My Story: The Meaning of Discipline

When I first started parenting, I felt  was in uncharted waters. Not only had I never had my own kids before, I had definite ideas of how I wanted to parent that were very different than what  saw a lot of around me. As I went throught those first few years, I swung like a pendulum, from permissive, to authoritative and overbearing. I could never feel secure about what I was doing and Though I could see my goal, my perfect picture, I couldn’t see the road to get there.

I loved parenting books and read several trying to find my guiding style. I first had the opportunity to look into love and logic. I took classes, and started implementing it with my 18 month old daughter.  I can say this, it definetly brought results! Ones I wasn’t sure I liked. I still wasn’t the mom I wanted to be. I Found myself spending too much time thinking of consequences, and then not wanting to follw through on those consequences because they felt unfair to me! I kept at it, thinking it was the only way to discipline without spanking. When my daughter was four years old she didn’t like me. She didn’t even acknowledge when I said her name. And she certainly wouldn’t do anything for me.  I realized it was time to throw out the idea of discipline and go to reaching her heart once more. I didn’t even ask her for anything, I just filled her poor, empty, dry, little cup. Within a month or two she started responding to me again, and even doing things I asked.

I am not saying Love and Logic is bad, I am saying for me, the way I was using it, was. I manipulated my little girl in the name of discipline until she was so hurt that she wouldn’t even listen to me.

I looked for something else. I admired my friend’s children’s behavior, and talked to her.  She spanked. I felt torn. I knew I didn’t want to spank, but I wanted kids that obeyed like hers did. I finally decided to give it a try. I read the books she handed me and dove in. It was wonderful!…… for the first few months. The kids obeyed, I hardly ever had to spank. It did help me feel a little more empowered as a mom, which I needed at the time. But I still didn’t like the mom I was. And it only got worse.  I realized I couldn’t spank anymore when I would feel calm at the beginning of the spanking only to lose control during it, and hate myself after.

So I threw all ideas of discipline out. I prayed, which I should’ve done more of before. I decided that the most important thing  was to keep my Heavenly Father’s Spirit with me. So anything that didn’t produce His fruits (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperence) wasn’t ok anymore.  I didn’t let myself get caught into anymore books to read but I prayed to find the path I still knew was hiding somewhere. I was determined to find it even if I had to pave it.

I began to study the meaning of discipline. I found that it came from the latin word disciplus  which meant ” to teach”.  A disciple was a willing convert. How I wanted my children to become willing followers! But I needed to take the time to convert them. And how do I do that effectively?

Next I thought about this “rod” spoken of in Proverbs. I felt there was more to it than just a stick. I felt it was reasonable to asssume it was talking about a shepherds rod, and imagined a shepherd with his sheep. Now, a shepherd does not hit the sheep with his rod, or they learn to run away from him. (Could that apply to children as well?)  They only use their rod to guide the sheep. I was liking this train of thought,and wondered what else the shepherd uses the rod for. I imagined a shepherd walking up a steep mountain, using his rod for stability and strength.

“So the shepherd also uses the rod for himself!” I thought. Thats when I realized the rod was talking about the Word of God. It felt like an major epiphany, and I was excited. If I took the true meaning of discipline and put it next to this I got “Discipline is to teach the Word of God.” What a statement! It completely changed how I looked at discipline. It is not about making a child suffer so they “won’t do it again.” It lined up perfectly with everything I had learned.

About the same time I started homeschooling. I felt it was not for the education, but that it was very important to keep my kids close to me. When I heard the term “attatchment parenting”, I decided that was worth looking into, as it was what I was after, right? I prayed about what book to buy to learn from and decided on Attached at the Heart Publisher: iUniverse Star. I related to every principle in this book and wanted to know more. It mentioned Positive Discipline as a way to discipline the children in a way to preserve that connection, and it gave some principles as guidelines. I needed more, I knew. So I prayed to find more material on it. Within the next two weeks sometime I went to a booksale of discarded books. There on the table was the a book titled Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills. It was the best fifty cents I ever spent. This gave me a starting place. It put into wordsw every goal I had made for myself and it gave me a pathway to get there. I suddenly felt I really could be the mother I wanted to be! It wasn’t just a vain hope. I kept looking for supporting information and came across If I Have to Tell You One More Time...: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Remindi ng, or Yelling. This held a plan on how to apply the information without being overwhelmed. It helped so much in making a huge change in how I responded to situations and in the atmosphere in our home. I was finally training myself to be the mom I saw in myself! I am far from perfect, and so are my kids, but I have so many more tools now. And just as with physical work, and the tools that make it easier, I feel these tools have encouraged me and made my job more enjoyable. I hope you too can find more tools to help in your Daily Life!!

My Favorite Bunny Books

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I love Bunnies! Don’t you? They are so soft and cuddly. Sitting down to read a good bunny book is one of my favorite moments. I love it when an author can write a beautiful story with something to learn about bunnies.  Here are my and my kids’ top ten favorite bunny books!

This is a beautiful book that reinforces family values. It has a charming story, with darling pictures. What do you think the baby bunny will grow up to be?

This is a classic. We love to read this one out loud and let the lesson of obedience be taught through Peter’s poor decisions.

This is a darling book for toddlers and babies. It is touch and feel, and interactive in many ways. A great book to help children to fall in love with reading!

And if you love that one as much as I did, why not try the whole set?

Here is the follow up on the tale of Peter Rabbit. When he and his cousin try to rescue his clothing left in Mr. Macgregors garden!

This is another really sweet one, written by Margaret Wise Brown. Its prose can lull a child to a state of peace! As well as give you a chance to talk about why a bunny can’t live in the places in the book.

Side note: As I sit here writing, my four year old came up to me to see what I was doing.  When she saw the book pictured here, she exclaimed “That’s the book you have! its the really cute one!” So there you have her opinion too!

This one is another fun interactive one. My preschooler loves to find all the bunnies hidden in the pictures, while I read the poems.

This is a sweet cute little book fun to read with toddlers and babies. It has only a few lines on each page which makes it great for smaller children.

This is another classic by Margaret Wise Brown. Written in such poetry that it can sweep the children right off to dreamland!

This is a fun interactive book again by Margaret Wise Brown (I really like her children’s books in case you couldn’t tell!) The child gets to make sounds as you learn what sounds the bunny hears.

Here is one more by Margaret Wise Brown. Another sweet tale of a little rabbit who almost swallows a bee.  My kids wanted to make sure I added this one.

I hope you have lovely holidays with lots of Bunny cozy moments!!

Have fun reading with your  children in your Daily life!

10 best Read aloud Bedtime books

Our family LOVES to read. Aloud, Quiet, while eating, when supposedly doing work,or sleeping, you name it. I personally enjoy reading, so it is one thing I do with my children for bonding time. I try to read especially at night while they are lying in bed. It gives me a little control over when they settle down and go to sleep. But more important it gives us something good to think about as we drift off to dreamland.

Once I mentioned cutting out the night reading. My oldest firmly disagreed. “No! thats like your six-on- one time with us!” While I laughed I also marveled at how personal reading can be, even when its not to only you.

Reading can also be like a secret tool. If the day starts to get crazy, you feel you have little control left, and you are about to want to yell, start to read outloud instead. Don’t worry if the kids are listening or not, just read.  Watch what happens!  (If nothing happens, try adding some enthusiasm, Some questions, some “WOW! This is neat!”

That said I wanted to share a few of my kids favorite books with you today. Thanks in advance for using the links I provide as it helps support our blog! (Make sure you check the prices of the used version of the books if the new ones are too expensive!)

This is my two year olds absolute favorite book for me to read out loud to her. She loves to re-state the last line of the book "Oh, I am so embarrassed!" This book will have you both laughing as Grover thinks of many ways to try to stop you from turning pages and getting closer to "the monster at the end of the book".


This timeless classic is a Favorite of many generations. You will enjoy learning the benefit of hard work along with your children.

This is a heartwarming story of the curious little monkey who makes paper boats out of the newspapers he is supposed to deliver. As a bonus it gives the instructions to make paper boats as well! You can have a fun project after your story time and lots of good memories. If your family really likes this curious little monkey get the whole set!

 

 

After I learned about A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning(TM) I learned how important good literature is to children so I doubled my efforts to read even bigger books to them.

This is a big hit with my four-to-six year old’s. It is full of beautiful illustrations by Ruth Sanderson. Your children will love to just look at the pictures while they fill their mind with good and beautiful things.

Some others that fill their minds with beauty, peace, and love are
 The classic story of sharing,

 a wonderful story about tempers, and how to deal with them.

 This is a cute story in rhyme about how many jobs this tree has!

 

 This timeless classic is worth reading every night. 

 Another classic whose wonderful rhymes will lull your child off to dreamland.

 This book is full of stories that teach about the animals you are reading about, as well as life lessons in a humorous manner. My children love it as much as i love reading it to them!

 This story is by the beloved author of "The Little Princess" and "The Secret Garden", Frances Hodgson Burnett. This story may be a little less known, but is no less beautiful. It is a lovely story about how goodness and love help people become their better selves. Remember to check the used version if the price is too steep on this one! I recommend this edition because of the beautiful pictures by Judith Ann Griffith) 


Tha’ts all for now, but I wish you the best in your bedtime story choices! Happy Reading!