Terri is a typical parent. When her six-year-old daughter acted up, Terri yelled to get her daughter under control. The daughter’s misbehavior usually went away for awhile. Terri concluded, “Whatever it takes to let my child knows she’s out of line and get her to behave is how I can win this battle of our wills.”
Terri attended one of our parenting workshops, and received encouragement and teaching about a more thoughtful way of dealing with misbehavior. A key component of this teaching was to “Stop, breathe (as many times as needed to calm down), and get perspective” by thinking constructively about how to help her daughter learn.
Nothing changed much for a while… until a major incident of disobedience. As she prepared to confront her daughter, Terri felt that familiar flushing of the ears and face. Ready to launch into her the usual angry tirade, she remembered to “Stop, Breathe, and Think.” An amazing thing happened as Terri stopped, and took some deep breaths to get settled.
“It was as if I was breathing in God’s presence. I immediately grew calm, and instead of seeing the situation with anger, I saw it with compassion. I got down on my knees and looked my daughter in the eyes. A whole new way of thinking and talking flowed. I offered a hug and said ‘I love you!’ My child softened and was immediately repentant. We talked about her disobedience and agreed on a meaningful consequence, which she willingly endured.”
Terri had “won” the battle to shape her child’s will in a whole new way. In doing so, she also won her daughter’s heart! This is the ultimate goal of parenting.
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Frustrated by constant discipline challenges? Take 15 minutes to read our free ebook 4 Messages All Children Long to Hear: A Discipline That Connects Overview.