Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Discipline is hard!

In the last few months we have had to start thinking about discipline. It really started when Lil was 10 or 11 months old I want to say (can't quite remember). She was messing with an electrical outlet cover (not to worry they ARE covered!) and I repeatedly said "no" sternly and redirected her. Yet time and time again she went back, smiled, and looked at me, waiting. That was our first experience with spanking. And she has not messed with the outlets since then. I wanted to make sure that on our first real time of testing I made an impression AND that outlets are a big no-no.

At Lil's age "time out" seems pointless because unless she's in a crib, I can't make her stay some place secluded, and she doesn't understand. Plus, I don't ever want her crib to be a bad place, so I hope to avoid using it for time out. (I know people differ on this stance. No judgment.) For discipline, we really need an immediate consequence. This may be a spank on the hand or bottom. Sometimes it just takes saying "no" and redirecting. Other times it's removing her from the situation. I don't always see immediate results, like I did with the outlets. But I hear consistency is key, so I am praying that by being consistent, she will learn.

Most recently Lilleigh has decided to lean over her high chair tray and shovel the food around with arms, flinging it off the sides of the tray onto the floor. And she's been spitting milk and yogurt out of her mouth. Lovely. Admittedly, I had to hold back laughter when she spit out the milk. It was truly hilarious - how do you not laugh?? But the throwing food on the floor was not okay. I told her "no" sternly, which did nothing but make her laugh. And the hand spank, again made her laugh. That's when I took her out of her high chair, pulled down her diaper, to spank her bottom. That sent the message. She has only gotten a bottom spanking a handful of times, but this was one of them. Still I worry about her getting hungry from not eating enough.

Last night we had a similar scenario and she was removed from her high chair. She didn't act hungry when I tried to feed her again, but she woke up three times last night! Brendon went in each time to put her back to bed. Since I am still nursing, I didn't want her to get any ideas. I am guessing she was hungry since she wouldn't eat. We are working on figuring this issue out.

So today I have been struggling with being worn out on the discipline front. I found a few verses that are sweet reminders of why discipline is so vital.

So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
What a great reminder that when I am weary, I am told we will reap the blessings of perseverance!
For the Lord disciplines those he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:12) 
 Oh how I do delight in Lilleigh! What all the more reason to continue on in discipline. We discipline out of love!
The one who spares his rod hates his child, but the one who loves his child is diligent in discipling him. (Proverbs 13:24)
Diligence is key!

And reading John 15 today, I am reminded that it is only when I abide in Christ that I can bear any fruit at all. Oh how thankful I am to have the Lord to walk this path with me!

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