What is the correct way to discipline a child? Certainly a hot button issue in the parenting world and a question I have often asked myself as a parent of three.
I grew up with parents who were very strict. We lived by a set of extensive rules – mainly things we were not allowed to do. Consequences for not following the rules ranged from yelling (lots of yelling) to spanking and grounding. I remember as a child feeling quite agitated and stressed by my parents’ constant yelling and I vowed then that when I was a parent I would do it differently.
When I had my first child, I wasn’t exactly sure what was the alternative way of discipline. As a toddler, she was curious, energetic, imaginative (read: made lots of mess and liked to jump/climb on the furniture!) My parents often made the comment, “well, if you just smacked her she wouldn’t do x, y, z…” I instinctually knew that wasn’t the answer for me – but what was?
One day My Teacher and Founder/Director of Cosmos Tree, Dr. Roger B. Lane, Encouraged me to try “Loving Discipline” – educating the child as to the appropriate behavior; doing it Lovingly and from a place of Neutrality.
More importantly, Loving Discipline for mySelf, while disciplining my child is key. I can only teach my children to be Loving, Kind, Compassionate and Considerate people if I am Loving, Kind and Compassionate. I need to be kind to mySelf, stay Present, stay Neutral. If I feel frustration or anger come up, I can let that go by doing the Two-Part Release Technique taught by Dr. Lane. The Release Technique starts by asking the Lord, God to please take it (frustration, anger, etc.) from me. I then tell mySelf, “Amy, it’s OK to let it go!” And I let it go. Usually I have to do this a few times until I really feel mySelf let go of the negativity and return to a place of Neutrality.
Don’t get me wrong! When dealing with my children, up until now, I have often fallen short of the ideal Discipline strategy. In the past, I’ve found myself yelling over marker scribbles on the tile floor, tearing my hair out over ripped jeans, and crying alongside a toddler in the middle of a tantrum. It happens. When it does, the next step is Loving Discipline for mySelf. Take a deep breath and get Present! Do the Two-Part Release Technique! Call The Light Of The Most High into the situation so that the Highest Good for All comes forward! Love mySelf and tell mySelf that I am OK and that I am doing a good job and that I am the perfect parent for my particular children.
From this place I can more easily Discipline my children and educate them as to why we draw our masterpieces on paper instead of on the ceramic floor. And sometimes from this place I can see that my child doesn’t really need any education right now. They are doing what children do – playing in their Joy – having fun – being free. I decide, within mySelf, that the ripped jeans are my child’s new “play pants” and I run along side them knowing I too, am free.
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