My mother raised her two children alone. The frustration she felt to provide and care for us caused her at times to be stern and impatient. She was authoritative in her discipline.

As a young mother and follower of Christ I knew there was a better, affirming, nurturing way to discipline my own four children. I knew that yelling, hitting, or pinching seemed abusive. Spanking? No. Disciplining? Yes! I did not want to repeat the cycle which marked my young life. Therefore, my husband and I agreed on how to discipline our children. We wanted to build a relationship which was positive and instructive. We agreed never to appear vindictive with any corrective technique that we applied.

We agreed on the following:

  • Set expectations for the children. Discuss the areas where discipline may occur.
  • Disobedience, dishonesty, disrespect will not be tolerated.
  • Enforce proper character builders and behavior with various Bible references.
  • Infringement of the agreed family rules warrants discipline.
  • Different forms of disobedience call for different forms of discipline.  For example, privileges withdrawn, extra chores, or a swat with a small rod/spoon/paddle.
  • Pray with the child.
  • Ideally, the act of discipline should be followed by affirming with a hug, using lots of doses of “I love you,” and closing in prayer.

Knowing the temperament of each child allowed us to discipline them as individuals and not in a “cookie cutter” approach.

Lastly, prayer was our biggest weapon. We fought to empower the children to know God and obey Him above all else.