Much has been written about how to discipline. Thousands of books, with hundreds of methods.
Unfortunately, most recommended methods are limited in their ability to apply to every situation. And when parents get hung up on one particular method, discipline can get stuck in a rut.
Rather than focusing on a particular method of correction, parents can keep evaluating and adjusting whatever method they choose in a given situation so it is implemented in a context of grounded, connected love. We have often found in our own lives — and heard from thousands of parents — that when parents take time to make sure they are grounded in a strong foundation and connecting well with their kids, the method doesn’t matter so much.
The bottom line: It is on the strength of my connected relationships with my children that disciplinary or corrective measures gain power and effectiveness. There is a profound relationship between connected parental love and effective, loving correction. Hebrews 12 speaks to this: “The Lord disciplines those he loves” (v.6). “If you are not disciplined…then you are…not true sons” (v.8).
It takes faith to view discipline as part of my calling as a parent. It can be hard work. It can often be unpleasant. What was effective one day may not be effective the next, so constant energy and adjustment may be necessary. But through persistence, prayer, and the humility to reconcile with our kids when we blow it, we can learn to truly disciple our children with our discipline.