For those that know me well or follow me on this blog, you probably remember me proclaiming my word for the year at the beginning of 2016. “What if?” I know that’s technically 2 words, but when you hashtag it – it works. #whatif.
I’m a dreamer and a doer. I love to have my head in the clouds, but there are also times when I just put my head down and get stuff done. It’s a unique tension in my life that I’ve learned to embrace. There have been so many wonderful “What if…” moments this year that I could fill all of 2017 with blogs to inspire what if’s in your own life. However, this is NOT that kind of POST.
This post is not about all the “what ifs” that got me pumped up, it’s about the ONE “what if” that had me jacked up for almost 10 months of this year.
What if…my heart never recovers?
I almost wish I was speaking emotionally or metaphorically about lost love or dreams that were crushed because of circumstances (almost – because I do understand that this has happened for people who struggle with this question and I don’t want to minimize their experience nor would I wish that on anyone). No, I’m speaking about the very real, odd shaped, irreplaceable muscle that pumps the life-blood through our bodies. MY HEART!
If you were born during a time when you were physically beaten as a child…you’re my people!
I wasn’t raised in a culture of time-outs, taking electronics away, or writing essays on why I could make better choices.
When I screwed up…I was lovingly (most of the time) physically corrected in a manner that I wouldn’t soon forget.
The boomers didn’t always get everything right, but I appreciated the love my parents put into make sure that I WAS actually disciplined in a way that I was able to connect the dots between my bad choices (behavior/attitude) and the consequences of those choices – discipline.
Now, I don’t disagree that we are living in a different time. Taking a kid’s tablet/ipod/phone away has POWERFUL emotional ties to their behavior and produces a much better result than if you were to take my etch-a-scetch away (or my Rubix cube).
No matter how you choose to discipline, there are a few things that have to happen for it to be REAL discipline.
1. Clear Understanding.
When a child doesn’t know why they are being disciplined, there’s already a problem. They have to have a clear understanding of what behavior/attitude/choice they are being disciplined for and why. Even when I had to wait ALL DAY LONG for my dad to come home and reign the fire of discipline over me (just kidding, my Dad was awesome), I knew what I had done, and why I was going to be disciplined. Even when I entered my tweenager years and my biggest issue was my sarcastic smart mouth, my mother was extraordinarily quick to administer a sharp correction (usually a hand to the back of my head) so that I understood IN THAT MOMENT why I was in trouble. When kids don’t have a clear understanding, your discipline is not doing what you hope it’s doing.