How to Discipline your Child and Stay Heart-focused?

A question I often ask my clients when they feel overwhelmed with their child’s behaviour is, “Are you ready to change the way you discipline?”

If we keep doing the same thing – we will keep getting the same results.

Is your child growing in their inner strength and ability to do the right thing – regardless of the temptation to do something else!

How you discipline will have a huge impact on your relationship and on your child’s heart (what they believe, think, value, choose). It is an important parenting issue.

The this episode of Heart-focused Parenting podcast I look at the issue of Discipline from a heart-focused perspective. I feel that I am very honest here in what I believe about this topic and you may be surprised, you may be disappointed in me – but I hope that it makes you think and reflect on what you believe and why.

And… if you want to talk about this issue either from a practical perspective or from a belief perspective I am happy to do so – email me and let’s chat.

 

Check your Heart First

As I read this verse – in the context of the whole passage – I am reminded that we have been given a new way of living – and one aspect of that is because of our salvation we need not be anxious, we can give thanks, we can continue to pray and ask God to intervene, BUT God’s peace will be what rules our heart.

So as we focus on discipline – let us not parent out of fear – but out of this peace – a peace that God gives us; a peace we have because of our relationship with Jesus.

Let us parent from that place knowing that we have a new heart, which means we can act with love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – because Jesus has changed how we live.

We don’t need to control our child, we can lovingly and graciously help them.

We don’t need to fear our child’s choices, we can patiently and peacefully trust them to God’s care.

We still need to direct, guide, correct, redirect, and encourage our children – but we can do that as a rescued, redeemed, and restored person, living in the peace that God has brought to our heart.

Living this side of the cross has to change how we live – including how we parent.

 

Consider what Really Changes the Heart

Peter and I were talking about our memories of how our parents disciplined us. Regardless of knowing our parents spanked us, we can both say that the thing that made a difference was the things that our parents said to us, and our connection with our parents.

Punishments don’t work. Or rather – they don’t work long term and they certainly don’t change the heart.

This is why I don’t use (or teach) punishment based discipline. Instead I focus on

  • Connection (relationship)
  • Teaching what is right, why it is right and how to do right
  • Personal accountability

Unless our children are made to think about their choices, think about moral values/virtues, and see the implications of their choices – they aren’t able to make changes.

Listen to the podcast on discipline to understand more about a heart-focused approach to discipline.

I don't think Discipline means what you think it means...

Remember, the purpose of discipoline is to help our child create the inner determination to do the right thing – and to learn the skills to be able to do so.

If you are going around and around on the same issue then the chances are your child does not value the same virtues you value, or they don’thave the skills to be able to choose to do the right thing.

Punishing them won’t help.

4 keys that will help you switch to a heart-focused approach

  • Respect – you show yourself respect by responding in ways that are consistent with your moral values
  • Teaching – We need to teach our children what is right, why it is right and how to do right in every situation they face.
  • Heart-time – This is where a child is removed from enjoying activities so they can reflect on what is going on in their heart (what they believe, think, value, feel and choose).
  • Natural consequences – Our children need to learn that when they make a choice, things happen – and they are responsible for dealing with the implications of their choices.

How do you define discipline – and does it help you reach your parenting purposes?

If you want to think more about this topic listen to episode #78 How to Discipline your Child and Stay Heart-focused.

What you believe about Discipline shapes your Actions

If you want to grow in your parenting you have to start thinking about what you are doing and why. Discipline is a big issue for parents – we see it as so important and yet it is so often the thing that we just copy what others are doing, or what was done when we were growing up.⁠

We have to be thinking parents.⁠

Does your discipline practices help you reach your child’s heart? Or do they just change the child’s behaviour?⁠

Listen to this definition – and think about it – maybe listen again. ⁠

Discipline is a heart thing – and yet so often our discipline practices affects only the external behaviour.⁠

Something to think about. And if you haven’t had a listen to this episode do so this week, because it will help you understand discipline from a heart focus not a behaviour focus. ⁠

I’d love to see you share this on your stories – take a screenshot of you listening, share it along with your key takeaway, and tag me so I can say hello!⁠

Extra support is available

Whether you desire to change your own habits, your family culture or how your children are behaving, coaching will provide you with ideas, support and accountability. My approach is to focus on your values and to clarify the steps necessary so you can eventually see those values lived out in the life of your family. Working with a coach is an effective way to move forward in your family life.

Keep Learning…

How to make Training a Part of your Heart-focused Parenting: Christian parents are told to train up a child in the way he should go but what does it mean to train?

 

Parents, Step up and Establish Safe Boundaries for your Kids: Parents need to set boundaries to keep their children safe and to help them grow up.

 

How to Respond when your Child makes a Bad ChoiceWhen our child makes a bad choice parents must respond with love, compassion and wisdom instead of being upset at their behaviour.

 

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