Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And They Keep Growing Up...

My boys keep growing.  We will be celebrating Jacob's 8th birthday this week!  Jacob is in 2nd grade and loves sports and video games...or doing just about anything with his daddy.  It makes me proud how well he does in school, both in academics and behavior.  But at home it can be quite different...

Every new stage with Jacob is both exciting and a little bit scary since he is the oldest.  (By the time I get to Brady I feel like a pro!)  I'm learning that as a child grows up, discipline needs to change.  The puzzle is figuring out how.  A book I'm reading made a point that the goal of discipline should not be to merely control behavior, but to look deeper and shape the child's heart...the place where the behavior comes from.  I'm a little overwhelmed with that responsibility!  But I'm thankful I don't have to do it alone. 

We have used "grounding" as a punishment for a while now.  Sometimes I think it's effective, and other times I'm not sure because I keep seeing the same attitudes reappear.  Recently I heard of a new discipline technique that I'm going to test out.  The basic idea is to assign sentences.  The child is grounded until the assignment is completed, giving them control of the length of their punishment.  So if a child talks back, you could assign him "I will not talk back to my mother" 25 times....which can increase if he complains about the assignment.  But my idea is to assign Scripture that relates to the bad behavior or attitude.  As the child writes, he will be memorizing God's Word at the same time.  For example, Ephesians 4:29 which says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." I need to do some searching and come up with a list of Scriptures that would be appropriate. 

And so I ask for input.  Have you ever tried anything like this with your children?  Do you think it would cultivate a love and respect for God's Word, or have the opposite effect?  And are there any specific Scriptures you have as suggestions?

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