When my son David was two, he loved to jump on the couch. There were times when I pretended I didn’t know what he was doing because I didn’t want to expend the energy needed to stop him. His behavior needed correction but sometimes I was involved in my own activity and just let it go. The irritation wasn’t great enough to cause me to take action. Disciplining children can be hard work. At times, I didn’t discipline David because it was inconvenient.
Often parents feel overwhelmed or too tired to discipline. Negative or unwanted behaviors are overlooked and allowed to continue until parents get irritated. The frustration builds until they become motivated to take action. The result is inconsistent discipline What irritates a parent today may not seem irritating tomorrow. In order to persevere and be consistent, parents must develop a more solid motivation. The secret to persevering and being consistent is to have a clear philosophy of discipline.
Parents often burn out because they don’t know why they are parenting. In fact, some burn out on a daily basis. Once you understand this secret, you can reverse the trend of burnout and use this secret to strengthen your family. It will allow love to be your motivation, rather than anger. And your children will know what to expect so they will feel loved and secure.
I’m a runner. I jog two to three times a week. We have a lake near our home and it’s a great place to run. Running has a lot of benefits. But there are days when I don’t feeling like getting out there and running. Some days I feel I have too much to do. Other days I just don’t have the energy. Some days the weather isn’t very inviting. Other days I just don’t feel up to it.
I’ve learned four success principles for running which also apply to parenting. As you think about parenting, imagine yourself as a runner. These principles keep me running—and keep me disciplining—when I feel like quitting.