I remember our pre-marital counseling sessions in which our very thorough pastor covered all kinds of questions that, rightfully so, needed to be covered before we were married. I mean a whole book. And, our parents had to fill out a questionnaire also. He was thorough.
One of the questions at which neither my then fiance and I didn’t even hesitate before we answered was regarding discipline. “How do you plan on disciplining any future children?” Our answer (in unison) was “corporal punishment.” I remember the look of surprise on our pastor’s face but he moved on to the next question. Now, after having three (almost 4) babies, I recognize the look and understand the wisdom behind it. We were a tad naive.
Each of our kids have a different temperament and, generally, a different reaction to discipline. Even the same child will react differently in different situations. I guess you could call it a crap-shoot. haha. No, seriously, I’ve learned a lot (with much more to learn) since beginning the SAHM journey. It may be from the increased time with them or it could be the ages that they are all at currently. I’ve been spending time considering their personalities and love languages… just in this great experiment of parenting called discipline.
DS#1 is very sensitive.He is very stubborn and, if not consistency corrected, he will continue the action. He loves to give physical displays of affection and compliments. Compliments seem to be preferred over displays of affection actually. I’ve found that words hurt him. Not like trashing him or his personality but speaking sincere disappointment to him regarding his actions. Physical discipline does seem to have SOME positive effects but nothing predictable. Therefore, it is ineffective.
DD#1 is not very sensitive but VERY independent. At the same time, she is fiercely needy. She desires your positive attention and, even if she is capable, she prefers you to do something for her. She is fairly stoic normally but delights in physical displays of affection. She does love to talk (constantly) to us and have our undivided attention. I’ve found that reasoning with her calmly seems to have a good reaction in the area of discipline. She also reacts reasonably well to time-out simply because she can not speak. Any physical discipline (even popping her hand) sends her deeper into disobedience.
DS#2 is fully boy on the outside and very tough physically. In all actuality, he is tender-hearted. He doesn’t seem to like physical displays of affection (in normal terms such as hugging and kissing) but does like rough play. He seems to prefer quality time. I have found that he will willingly sit in time out and be quiet. (So, maybe it isn’t seen as discipline by him. haha) He will also stop what he is doing and change his behavior with just stern tone of voice usually. I’m still trying to figure him out.
Ultimately, we are trying to learn our children and how to best react to their behavior. Not just to correct their behavior but, as commanded by Ephesians 6:4, to avoid provoking them to anger but raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. By “nurture and admonition of the Lord,” I have to remember that my hubby and I are given the responsibility to raise them to live a holy life… not just to fear us and be obedient to our desires. Not just to say “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir” but to respect authority figures out of obedience to God. It’s an ongoing process and we still have so much to learn. So, the discipline experiment continues.