I have been amazed recently at the ungodly examples of discipline I have seen-slapping the child in the head, calling the child stupid and yelling at him. Then there are the parents who ignore their child’s behavior or try to rationalize with a 2 year old.
We went out to eat last night and a family was on the other side of the restaurant (thank you, Lord) with a small child who would not stop crying. His mother just sat there and listened to him whine and cry. His dad kept telling him he needed to be quiet and stop crying. The child wanted a toy and would not stop the whining and crying. Eventually the parents gave in and he got the toy. What lesson did he learn? When whining and crying don’t work-whine louder and longer!!
Where, oh, where, has discipline gone.
The best book I have ever read on child rearing is Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp. This book teaches that the goal of all discipline is to reach the child’s heart.
When a parent can reach the heart of their child, the child’s desire is then to obey. The child realizes the parents love him and desire his best. Reaching the heart of a child is done by proper discipline.
When a child disobeys the parent should deal with the disobedience immediately. The child should be dealt with in private. He should be reminded of his offense and made to understand how this is wrong. The parent should continue explaining to the child until he sees remorse. The child should then ask forgiveness and, if a punishment is to be meted out, the parent should inform the child of the punishment.
When discipline problems are dealt with in the proper manner there is no question of child abuse and the child is free to experience the joy of a happy heart.