Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Friday, December 07, 2007

Grace-Based Discipline (or lack thereof-today)

I practice Grace-Based Discipline. One of the defining characteristics (on the outside) is that I don't believe in spanking - nor do I believe the Bible condones it (that's a different post). But far from being permissive, Grace-Based Parenting is what I like to call "Get off your butt parenting". There are so many aspects of GBD that I can't sum it up in one post but a wonderful start to Grace Based Parenting is:


Step 1: State your request and offer a reason.
Example: "You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up. It is time to leave.

Step 2: Restate your request.
Example: "You need to stop yourself from playing and clean up."It is helpful to get down on the child's level and touch your child while looking in his eyes to make sure you have his attention.

Step 3: Offer help.
Example: "You are having a hard time stopping your play. Can you stop playing and clean up or do you need my help?" Whether your child requests help or not respect their wishes. Help is not a punishment, it is help.

Step 4: Help.
Example: "You are not stopping your play. Here, let me help you."Again, help is not a punishment. It is an acknowledgment that your child is unable to stop on their own. This may be due to a lack of maturity, being tired or hungry, or simply not wanting to stop.

Step 5: The Bear Hug.

Stand behind your child and wrap your arms over her shoulders and across her chest. Hold her arms with your hands if you are concerned about her striking out. Squat down to her level and speak gently in her ear that you are helping her stop herself and that you will let her go when she can stop herself. Gentle pressure on her shoulders can keep her from kicking or attempting to run from you. This is not a punishment. It is providing outside boundaries for a child who lacks internal boundaries.

Anyway, today I lost... It wonderful day, but a stressful one too. I decorated the tree with my kids and neices and nephews. Then I went upstairs to cook with my rambunctious 3 year old son and 3 year old neice. I gave them goldfish crackers to eat while I cooked... which they crushed all over the floor. I cleaned it up and went back to cooking but they were soon screaming and throwing blocks around - while my father in law was trying to sleep in the next room. That's when I lost it. I went in there and hit them both - not hard enough to hurt them, but hard enough to scare them. My older nephew came and cleaned up the blocks and I gave them hugs and told them I was sorry and that Ming (Auntie) loves them. Then I went in the kitchen and cried at the thought of getting so mad at those two. Sigh, the joys of parenting while pregnant.
So that's how not to discipline.

Since this is coming up 3rd on google for "Graced based Discipline" I thought I should link to my more informative post about the subject here.



  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I understand that frustration well!



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