When our children were young, Barb and I quickly learned that parenting skills were not intuitive or inherited, so we sought mentors who could help us. Bill and Jane, a couple in our church, the parents of five wonderful daughters, agreed to share dinner with us once a month to discuss parenting issues. I remember the evening that Bill and Jane taught us about what they called “effective discipline.”
Bill explained that discipline comes from the root word disciple and means “to teach or to coach.” It means teaching appropriate and biblical thinking and behavior. On the other hand, he said that punish means “to correct” or “to chastise.”
When used effectively, punishment always supports discipline. Inappropriate punishment, however, can cause confusion for the child and results in little or no discipline. The goal of parenting is to equip children with what they need to be successful, satisfied and spiritually mature adults. It’s through discipline that we equip our kids by teaching them such things as the critical correlation between choices and consequences, the principles of responsibility and accountability, and biblical ways to deal with problems and frustrations.
Assess your current methods. The following six questions are designed to get you thinking about how you discipline. As you consider each question, your honest reflection can help you fine-tune your methods — or reassure you that you’re already headed in the right direction. Click here for more.