The goal of discipline

Prov. 3:11-12: My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof, for whom the Lord loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights (NASU).

These verses show parents what their attitude should be as they discipline their children. Notice that God loves and delights in his children even as He corrects them. His discipline is not intended as harsh punishment, but as a loving act to encourage growth and maturity.

All of God's children disobey and yours will, too. Sometimes, however, we react in ways that are designed to meet our needs instead of recognizing the bigger purpose of our discipline. We can avoid being reactive if we come up with a game plan in advance. When you are calm, think of appropriate consequences for the ways your kids are likely to disobey. Recognize your weak areas (a tendency to rescue, lecture, or yell) and think of alternative ways you could respond. Discipline that is delivered calmly, consistently, and empathetically will be less likely to receive a rebellious response.

Discipline helps kids grow when it is delivered with empathy and love.



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