I was recently addressing some misdemeanor with my youngest, when he said (appropriately) “Where’s the love, Mom?” Both boys blow me away by how astute they are about their own feelings and the reality of the situations in which they find themselves. While the love in discipline is apparent to the parent (why else would we put that much time and effort into coaching another human on basic life skills, communication skills, relational skills, and whole-hearted, god-honoring living?), the love is not built in from a child’s perspective. In fact, it often seems absent.
Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart
My son pulled at my heart strings with the very real reminder that I need to communicate love when it matters most. When we discipline, that is perhaps the most important time for our children to internalize our love.
I’m not talking about saying, “I love you, but…” and then proceeding to tear into them. That can just potentially make them wince at “I love you” for the rest of their lives.
I’m talking about everything (from the words we say to the demeanor, tone and posture we take with them when we discipline) communicating our love.
God brought to mind Jim and Lynne Jackson’s book “Discipline that Connects with your Child’s Heart.” Something so amazing, insightful and practical that an audiobook from the local library would not suffice. I needed that hard copy to underline as I listened. But in the busyness of life, that hard copy got stuffed under my bed and the audiobook returned. God reminded me that it’s time to pick it back up.
Here are the core messages Jim and Lynne wisely equip parents and caregivers to communicate to the children they love:
- You are SAFE with me
- You are LOVED no matter what
- You are CALLED and CAPABLE
- You are RESPONSIBLE for your actions
Jim and Lynne ask, How would a group of children rate you if they watched the way you disciplined your child? Eek. I can vacillate between to harsh and not consistent. I want to learn how to do what they teach so that my own children are drawn closer to the heart of God in the way I discipline (rather than the opposite).
What About You?
Did your parents do a great job communicating those messages to you during discipline and throughout your childhood? What has worked well or been hard regarding in your own parenting? Do you have any tips that have worked for you? Please share in the comments below.
More to Come
I’ll be writing more about this as I learn more and apply more. Sip Life Slowly and Enjoy it is a space where we can grow together to engage more deeply in the relationships that matter and more wholeheartedly in the life that is truly life.
If you liked this, you might also like:
- Discipline that Connects with your Child’s Heart books and audiobooks
- Jim and Lynne’s online course Discipline that Connects with your Child’s Heart
- Connected Families (Jim and Lynne’s website)
- Seven Children’s Books that Inspire Perseverance and Grit
- 100% Accepted
- Naming Emotions for Spouses and Kids
I don’t get any kick backs from recommending them. I just believe strongly in the work Jim and Lynne Jackson are doing. Subscribe so you don’t miss upcoming discussions about this.
Photo adapted from: Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash
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