Being the Bad Guy is Not Fun: Parenting

Have you reprimanded your son or daughter from playing video games all night or stopped them from going to an overnight sleepover at a friend’s house when “everybody was going”? I’m sure you have. What did your children do? Maybe some form of a  tantrum ensued. All parents know that when we see our children suffer we feel the pain a hundred times over. Restrictions, regulations, and discipline should be a part of how you raise your children. No matter how tiresome or painful it might become. Being the bad guy is not fun, but as a parent sometimes it is necessary.

There’s a great point stressed in the blog post Someday You’ll Thank Me:

“No matter the age of our kids, they need us to make decisions in their best interest. They need the wisdom and perspective that our longer lives and increased experience bring. They need us to offer advice, make rules, and keep them from harm. They need us to be their parents, not their friends — even if the thanks for those decisions never comes. “

I do believe that appreciation will come, when your children grows older, they will realize how thankful they are because you have helped made them a better person. Being the bad guy is not fun, but feeling that gratitude when your child has grown up and realized these things is rewarding.

I Prefer Loving and Gentle Discipline

I was brought to tears reading this Letter from a Teenage Son to her mom about how he felt about him being spanked as a kid and how her mom having realized it was a mistake no longer does the same to her younger siblings. Personally I prefer loving and gentle discipline as a parent. Although a little hurt, the son had these beautiful words for his mom, “you always forgive me, so I have forgiven you.”

Most traditional parents believe spanking as a necessary part of discipline. While they may certainly have their own reasons, I am firmly against providing discipline to a child through physical punishment. I believe that there are a lot of more effective ways to guide and discipline a child than through corporal punishment. I prefer loving and gentle discipline, even though it isn’t always easy to do.

Let me share these facts from Ask Dr. Sears, the evidence against spanking is overwhelming. Hundreds of studies all come to the same conclusions:

1. The more physical punishment a child receives, the more aggressive he or she will become.

2. The more children are spanked, the more likely they will be abusive toward their own children.

3. Spanking plants seeds for later violent behavior.

4. Spanking doesn’t work.

Disciplining Children Without Feeling Guilty

Discipline is probably one of the hardest parts of raising a child; nevertheless, it is a responsibility that we cannot evade. Although each parent knows how important discipline is and we have our own ways of imposing it, a lot of us actually experience a sense of guilt every time we are prompted to punish our kids. Many parents end up telling themselves, “I was too harsh” or “What I did was not right.”

Although these little emotions of remorse may seem harmless, they have been proven to actually get in the way of you effectively teaching your child. Fortunately, when your child makes mistakes or behaves in an inappropriate manner, you can find gentle, kind methods of disciplining your children that won’t leave you feeling guilty.

If you need some ideas to get you started, you could certainly get some great ones in this post: Guilt-Free Discipline. I have personally found the disciplining methods to be very realistic and helpful.

Parenting Tip: Be Loving in Your Disciplinary Actions

Disciplining our children is very important. Although all of us have our own approaches to discipline, we all are in agreement that it is something that our children need. While there is certainly no shortage of discipline advice out there, a lot of parents often forget about the basic premise of positive discipline– to discipline with love.

It is often difficult for parents to give our children the discipline they need and still make them feel that they are loved. It is clear to most parents that discipline is an act of curtailing wrong behavior; however, a lot of parents forget that the act of correcting a child must be done in a loving way. Most of the time, love is overcome by other emotions such as anger, annoyance, frustration or impatience.

Discipline should not be hurtful, embarrassing, and injurious to a child’s sense of worth. Instead, it should be enlightening,  educational, and refining.

This post, Loving Correction where a mother realizes the impact of love when combined with discipline, inspired me to write this entry today.

Child Discipline According To The Bible

Disciplining children is one of the most important and most difficult responsibilities of parents. And although a lot of research has already been done on the subject, there is still a great deal of controversy about the appropriate ways to impose discipline upon children. The mounting advice from various sources has, in fact confused a lot of parents on how they could really effectively set limits on their children.

Although I have found some parenting advice on discipline to be helpful, my principles on the matter are still based on what the Bible teaches. I try to take inspiration from God’s principles of discipline, which can be found all over the Scriptures. I also turn to the book of Proverbs as it contains plentiful wisdom regarding child-rearing.

One of these days, I will try to put out a more detailed post on this subject; but as of the moment, let me point you to this wonderful read: Discipline or abuse: The choice between judgment and grace.


Discipline and Consistency: Why Your Child Needs You to Be Consistent

When is comes to laying down discipline with children, parents always have very different styles. Some parents can’t handle being the “bad guy”, while is doesn’t really phase others. No matter what styles exist in your family, you can be sure of one thing. Children need structure and normalcy in all aspects of their lives, and this includes discipline.

A post from Playground Dad titled, “Strategies for Different Discipline Styles”, explains this concept quite well. For a children to learn from their mistakes, it is best to be consistent with your punishment. This might mean that one parent gets to lay down the law their way. If there are discrepancies that is something that the two parents should take up in private because arguing in front of the children shows inconsistency and weakness.

Who handles the discipline process in your family? What methods do you use?