As a parent, finding a balance between disciplining (correcting bad behavior) and making them a disciple (to learn and follow your beliefs and values) can sometimes be a real struggle. The good news for parents is that it’s hard to accomplish one without the other.
If you have a belief or strong sense of what you value such as honesty, integrity and hard work, it is important to teach or train these values or beliefs to be not just learned but also to see the evidence lived out in our children. If our children don’t practice honesty for example, it is important to help them change bad behavior until they get it right.
It is interesting to note that both disciple and discipline come from the same root word discipulus. Both words include teaching, learning, and being a student, which are all required to properly train.
The same words can be applied to an athlete or any specialized training. It’s takes the willingness to be taught or discipled as well as levels of discipline to become the best. Without both of these requirements being learned and applied, we wouldn’t have the Olympics, or doctors, or Navy Seals.
The earlier you begin teaching your values or beliefs, the less discipline necessary. Parenting is hard but the joy of raising children to live out your important values is worth the intentional efforts. Parenting is an active role as the coach, teacher, and trainer. If you want to see your children reach their God given destiny or full potential, then you need to be willing to help them learn both.
One great place to begin to help your children understand your heart as a parent is at the dinner table. Discuss the reason for discipline is to teach or train them. Begin a conversation about how much you love them and it’s that love that makes you willing to be intentional in how you will raise them up so they can be their best.
Why do you think we (I if you are a single parent) discipline you?
Ask them to really consider their answering before they respond because you are interested in their thoughts about discipline.
How do you think you will discipline your children?
This a great question for your children because it causes them to think about their future and encourages them to dream about having a family of their own.
How does discipline help you attain your full potential?
Remind them that it takes both discipline and being a good disciple to reach your full potential. Rarely does anyone succeed with out hard work, learning their trade and applying discipline to achieve their goals.
As a parent, we are given the opportunity to help our kids succeed and teaching them these values are important so they will allow you to help and guide them. Remember, you are not raising up children, you are raising up young adults and future leaders as well as future parents.