To raise a disciplined child, be a disciplined parent

By | May 22, 2014 | Motherhood & Family

Discipline - Quote by Gary Ryan Blair | To raise a disciplined child, be a disciplined parent | The Momiverse

A life devoid of discipline is a life of chaos. But many of us are afraid of using the word “discipline,” because we think it translates into “punishment” or that “disciplined” means turning little
children away from the fantasy and wonder of childhood and into little robots.

Fearless parents know discipline is the fine art of doing what is needed even if you don’t want to do it. Discipline is why a college student will pass up a night of partying to study for a chemistry exam. Discipline is why an athlete will practice four hours in the freezing rain while her friends are sitting by a fire inside; a young banker will stay up all night finishing an Excel spread sheet instead of catching up on his favorite TV shows.

If our children are going to make it as adults, they need to develop the mental and spiritual discipline to face the world, get knocked down, and get up again. Discipline is required to work at a
problem until it’s solved or write a fourth and fifth draft of a term paper. It takes discipline to stay on a budget, pay bills when they’re due, show up on time, keep your word, and avoid gossip. And when life gets rough, it can take discipline to go home to your spouse instead of a bar, avoid yelling at your kids because you’ve had a bad day, and give back to God when it doesn’t seem He’s giving much to you.

Discipline is the learned ability to shake off setbacks and reapply yourself to the issue in front of you. It takes discipline to avoid buying everything you want, use a charge card when you don’t have the money, and go into mountains of debt.

Yet so many kids come out of high school without the discipline to sit at their desk for an hour to read a book. It’s frightening.

Fearless parents know the power of discipline is the power to achieve against all odds.

It’s the power to start a company; be faithful in a marriage; have a meaningful relationship with God because you have the discipline of prayer, thanksgiving, and tithing.

Discipline is the door to unbelievable accomplishments, incredible self-fulfillment, sanity and peace of mind, but many parents want to rob their kids of this tool, so they – the parents – can feel better about themselves without worrying about their kids’ happiness. These parents do their kids’ homework, peel off $20’s whenever their kids ask, and complain to teacher about their kids’ failing grades.

It takes parental discipline to establish rules and boundaries and consistently enforce them.

  1. Give your kids chores to accomplish the same time every day or week.
  2. Enforce homework hours before Facebook, video games, or TV.
  3. Establish consequences for behavior – both good and bad – and consistently apply them.
  4. Insist they get a job and announce they now have to show up on time, follow the rules, and spend their own money.
  5. Encourage them to practice longer and harder if they want to make first string, first chair, or win the lead part.
  6. Urge them to double down on their effort if they don’t succeed.
  7. Remember, it’s not your job to make their lives easier, but to prepare them for adulthood.

The key to this is simple: Don’t feel sorry for them.

It takes parental discipline to watch a child try hard, fail, and suggest she try even harder. We feel like we should take more action for our child when it’s we, ourselves, who need the discipline to let our children take action.

It’s hard to teach the value of discipline day after day, but we must be fearless about this. This is where foolish parents gum it up. Foolish parents think discipline is about restrictions and
boundaries. Rather, it’s about freedom – the freedom to spend money within your budget, party after you’ve done your studying, enjoy dating with a clear understanding of your boundaries. Discipline is the ability to do what’s needed, time after time, no matter the circumstances.

The world of adulthood can be brutal, unforgiving, and highly competitive. By teaching our kids discipline, we’re opening the door to unbelievable power and stunning achievement. Discipline will enable them to act and think like an adult so they can succeed in the adult world. Be fearless about this. Be disciplined about this.

Discipline is a gift that will change their lives.

Harry H. Harrison, Jr.

Harry is a New York Times best selling parenting author with over 3.5 million books in print. He is the author of numerous books including Fearless Parenting: Raising a Child to Face the Adult World. He has been interviewed on over 25 television programs and featured in over 75 local and national radio stations including NPR. His books are available in over thirty-five countries throughout Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Norway, South America, China, Saudi Arabia and in the Far East. For more information visit FearlessParenting.com.

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