31 May 2012

10 Random Thoughts on Discipline

Tomorrow my husband and I and our three children will move back to the United States after two years of living in Europe. It will be a long travel day (understatement), no one is going to get much sleep, and it's highly likely (read: guaranteed) that someone (read: me) is going to lose it over something trivial at some point. I'm trying to consciously focus on being calm and in the present and taking things slowly. So far it's working because, well, we haven't gotten on the plane yet.

Anyway, this upcoming upheaval has me thinking a lot about my own discipline philosophy, and why gentle understanding and respect is always my goal . . . even when I'm stressed and screw it up. Following are ten random thoughts on discipline that popped into my head while mentally preparing myself for the transition.

1. Discipline should be (mostly) proactive, not reactive.

2. Connecting always trumps correcting.

3. If it sounds too complicated, it probably is. Don't make things harder than they need to be.

4. Realistic, age-appropriate expectations are essential.

5. Consistency is overrated. There is no one way that works best for every child, every time.

6. Amendment to #5: Physical punishment is never a good idea. Never.

7. If my own cup is empty, I have nothing left to pour out. It will affect how I relate to my children.

8. At least once every 24 hours I feel like I have it completely together as a parent and my kids are awesome and doing great.

9. At least once every 24 hours I feel like I am a complete loser and I'm ruining my kids and they are doomed.

10. Nearly everything that makes me feel crazy in the moment will not matter in ten years. or ten hours. or ten minutes.

This post was also shared at Connected Mom.

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