Learning to discipline your child is the most difficult thing sometimes. I'm not really dealing with the "Terrible Twos" because let's be honest for a minute, Harris has had his tantrums since Day 1! Now, I love my baby boy and I've grown accustomed to his "passion" and his "being spirited". Most days I can handle the drama with ease but for some reason Monday...my oh my Monday...
You ever have one of those days where you're convinced that your child has been possessed? That was my world Monday starting around 10 am. Chandler was sick so we were gearing up for a doctor's visit. I was trying to keep everyone situated while I got us all ready and prepared lunches for the masses. It was like a switch when off. Harris began running laps around the house. At the end of a lap he would turn circles and just yell. He then began backing up to the banister and taking a run and go, sliding into his sister (who was laying on the floor) as though she was home plate. She was laughing which of course, encouraged him to keep going. Now, don't misunderstand, I LOVE for my kids to play together, but I was so afraid his little size 8's were going to smash her head in any minute. I said no a couple of times then I had to take other measures. Spanking #1.
We got home from the doctor's office later in the afternoon and the walls really broke down. Harris spent the better part of the afternoon doing one of three things:
3. Waking the dead with his blood curling howls of dislike of one thing or another. Spanking #2
He also dumped all of the dog's food into her water, colored on the t.v., used the stand up dustpan as a weapon against all things female (Mommy, Sissy and Emmie), threw a ball at Sissy's head (did I mention it was a baseball?) and other various crimes I'll not list. Spankings #s 3, 4 and 5. Let's all keep in mind that I'm also nursing a 6 month old with double ear infections back to health through all of this and Eliot didn't get home until 6:45. I was nearly in tears by the time the kids were ready for bed.
I got Chandler ready and Eliot took Harris. I was rocking Chandler, enjoying her silence and praying. I was asking God to help me with Harris. Help me survive these long days with more grace. Help me to show him mercy and teach him Godly discipline. Help me to love him unconditionally on those days. Basically, I guess I was praying to love and discipline my child the way God loves and disciplines me. It occurred to me in that moment how God must feel when I'm disobedient. When I deliberately do the opposite of what He's asked me to. When I symbolically throw a fit because I have to do what He wants instead of what my human nature desires. When I hurt myself and others through words or actions. I feel certain that God feels a little of what I, as a mother, feel when Harris does the same.
Lord, thank you for loving me through my disobedience. Thank you for the discipline that you give because I know it's for my own good. Lord, help me to have your mind and heart while dealing out disciplinary actions. Lord, please grant me patience and wisdom to cope on the hard days the way you are patient with me. Please Father, through all things, allow my love toward my children to never waver. Help me to give Godly discipline and not discipline out of selfish motives. Please help me to remember that discipline is love. YOU love me enough to deal it out so I must also love Harris and Chandler enough to do the same.
Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.