Friday, January 9, 2009

Value of Consistency

The other day at the store, I let Grace walk beside me instead of making her ride in the cart.  She’s getting older now, and she does a pretty good job of keeping up with me. 

However, she didn’t obey on our last trip.  She kept running to the next aisle and not coming right when I called her.  I caught up with her and in a quiet voice told her, “Grace, you are not obeying me in the store.  When we get to the car, you will get a spanking.  And until then, you must ride in the cart.”

I fully expected a negative reaction, at least a little pouting.  Instead she gave me a huge smile and said, “Okay!”  She rode sweetly in the cart and when we checked out, she proudly told the cashier (and everyone in line behind us) that, “Mama is going to give me a spanking when we get to the car!  Because I didn’t obey her!”  I heard nervous laughter behind me while the cashier looked me up and down.   As I was loading bags in the cart, Grace added, “Don’t forget, Mama!  You need to give me a spanking.”

I had visions of people following me to the car, taking pictures of me with their cell phone, reporting me to CPS, and watching myself on the 5:00 news.  However, all was quiet (except Grace) as I loaded the car.  We talked about what she had done wrong, I spanked her, and we prayed.  She sweetly accepted correction and had a good attitude all the way home. 

I honestly believe that on some level, kids crave discipline and order.  It helps them feel safe and know what to expect.  Kids that are lovingly disciplined are happier.  Todd and I have often noticed (in amazement) how happy Grace is after being spanked.  Her whole attitude can change from one of fussy disobedience to a joy to be around.

When parents ignore negative behaviors and let things slide, it is confusing to a child.  Especially when the parent explodes after letting frustration build inside over the misbehavior.  The child lives in a state of apprehension and fear, wondering when (and how) mom or dad is going to react to their behavior.

I am constantly praying for my own consistency when disciplining Grace.  Even when I am busy, or in public, or just don’t feel like dealing with it, I pray that I will remember the value of timely (and loving) discipline. 

1 comment:

breezyneon said...

What a delightful post and great example how to teach your child. I had to giggle tho when I read what Grace said to the cashiers. I would have worried about the CPS also, but you were consistent with your words. Discipline and boundaries make children know they are loved and protected when parents do it in a loving way.

Great job!!!