind that? The idea that the next time they think about doing what they just did, they will remember the punishment and not do it.
What's the end goal of it all- Self discipline. The ability to do the thing they should do, even when they don't want to. The ability to NOT do what they shouldn't do, even if they do want to. The ability to do the right thing, and refuse their 'baser' instincts.
We give our children rewards to help them understand that they are capable of overcoming their instincts. We punish our children to help them understand that they are better than what they think they are capable of.
How can we teach self-discipline? By modeling it ourselves. When it's time to do the dishes- do the dishes without complaint. When it's time to go to work, model the good behavior we want from our children and go to work with a smile. Doing the things we don't want to do because we need to do them.
So, when you next think about the things you want to teach your children and the values you want to instill in them- think Self Discipline. Think that the reward for going on the potty is the point where she learns that she can. Think that the time out is the moment when she realizes that she doesn't have to be.
Just read this definition of discipline and think about this definition: "training that develops self-control or character."
Give your child the gift of good character and self-control.