Monday, May 25, 2009
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
It's been over 4 and half years since I started this motherhood journey, it's taught me so much. Every day, somedays every hour, I'm reminded how little I really know. One of my greatest areas of growth has been discipline. I know that I've only just started on my way down this path, it's been painful and humbling, but very rewarding.
I am not a perfect parent, don't ever think that I am anywhere near having it all together. I am learning as I go. God is teaching me about Himself, the perfect parent, that His correction is gentle, His love is boundless and His forgiveness is immediate and endless. He disciplines out of love, not anger. He is patient, not frustrated.
Disciplining our children is hard and time consuming. It takes alot of energy, and diligence, but it is oh, so worth it. It's moments like these that reassure me that it works.
After Jenna's first trek up the steps, I dusted off the baby gates and locked them in place. I hate baby gates. They are such a hassle and pull the paint off the walls. A week after climbing the gate every time I had to run up and down the stairs or make a trip downstairs in the middle of the night, I was fed up. My shins were bruised and my toes had all been stubbed.
I kept trying to convince myself it was worth Jenna's safety, but then I started worrying about Bethany and Joseph's safety. They were climbing over the gate all day long and I was afraid it was going to fall over with one of them, sending them down the lower two steps.
To every one's liking, especially Jenna's, I eventually took the gate down.
Since then, Jenna's has been learning what no means. At first, I'd tell her no when she headed for the stairs. When she continued I'd retrieve her and try to distract her with something else. I think this might have worked 10% of the time. A couple days later, I continued telling her no, but would give her a light swat when she disregarded my instruction, which was every time she went for the steps. Soon, she started looking for me when she climbed up the bottom step, I'd tell her no, and she would continue. I'd make my way over to her and she would put her hand over her upper thigh knowing what was coming.
About the forth day, I reminded Joe that he needed to be treating her the same, because she knew she could get away with it when he was watching her. Many times, we went over and over the same routine repeatedly.
Finally, about the 6th day, she was standing on the second step looking at me, I said, "NO, Jenna. Come down the steps or Mommy will spank." She thought and thought and suddenly, started backing down the steps. When she got to the bottom I clapped and said, "YAY JENNA!!"
Since then, she will go over to the steps several times a day, stand there and look at me like, "See me? Are you gonna tell me no?" I will say, "No Jenna, Mommy will spank." and she looks at me like, "Hummm, let me think about it." Then she will slowly back down the step and sit on the floor. Immediately, a big smile crosses her face and she looks at me and starts clapping like, "Go ahead, tell me what a good girl I am!!" It's become a game and she loves the attention and praise.