Monday, April 6, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 12

Welcome to the last chapter of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s “Don’t Make Me Count To Three!”   Reading this book has been very beneficial to me, and I hope that you feel it has been a good use of your time as well.

I liked that Ginger included a few occasions that would not merit discipline.  I had to check myself the other day for almost spanking Grace for childish behavior.  She was in the tub and playing with a few bath toys.  She put a big cup on the side of the tub and proceeded to fill it to the top with water before accidentally knocking it over the side and spilling it all over the floor.  I’ll admit that it really irritated me, and I had an urge to discipline her for “making a mess.”  And then I realized that the urge to discipline her was about ME not wanting to clean it up…not about her disobeying me in some way.  So I took a deep breath and explained that she could pour water in her cup on the other side of the tub where it wouldn’t spill on the floor.  She played with it how I suggested, then she helped me wipe up the mess on the floor.  Now that I’ve laid the groundwork, if she does it again, that would be a cause for discipline.  Sometimes I just have to keep reminding myself that she’s only four years old and doesn’t have the same logic or fore-thinking as a grown-up!

And, although Ginger has covered this in previous chapters, she mentioned again that a parent should never discipline in anger.  It’s such an important message to share.  And, let’s face it, we’ve all done it!  It’s an easy trap to fall into that can have disastrous effects on our children. 

The guidelines for administering discipline were very helpful to me.  It has aided me in coming up with my own “game plan” for every time I must discipline.  And really, if I don’t complete my game plan, my job has not been done well.  Sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I’m tempted to leave out things like talking through and practicing what she could have done instead or praying to God and asking forgiveness.  Being complete and consistent regardless of my mood or busyness is a priority.

I thought that the idea of telling the child how many swats he/she will receive was a really good way to check the parent’s self-control along with preparing the child to accept the consequence.  I’ve started doing this with Grace, and I’ve found that it brings a calmness and acceptance to her heart. 

In closing, I was also glad that Ginger comforted any person who might be reading the book and realizing that they’ve “done it all wrong” so far with their children.  While it can often feel like an uphill battle, it is never too late to submit to biblical principles when raising kids.  Like Ginger’s testimony, God can use it for good!

Next week I will write my final post about the Appendix A, B, and C.  I want to thank you for reading my ramblings, and I hope that you will be encouraged in your parenting!  Although much of this book has shown me just how imperfect I am, I have taken great comfort in submitting to God’s plan and watching where it takes me on the great journey of parenting.  It’s the hardest, scariest, most confusing, and most rewarding job I’ve ever had!

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