I was humbled last night. I don’t know whether to make this post a family post because it had to do with my relationship with my kids or to make it about our individual spiritual lives because it taught me about my relationship with God. I’ll just tell you the story and let you draw your own conclusions.
Alright, I’m struggling as a dad. I have some big questions. So I thought I’d just throw out what I’m thinking and get some discussion going. Hopefully, we can come up with an answer together.
I understand that my job is to discipline my children. I am to train them up so they can be productive parts of God’s kingdom and man’s society. Part of that means using the rod. At the same time, I’ve learned that the mere threat of the rod doesn’t necessarily produce great behavior in my children. In some cases, it simply helps them get really good at being secretive and avoiding detection.
There have been some times where something has happened, we have no idea which child did it. We threaten and cajole and don’t get any closer. I know some suggest simply punishing them all, but I keep going back to treating others the way I want to be treated. I don’t want to be punished for something I didn’t do just because the one who did it won’t fess up. On some occasions, we finally got to a point of saying, “Look, somebody here has lied. We know what lying can do to your heart. We know the guilt and shame it can produce and we don’t want you to live with that for the rest of your life. When whoever the guilty party is has had enough of the guilt and shame, come talk to us. We won’t punish you, we just want to help you overcome this sin.”
In most cases, the guilty party eventually comes clean with us in a private setting. We have a good talk. I think the child was helped.
For a time, I wondered, “Hmm, does punishment not really work? Is that hindering my kids from being honest with me? Should I remove the threat of punishment?” But I can’t square that with the Bible. Obviously the Bible talks about parents disciplining and punishing their children.
Then I got to thinking about how God deals with me. I saw four things and I’m trying to figure out how to bring them into my parenting with consistency and wondering if I’m even on the right track. Here is what I saw.
- When I’m caught in impenitent rebellion and dishonesty, God punishes.
- When I come to God to penitently confess my sins, God forgives and shows mercy. He doesn’t punish.
- Whether I’m in impenitent rebellion or penitently confessing, God lets me face the natural consequences of my action.
- When I penitently confess my sins, God teaches and provides boundaries to overcome the sin in the future, pruning and disciplining me.
So, here are my questions for you.
- Are the above four points accurate? Is that how God really deals with us?
- If they are accurate, how do we implement the same strategy in our parenting?
- When should we punish? When should we show mercy?
In other words, if my child confesses before getting caught, is there never any punishment? How do you distinguish between punishment, discipline, and natural consequences? You tell me.
Thanks ahead of time for letting me know what you think.
And remember, God’s way really does work for our families.
Regrettably, ABC won’t let this video be embedded (I’m still wondering when these folks are going to get with the program and recognize allowing this stuff to be passed on only helps them). Anyway, check out the video at the following YouTube link.
Then, let’s talk about it.
Helicopter parenting: What do you think?
Today’s Bible reading over at giveattentiontoreading.com really hit me about how I deal with my family.
The verse that really got me was Hebrews 5:2, “He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.” The Hebrew writer was talking about the Old Covenant priests who had to offer sacrifices for themselves as well as for the people. They could deal gently with others because they recognize their own weaknesses.
That hit me regarding my preaching and relationships with brethren. But it also made me think about my wife and kids. It really struck me that usually I’m most harsh with my wife and kids if they are making a mistake I have made. I think in some ways I can get really harsh because I can trick myself into thinking I’m better than I am. If I come down really hard on them about the issue that means I’m not soft on the issue with them and really I have a good handle on it. I can make myself feel better than them by really letting them have it.
Interestingly, the Bible says my own weaknesses should have the exact opposite affect. Instead of my weaknesses making me more harsh with my family, they ought to help me address my family with gentleness.
This is especially true with my children. How often I see them make my mistakes and out of the noble desire to protect them from the consequences I’ve had to face I start getting mean, harsh, controlling, and even manipulative. In my mind, it is about protecting and preserving them. That seems noble enough. One of the things I’m learning is that when I’m mean, harsh, or controlling, I usually just push my kids to keep making the same mistakes. When I approach them with gentleness, recognizing my own weaknesses, even leading with my weaknesses, that seems to help them a whole lot more.
I’m making a personal commitment today. Before I start getting on to my kids for anything, I want to first think about my own weaknesses. I want to remember that I am beset with weakness. That way, when I deal with their weaknesses, I can do so with the proper spirit.
Have a great week and remember that God’s way works with our families.
As is often the case after I spend a week with parents I think are doing a better job than me, I have loaded up on parental encouragement in the form of books. Thank you Half Price Bookstore. I’ve come across one that I think is going to revolutionize my thinking about my job as Dad and my expectations of my children.
The book is Rite of Passage Parenting: Four Essential Experiences to Equip Your Kids for Life* by Walker Moore. Our job as parents is to bring up our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Bring them up, that is, lead them to maturity and adulthood. Moore suggests our American culture has lost four essentials to help bring our children up to that maturity.
- Rite of Passage
- Significant Tasks
- Logical Consequences
- Grace Deposits
I haven’t finished the book yet, but I’ve read enough to be excited about its promise and if the book falls flat in delivering good advice the mere concept has opened my eyes to a better way to work with my kids. Sometimes I think he is over the top with his satirical humor (perhaps the result of working as a youth minister–one can tend to forget that in writing a book for parents he no longer has to shoot from the hip with excessive humor). Additionally, some of his illustrations fall flat for me because of the difference in perspective on things like prom. However, I’m getting a great deal out of this book and I look forward to telling you all about it when I’m finished.
Today, I thought I would simply throw out the concept and leave you with a passage from the book to whet your appetite.
Walton’s Mountain Revisited
While I was growing up, my parents used to make us sit through (back then, it seemed more like “suffer through”) a television show called The Waltons. Each week the show reached us throug the vision and voice of John-Boy, the eldest son of John and Olivia Walton. John-Boy worked with his dad on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains and helped him run the sawmill.
Today, this show might be considered politically incorrect. For instance, John and Olivia actually expected John-Boy to work–planting corn, feeding livestock, and chopping wood. He and his six siblings had to do their chores in order for the family to survive. You would never hear his dad say, “You know what? We ought to let our kids be kids. They’ll grow up soon enough.”
If The Waltons had been written about our modern-day family, the show would look very different. First of all, no one would expect John-Boy to help his family. While his dad tried to keep the farm going, John-Boy would sit in his room, playing video games. His sole responsibilities would consist of making his bed and taking out the trash. He could only accomplish these tasks, of course, with tremendous whining, complaining, and snorting like a bull poised for attack.
If the contemporary John and Olivia ever dared to let John-Boy go outside, he would certainly have to be covered from head to toe in protective gear. Can you see our modern-day John-Boy coming out to chop wood? He would have a helmet–not just any old helmet, but one that had passed all the government safety ratings. He would don protective eyewear, elbow pads, and safety shoes with reinforced steel toes. His parents would make sure he had a rope tying the axe handle to his wrist. That way, if he let the ax slip, it wouldn’t go very far. It would have a safety shield covering its head so John-Boy wouldn’t accidentally cut himself. Of course, it would also come with a safety DVD so he could learn which end was sharp and how he should always keep it point away from his face. Finally, the ax would come shrink-wrapped in clear plastic–the kind that even a nuclear blast can’t break free.
I’m sure you get the idea of where this is going. I can’t wait to learn more about helping my children become adults. I’ll share with you what I learn as we’re going along.
*This post does contain affiliate links. Hey, I’m trying to help you with your parenting. Why don’t you help me with mine, click the link, buy a book, help my kids. Here’s another chance.
I had another great reminder the other day that my initial reaction to a situation may not be the right one. I need to press a pause button before I simply lay into one of my kids with a disciplinary measure.
Marita was rightly upset with Ethan. He had been disrespectful and disobedient. I was at the office when all this took place, but if I understand it correctly, Marita was in a hurry to gather the kids together to get to a doctor’s appointment for Tessa. They had all gone to what we call “book club.” It’s a homeschool group we’re part of in which the kids of different ages get to read books together and do different learning projects based on the books. Two of our neighbors host it. Marita, Tessa, and Ethan were at one house, Ryan was at the neighbor’s house.
When it came time to go, they were leaving early, Marita sent Ethan to get Ryan from the other house. Ethan pitched a fit, acted rebelliously, caused a scene, and had various other problems. Let’s face it, I don’t care what the reason is behind this, this behavior is wrong. Discipline needs to take place. My problem is I often simply jump to the discipline without trying to figure out what is really going on. Because I don’t figure out what is really going on, the discipline doesn’t actually work. It just produces bitterness.
I guess on this day, God was doing for me what I can’t do for myself. When Marita told me what happened and asked me to deal with Ethan, instead of getting wrapped up in embarrassment that he had this scene in front of other people, I stepped back and wondered why my normally obedient son pitched this major fit. So, before disciplining I asked him, “What was that about? Why did you do that?”
The reason is he knew they were in a hurry and he had wanted to drop by our house to get a book to take with them to the doctor so he wouldn’t be bored. He thought if he took the time to go get Ryan, he wouldn’t have time to go to the house. So, he was afraid and angry. He expressed that fear and anger with a fit.
Please understand this. I’m not going all Dr. Spock on you. We don’t need to look at this situation and say, “Oh, Ethan was just expressing himself. That’s okay.” He was expressing himself incorrectly and inappropriately and that cannot be allowed to continue. However, if all I had done was say, “You’re not allowed to act like that,” and spanked or grounded him, we wouldn’t have actually dealt with the real issue. The real issue is he had some fear and some anger and he needed to learn how to express that. Even more so, he had a desire that he needed to learn how to express. If I had simply disciplined him for the improper behavior, all he would have learned is, “I don’t get to want things. I don’t get to tell people what I want or need. I’m not ever allowed to be upset about something. What’s going on inside me is wrong, bad, and unimportant.” In my experience, these are dangerous lessons to learn.
Instead, we were able to discuss the appropriate ways to talk to his mom (or me) about his needs and desires. We were able to discuss the appropriate ways to share what his fears and angers are. We have a plan in our family to deal with this event and Ethan had forgotten it. If we ever ask our children to do something and they believe they are aware of something we aren’t or they have an idea that might be different they are allowed to respectfully say, “May I please make an appeal?”
So, in this situation it would have sounded something like this:
Marita says, “It’s time to go. We’re in a hurry. Ethan, run up to the neighbor’s house and get Ryan.”
Ethan is upset because he thinks this means he won’t be able to get his book out of the house before they leave, so he’ll be bored, stuck in the doctor’s office with nothing to do. He responds, “Mom, I’d be happy to do that, but can I please make an appeal?”
“What is it, Ethan?”
“I really don’t want to be bored at the doctor so I wanted to get my book from home. Can I please run to the house and get my book and let Tessa go get Ryan?”
To which Marita would have responded, “Don’t worry, Ethan. Go get Ryan, we’re all going to stop at the house before we leave.”
Of course, Ethan is 10. The conversation wouldn’t have been perfectly like that and I don’t expect him to memorize a catechism of proper responses to his parents. But it would have been a whole lot better than slamming doors, kicking things, yelling, and making a scene.
So, I was able to spend a few minutes with Ethan talking about how to respond in that kind of situation. I was able to talk to him about how to let his wants be known by talking about them instead of expressing them through manipulative displays of frustrated emotion. We were also able to talk about the fact that sometimes things don’t work out the way we want. It’s okay to be disappointed and upset, but it is not appropriate to take that out on people by rebellion, meanness, antagonism. He might make the appeal and Marita end up saying, “No.” In those moments, he needs to learn to express his emotion in productive, not destructive, ways.
This whole situation reminded me that before I simply respond to an action with a discipline. I need to back up and find out what is really going on. Otherwise, the discipline isn’t going to do any good. I did well that day. I’ve blown it multiple times since then. Today, I plan to be on top of my game. We’ll see.
I’ve heard some very frightening things as a parent. I’ve heard about statistics for teenage pregnancies, teenage drug-use, child molestation. I’ve seen shows about children being kidnapped. I’ve heard stories about children being hurt. But none of this even comes close to the most frightening thing I’ve ever heard as a parent.
Nope. One statement takes the cake. John Maxwell said it. I can’t remember what book or lesson it was in. I just know he’s the one I heard it from and I know it has stuck with me for a long time. It is really having a big impact on me today because yesterday Marita and I had to get onto all of our kids regarding how they were treating each other. I was listening to us as we especially tried to explain to Tessa how the way she acts influences others. When we were saying that, this one frightening statement hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’m sure it won’t scare some of you the way it frightens me, but I want to put it out there for you to think upon and grow wise.
Are you ready?
“We teach what we know, we reproduce what we are.”
AAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH! I wish I could run and hide. Here’s what I’ve taken from it. Before I can even remotely try to fix my kids, I’ve got to work on me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know I still have to step up and teach my kids what I know. But before I arrogantly wonder how on earth kids that behave like this came from me, I should spend a little more time looking at me honestly.
OOOPS! Two weeks ago I started a two part article on laying a foundation so our kids will know what to do when they messed up and totally forgot to post part 2 last Tuesday for the Springboard for Your Family. Sorry about that. I hope all of you who showed up last Tuesday for this second part will forgive me and accept today’s posting in penance.
4 More Keys to Lay a Foundation So Your Kids Will Know What To Do When They Mess Up
We’ve already learned that we aren’t going to raise the next Jesus. Our kids will not be perfect. If we keep training them in perfection, we are only going to increase their toxic shame when they come face to face with how imperfect they are. Instead, we need to lay a foundation for what to do when they realize how imperfect they are.
In the last installment of this series, we learned…
- Be emotionally, mentally, spiritually healthy yourself.
- Don’t discipline out of embarrassment.
- Share your own mistakes with your kids.
- Say you’re sorry and seek forgiveness when your mistakes were with your kids.
Here are 4 more keys.
5. Don’t lecture and browbeat.
I’m writing this point for me more than for you. This is my discipline method of choice when I’m just running in natural mode. My kids do something wrong and out comes the lecturer. I don’t know how many times Marita has had to say, “You just don’t know how you sound when you talk like that.”
This form of discipline says I’m going to harshly talk my way into your heart and browbeat you into submission on everything I say about this. It will brook no disagreements. It will allow no responses. It will simply keep hammering away at you until you are whimpering out a “Yes Sir.”
I’m certainly convinced that when I get into that mode, my point is correct. The problem is I’ve never gotten anyone to agree with me when I take that approach, especially not my children. Rather, what I do with each harsh statement, with each shaming name, with each verbal barrage is teach my kids to take their medicine and get to the “Yes Sir” so they can escape. They haven’t learned anything. They haven’t agreed. They haven’t change. I’ve simply vented my spleen on them, made them feel small, and sent them on their way.
There is certainly time for talking. But lecturing and browbeating doesn’t work very often. It may produce a momentary submission, but it doesn’t help the child know how to really deal with sin.
6. Let them know God can overcome sin when they can’t.
I remember one time with Tessa that I so wish I could take back. She was in trouble for mistreating her brother and she said, “I try, Dad, I really do. I just can’t seem to help myself.” Back then, in my spiritual immaturity, I said, “You can do it. You just don’t really want to. You need to try harder.” The problem was at the time I was telling myself that exact same thing about the sins I was trying to overcome and it wasn’t working for me. Why would I expect it to work for her? Sadly, this is the approach Christians take all too often with everything.
Since then I’ve learned that I can’t overcome my sins on my own (cf. Romans 7:14-25). But God can. If I’ll just turn my life over to Him completely, Jesus Christ will conquer my sins through me. That is the message I needed to convey and am now trying to convey to my kids. Tessa is absolutely right. She can’t overcome the sin that she has honed to a “nature of wrath.” But God can. God has promised to free her from that sin if she’ll simply turn her life over to Him every day.
Don’t simply tell your kids to try harder. Don’t simply tell them to choose better. Tell them to turn to God to overcome. Let them know God’s plan for forgiveness and victory over sin.
7. When they actually talk, let them do so without fear of reprisal.
I certainly struggle with this. I do believe that even when people admit what they did was wrong, sometimes there still needs to be disciplinary measures taken.
However, at the same time, our kids need to know they can come let us know what they did when they sinned. Trust me, if our kids think the only response they’ll get when they admit their sin to us is a lecture and a spanking, they are not likely to let us know what they did-even if they are scared, penitent, remorseful. They’ll either internalize it or they’ll go to their peers. As we said in part 1, they won’t get good help from their peers.
Our children need to know that we know they’ll make mistakes and when they come to us with penitence, we’ll forgive them and help them overcome.
Allow me to share one approach that has worked for us on occasion. When one of our children penitently admits to doing something wrong, we thank them for their honesty. Then we talk through why they sinned. We talk about the natural consequences of the sin. If this was a violation of a rule for which we believe discipline is necessary we then talk with them about what they think is a fair discipline considering what they did and where they are mentally and emotionally with the sin. I’ve been amazed how maturely our children handle the discipline even in these situations.
8. Always reaffirm your love for your children.
I don’t care what your children did or what kind of disciplinary measures you have had to take. Always reaffirm your love for your child. This is not a codependent spluttering apology because you are afraid your child won’t love you because of the discipline. If that is what you are doing, refer back to point one in the first article.
Your children need to know you love them. They don’t just need to hear that when they’ve done good things. They need to hear that all the time. They need to know you are proud of them all the time. They need to know you are glad they are in the family all the time.
When they say things that have shocked you, let them know you love them. When they have embarrassed you, let them know you love them. When they mess up big, let them know you love them. When they are behaving properly, let them know you love them.
Do not do this in an aren’t-you-lucky-I’m-so-loving way. Just let them know that you love them.
I certainly don’t think there is a fail-proof way to parent. All too often I get caught up in my own crazy making of wondering how my kids are going to turn out. Some days I think they’ll be wonderful. Other days I think I’m ruining them. However, I’m convinced they won’t be perfect. When they aren’t, they need to know they can come to me and find the help and support they need to overcome.
Last Tuesday, we learned there was only one Jesus and our kids aren’t Him. Every single one of our kids is going to grow up to sin, just like us. We won’t stop that. We need to quit making the attempt because it only puts undue pressure on us and our kids. Don’t read that to say we should quit trying to influence our kids for good. I’m simply saying we should quit trying to train our kids to be perfect and instead lay a foundation with them to know what to do when they are not.
I’d like to share 8 keys I believe will help you lay that foundation. By the way, these aren’t the 8 things we do in our home and wish you would do. These are things I’m trying to work on so I can be better in my home. I hope they help you. I’ll give the first four today and next Tuesday we’ll finish up with the others.
1. Be emotionally, spiritually, mentally healthy yourself.
If you’ve got emotional, mental, or spiritual imbalance, you’ll pass that on to your kids. If I’m compulsive about what others think, I’m going to inappropriately discipline my children when I think they make others look down on me. If I’ve filled with pride, I’m going to incorrectly discipline my children when they make me look bad. If I have codependency issues, I won’t discipline my kids properly when they need, fearing that they’ll abandon me. Of course, then when they push me over the edge, I’ll go over the top and they might just abandon me.
Before I even try to discipline my children, I need to be working on cleaning up my side of the street, working on my issues.
2. Don’t discipline your children out of embarrassment.
I’ve heard people say repeatedly you should never discipline your children when you’re angry. I’m not sure I agree. I think when children rebel, it should cause a healthy anger. I don’t think you have to wait until you are no longer angry to provide an appropriate discipline. I think it is possible if you have a healthy anger to still discipline them appropriately. Surely, if your anger has you out of control, wait until you can see clearly to administer discipline.
However, you should never discipline because you are embarrassed. We need to remember that discipline is intended to help our children grow to maturity. It is not a chance for us to vent our embarrassment. Like that time when Ryan was 4 or 5 and saw a man who had some deformity. He said, loudly, “Mom, that man has a hole in his head.” An embarrassed parent might yank the child up from by his arm, take him to the car, and whip him and he never even know what he’s being disciplined for. Granted, in that situation we all know he didn’t do anything wrong. He was just curious and curiosity is not wrong.
Even when the child does do something wrong, more often than not overboard discipline comes from embarrassment. After all, we want everyone to think we are the best parents ever. They’ll only think that if our kids never, ever do anything wrong. Therefore, our discipline is often from a point of embarrassment and not from a point of helping them learn and grow. Junior says a cuss word and we are suddenly worried the whole world thinks we are rotten parents. We give them a spanking that they’ll never forget. Or perhaps little 8-year-old Suzy wet her pants in front of some other parents. Or maybe little Bobby back talks a teacher.
Before you discipline ask yourself, “Am I doing this because I’m embarrassed? Or am I doing this because this is what will help my child grow?”
3. Share your own mistakes with your children.
We are so afraid to let our kids know we were anything less than perfect. We fear if we let them know all the wrong things we did it will be giving them tacit permission to do them too. That really isn’t the case. Oh, I’m sure some children will pull that defensive maneuver when they are trying to get out of some discipline. However, the benefits far outweigh that little difficulty.
The benefits are when your children know you weren’t perfect, they are much more likely to talk to you when they’ve messed up. If they think you were perfect, they’ll think you can’t possibly understand why they made a mistake. They won’t come to you for help. They won’t come to you for forgiveness. Instead, they’ll turn to others. They’ll turn to peers. Be assured, they are not likely to get great advice for overcoming mistakes from their peers.
Not to mention, when your children think you are perfect, that just increased their toxic shame all the more. When they know you messed up, they’ll be able to see that mistakes are normal and can be overcome. They can grow up to be a decent person even though they committed some sin. They can go to heaven even though they screwed up royally.
I don’t know how many times I’ve spent 10 or 15 minutes letting my kids have it for something they did or didn’t do or some way they have acted only to remember at the close of it that I did the exact same thing as a child. I don’t know how many lectures I’ve given my son about being lazy. When I’m done, I remember, “Oh yeah, I got those same lectures. They didn’t help me very much. Wonder why I think they’ll help him.” The whole thing would probably be better if I let him know I understand how he feels, share with him the consequences, and then work with him to come up with an action plan to overcome.
4. Say you’re sorry and seek forgiveness when you’ve wronged your kids.
Tied in with sharing your mistakes with your kids is telling your children you’re sorry when your mistake was against them. Ask them to forgive you. Yes, you heard me. When you’ve wronged your children you need to ask their forgiveness.
Why? First, because you need their forgiveness. Second, because a rift has come in the relationship and they need to go through the process of forgiving you so that rift can heal. Third, because your children need to see you set the example about how to act when you’ve made a mistake or committed a sin. When they see this example, they learn that they can come to you in just the same way, saying they are sorry, and seeking forgiveness. Further, they’ll learn they can do that with God.
Here’s the heart of the matter, you think you can hide your wrong from your children, but you can’t. Your children will see you at your worst and they are smart enough to know when you’ve done wrong. If you carry on a pretense like you haven’t done wrong, they’ll only see hypocrisy. The usual response is not for kids to grow up and decide not to be hypocrites by always sharing their wrongs and overcoming them. No, usually their response is not to be a hypocrite by just not caring about what is right or wrong.
The best way to overcome this is to display what being a growing person is really all about. It is not about being perfect. It is about recognizing and repenting of our sins.
If you work on these four keys, you are well on your way to laying a foundation to prepare your children for how to deal with their own mistakes and sins. Trust me, that will be way better than leaving them shamed and broken because they realize they aren’t perfect.
Make sure you come back next week for four more keys to preparing your children to deal with their mistakes and sins.
A friend of mine tells a story on himself that I have to share with you. I won’t include any names in order to protect the innocent (and guilty). I’m just glad every once in a while I get to use someone else as an example instead of always having to use me.
Anyway, this good brother had taught his children not to take the Lord’s name in vain…ever. He had even taught against the popular euphemisms for the Lord’s name. He wanted his family to always accord the Lord the very highest respect.
How embarrassed and shocked he was when at a picnic he heard his young son hollering almost at the top of his lungs, “Oh my God!” The crime had been committed. The witnesses were everywhere. Punishment must be administered. He yanked up his son and paddled him on the spot. A moment later his wife approached and said, “Hon, he was singing the new song I taught him. You know the part that says ‘Oh my God, I trust in thee.’” As my friend shared the story, I could tell, he still felt small for that one. I felt small for him. I uttered a little prayer of thanksgiving that I’m not the only dad who blows it sometimes.
But the reason God let’s us make mistakes is to learn from them. Certainly, we dads have every responsibility to discipline our children. A good time to practice discipline is when God is disrespected. However, the extreme nature of this story demonstrates a point we need always remember. Even when it seems obvious that our children have done something wrong, we need to get the facts first. Even when it seems absolutely clear our children have violated the rules and crossed the boundaries, we need to press the pause button, calm down, and find out the complete story.
We must not react out of embarrassment, anger, wrath, pride, or any other emotion that prompts hasty discipline. If after investigation, we learn our children have indeed crossed the boundary, then we should discipline them for their good (Hebrews 12:9-10). It will still have its value. Discipline doesn’t have to be absolutely immediate for it to be effective. We can take time to investigate and make sure the discipline is warranted.
When we press the pause button, we will certainly avoid unnecessary guilt for messing up. Fortunately, our children are resilient and forgiving. When we apologize and ask for forgiveness, they are usually quick to give it. But, it certainly makes us feel better if we get a handle on the situation first.