Peace in learning...that's what my four year old prayed and asked God for over a month ago when it was brought to my attention that my method of getting the kids to behave was doing a lot more harm than good.
You see, about a month and a half ago, I would walk into my daughters' room instructing them to do something as simple as brush their teeth or clean their room and I'd notice that my youngest daughter
After about 4-7 days of seeing this, I realized that what I saw in her was 'fear'. I could not take that. I gathered them both together and asked if they were afraid. The youngest said, "yes because the last time you were so upset with us." At that point, we talked and talked. I told them that there shouldn't be any fear in our home and that we are a family and that we love each other. I told them that discipline is for learning and is a must, but fear is not apart of the equation.
So I grabbed their little hands and asked them to pray with me to ask God to help mommy to communicate with them better so that there is no fear in our home and family.
After I prayed (in an earnest and nearly desperate tone) not feeling any closure or complete-ness to the matter, I asked the youngest girl to pray (I rarely do this). We grabbed hands again, the three of us and she prayed one sentence that went like this: "God I ask you to help us to have peace in learning. Amen."
As soon as she was done, I knew that was it! I don't know how that sounds to you, but to me, it was music. It was as if the heavens opened up and the heavenly chorus began to sang hallelujah! I choked up some and looked into Chelsea's deep set dark eyes and said, "that's it Chelsea, that is it." "God answered our prayer through your prayer." She looked proud, elated, and a little confused all at the same time.
Here it is though. For us, we needed peace. It's kind of like The Sword in the Stone. I thought, with my much yelling and muscle strength, I could get the kids to behave and do what's right. However, the only fruit that I saw was fear manifesting in my girls' hearts. What I actually needed was to approach disciplining them from a peaceful perspective using far less muscle, so that they'd have peace even while being disciplined which simply means to teach. That's part of what a child needs. A peaceful atmosphere to learn and grown in.
Now, my husband and I believe in consequences for disobedience. So this is not your "talk to them and reason with them" speech although, we do do that. This was just what I believe God used to get through to me that yelling, in my home, was not necessary and not the way for me to discipline the girls.
Here's the take away of this post if that's what your are here for. Talk to the kids about discipline and how your yelling is not the best response but that disobedience is also unacceptable and that discipline is a must no matter what. Then, PRAY. Pray and ask God to help you. But don't do it alone, pull your kids in on it no matter their ages. They will see your sincerity in seeking God on this issue and realize that you are serious about making changes in this area. They will see how important it is to you. This will be just one more way for them to be eye-witnesses of your love for them.
What do you do when the heat is on? How do you handle these high pressure moments in your day with the kids? Leave a comment and feel free to leave a link so we can find your blog and comment as well.
Thanks for reading!
Steph --I would love it if you liked me on facebook!