Discipline is a Team Sport

When we started disciplining our son, it was as if someone just said, “Go! Discipline!” What I mean is, his behavior was disobedient all of a sudden. He was always exploratory and a risk-taker, but there was a sharp turn in him to willfulness.

Anybody else have this happen with your kids? 😉

Since he loves people and being the life of the party, time outs work awesome for Samuel. There do come times where just time outs are not working, but for the most part, being separated from what he wanted to be doing is quite a punishment for him. Even to the point of crying over it.

He wasn’t too old when we started doing time outs in a pack n play; he really hated it and would cry and flail his hands, as if to say “Take me out, please! Anything but this!”

Our hearts sort of broke for him, but at the same time we had to laugh. I remember one time when Grandma was here. Sammy got a time out, and she said, “I’m never going to give him a time out.” You have to understand – her heart is all grandma’d for Samuel. 🙂 We responded with, “OK, but that means he will never respect you.” (She has since given him time outs, by the way. But she’s still gracious like Grandmas should be!)

Now that he’s 2, there are times where he looks you in the eye, and his face tells you, “I’m doing this because you told me not to, and I want to be in charge.”

Surely, your child has never looked at you this way? 🙂

His time outs are no longer in a pack n play, and sometimes we have to take toys and privileges away, and there are wretched times where a rare spanking is in order.

And those are the worst for a mama’s heart! Even if I’m the one providing the punishment – I just want to melt on the floor and cry with him.

The real test always comes for me when Brad disciplines Samuel. Even if he’s just getting a simple time out, it’s like a *flinch* inside me wants to stop him: No! That’s my baby! He’s just hungry/tired/needing attention!

But I have to stop myself from making excuses for my son. I have to let my husband follow through with what he told Samuel.

Otherwise, Samuel will learn that daddy has no say-so, and mommy will always rescue me.

These are not the makings of a man – or a grown up if you have girls.

But we are not perfect parents. We will discipline incorrectly sometimes. Which means sometimes we need to admit our wrong to our children and ask for forgiveness from them.

Now, there are times where Brad and I have disagreed about punishment, but we have talked about our plans as a team quite extensively so that we’re on the same page. We know what punishment we plan to do for what kind of behavior, etc.

The most important thing here is that one of us is not undercutting the other. And to avoid that, we actually need to talk about discipline before we take action!

It’s also a good idea to evaluate your discipline methods:

  • Are you still on the same page?
  • Is something not working?
  • What else, particularly if you’re spanking A LOT, should you be trying instead?

Talking about discipline like this will unite you as a couple, which in turn shows your kiddos that you are a team, even during the hard stuff.

Have you had these conversations with your spouse? If not, will you plan on making time for it this week?


6 thoughts on “Discipline is a Team Sport

  1. Donna

    So true!!!! In todays society we see so many men being down grated for being the man God created them to be. The media sends messages that being a “family man” means sitting on the sidelines. Way to go Stephanie, for taking a stand for Gods’ way of being united as a team! YAAAAY!!!!

  2. Tehila - Women Abiding

    Stephanie, thank you for this post. Disciplining our children is a huge issue in every home with children. The hard part is that once you find what works for child number 1, doesn’t necessarily work for child number 2 or 3 etc. It really is trial and error, but I believe that as long as we are placing ourselves in authority over our children, and that they know who’s boss, that is the important thing. If we establish authority early on in the home, our children will naturally develop authority for the employees, law-givers, and professors later in life. We can’t take the short cut in this area.

    Thank you for your words of wisdom.

    God bless you as you abide in Him!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Great point, Tehila! They are all so different, huh? Authority is such an important and Godly lesson. I sometimes tell Samuel, “I would not be a good mommy if I didn’t give you spankings and timeouts. You have to learn that Samuel is not in charge.” I probably don’t word that in the best way, but I think it’s important to communicate authority because ultimately God is the authority over them and how else will they learn that?

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