Lovingly Firm and Fair

Life can be hectic and chaotic in these days and times.  Sometimes I’m glad I was fortunate enough to grow up when life was cleaner, leaner, and a whole lot less complicated. I suppose people wish that for themselves even today.  But we’ve got our work cut out for us, since we’ve been whiplashed into a very dysfunctional society.  One that doesn’t spare us any of its punches.  Negative forces erupt all around us and even the thought of negative consequences doesn’t do much to impede or eliminate the behaviors.  And we are in the midst of it.  We’ve all become victims of it in one way or another and its made us second guess ourselves.  Especially when we consider the source of the dysfunction might be the lack of appropriate discipline during the formative years.

Our ability to discipline affectively is probably a top priority for all parents everywhere, especially from the moment of knowing that our own techniques have a direct impact on how our children evolve as adults.  So many theories, behavioral strategies, generational influences, and simple lack of knowledge and skill have promoted parenting insecurities and paranoia.  Even the fear of implementing the wrong strategies can plague our ability to discipline.

The entities that determine appropriate discipline never announce the code for good parenting until we’ve made a mistake.  And then it is to criticize and penalize that mistake.  We’ve made discipline a complicated multifaceted act of labor. But if we just think for a second what we ourselves would respond to as a child under disciplinary circumstances, it just might make our responsibility to fulfill this task a great deal easier.  When I reflect on that a fitting phrase comes to the front….’lovingly firm and fair with language that makes them aware’.   Seems pretty simple doesn’t it?

When we make the responsible decision to parent, we already know our role as adults will change. (Blog: The Parent Part – Family Bonding Books)  We will have to make adjustments in our life.  We will need to teach our children the right way to behave; for our sake and especially theirs.  For every ‘walk’ in life we will need to teach the behaviors we expect of our children.  They cannot read our minds and they are newer to all this than we are.  We must spend the time necessary to impart our expectations.  We must communicate with them before, during, and after every setting and praise them for a job well done.  Along with that praise should come a hug to demonstrate approval.

It begins with babe in arms the first time you witness inappropriate behavior.  We must lovingly denounce the behavior with a firmness that is receptive; no need to raise the voice or make a display.  By acquiring a firm non-threatening manner you will have allowed your voice to be heard and your point to be made.  A skill you will want them to learn later.  It will allow them an opportunity to create an understanding for your concern and become accustomed to what you expect of them.

Many situations will bring a challenge to your resolve, but with  a measure of some consistency you will have perfected a tool that is highly effective.   A look into the future might help us foresee a land of people that were given the right love, attention, and foundation for life-hood.

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