Monday, July 1, 2013

Every Discipline Deserves a Hug

I admit I am not the best at disciplining. I sometimes feel like it's the bain of my existence. When you have kids it's a constant and unpleasant job. Nevertheless it is important. As my daughter was standing in the kitchen, tears running down her face, anger crinkling her cute nose, and poision coming from her sweet mouth I was at a loss. Do I yell, lighten the punishment, make the punishment more severe, or simply hold my position.

To appease curiousity I will tell you what this was all about. Bedtime. I don't know why kids don't like going to bed. Personally it is my favorite time of the day. Sometimes I barely make it to my bed before I collapse. So why do I have to threaten my children every night? My Ella is a good girl who Loves to read, especially at bed time.  I also love to read and love for her to read but not at the expense of her health. She would stay up all night reading and that is not an exageration. She tries to convince me that she should be able to read, because in her words, "reading is not bad and makes you smarter." To this I say, "balance in all things, go to bed., or you have to go to bed 1 minute earlier tomorrow for every minute you stay up past your bed time." You are now officially cought up in our story.

Back to our scene in the kitchen. That was the moment I reminded Ella she had to go to bed an hour early because she stayed up an hour past lights out the night before. She was livid. I knew things were only going to escalate unless I did something drastic. I grabbed her, pulled her in, and gave her a bear hug. I had no idea how she would respond but it was the best I could come up with, and it worked. Thank heavens! Her anger melted away in my arms and she hugged me back. We just stood there for a moment. I told her I loved her, then let her know we were sticking with the consequence and that she needed to go to bed. She was still very unpleased about the discipline but she was calm, she went to bed, and she knew I loved her.

Not all of our disciplines end up this way. Sometimes they're better and somtimes way worse, but I am a firm believer that if every discipline involves a heart felt hug, both parent and child will be happier and will feel more love for each other. If you can't squeeze the hug in the middle because emotions are high wait until you or your children are calm but don't forget the hug and the 'I love you.' It makes all the difference.

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