DISCIPLINE IS PAINFUL

We were already geared up to go to Toys ‘R Us, as anonymous child had been wanting to go there for weeks. He was clutching his wallet in his hands, and was looking forward to finally get that toy he’d been saving up for weeks. You know the look on your child’s face when he is about to open a birthday present? I was happy to see that look on his face.

On our way, anonymous child said something that was disrespectful to me. It was hurtful to be spoken to by one of my children like that but I tried to convince myself that maybe i should just let this pass and not make a big deal out of it. I didn’t want to ruin our supposed “date” to the toy store.

But there was the nagging part of me that just didn’t want this to slide. I knew how important it is to God that children honor their parents. And if I didn’t do anything about this, I was communicating to my child that his behavior was acceptable.

So I did it. I explained that what he said didn’t show honor to me and he had to be disciplined for it. I knew it would break my son’s heart, and it broke mine more to see it, but I had to cancel our trip as a consequence of his disrespectful attitude. I reminded him of Ephesians 6:1-3 that says ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’

When children honor their parents, God rewards THEM, not us. The promise of everything going well and enjoying a long life is given to children who honor their parents, not to the parents. And don’t we all want our children to receive that promise? That is why we need to teach our children to honor us. It is not so we will feel good about ourselves, or that others will see how well-behaved our children are, but so they honor God and receive His promise. It was this biblical principle that convinced me to just head back home instead of to the toy store.

When the Bible says “No discipline seems pleasant, but painful…” (Heb 12:11), I think it’s not only talking about the one who is being disciplined, but also about the person doing the disciplining. When I discipline my child and give him a consequence, it doesn’t give me a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment. It hurts me to see my child in pain. It hurt me to see the look on my child’s face when I told him that we were not going to the toy store anymore, knowing how excited he was to go. That’s why, often, the easier thing is to look the other way and not deal with misbehavior. But a parent who is serious about raising his child the right way should be tough enough to handle the “unpleasantness” of discipline.

It is not for our own good, but for our child’s.

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8 Replies to “DISCIPLINE IS PAINFUL”

  1. ohhh 🙁 that must’ve been so hard… on him and also more so for you! we want so badly for our kids to be happy that it’s sometimes easier to just let discipline pass than see them “temporarily” UNhappy… thanks for the reminder that it is indeed temporary and the reward for obedience is much greater than they realize (at the moment anyway hehe)

  2. I definitle agree that disciplining is painful not only to the one being disciplined but moreso, to the parent that is discipling. This is indeed one big challenge for parents. My daughter is still very small but we already try to discipline her whenever it is called for. Wee do try to follow the principle of positive disciplining as much as we can though.

    Just curious, how did your child responded to the consequences of his actions and how were you able to deal with the reaction if it was kind of a violent reaction?

    Thanks for imparting your wisdom about parenting. I’m a first time mom and surely can learn a lot from another mom.

    Spanish Pinay

    1. Hi Spanish Pinay! I checked out your blogsite and your toddler is so adorable! I’m sure you are enjoying every minute with her!

      Regarding your question, my son was very sad when I told him we couldn’t go to the toy store anymore but he also humbly apologized and asked for my forgiveness. Since my husband and I started disciplining our kids early, and we would always explain the reason why, they understand why we do it. There were rare times when they would react violently, but that’s another whole blog to explain how we would deal with it. 🙂

      Thank you for your openness to learn from another mom. All the things that my husband and I have practiced at home are really things we ourselves have learned from others too.

      The topic of discipline is a lengthy one and we usually spend one afternoon in our parenting seminars to talk about it. If you are interested to read up more on it, you might want to check out my past blogs and let me know what you think:

      http://www.jennpunzalan.com/2010/07/discipline-myths/

      Thanks and have a great week ahead!

  3. Hi Jenn. I’ve always admired your consistency and conviction when it comes to discipline. Thanks for always sharing your heart and your experiences. Je and I are learning valuable nuggets of wisdom on how we can raise godly kids. Keep on blogging.

  4. Hi, Ate Jenn! I read your blog at just the right time, ’cause the day after you posted it, a similar incident happened with me and one of my kids. I would have been torn between letting the incident slide (’cause it was early in the morning, we were on our way to school and I didn’t want to start the day with a “heavy” feeling for both of us) and dealing with it promptly, BUT I clearly remembered what you shared, so I chose the latter. The realization that the blessing is theirs when they honor the Lord had such a great impact!

    I also remembered what you shared during the parenting seminar at the Fort last year – that when we correct our kids, we should tell them what the Lord says about it, and that we should quote the Word (for God’s Word is living and powerful). The conviction is truly the work of God’s living Word and the Spirit, never by our attempts at guilt-trip or emotional blackmail. So I reminded my child of what the Lord says about honoring the parents.. Nakakaiyak magdisiplina, mahirap at masakit sa puso, but when we know why we need to do it, then the heaviness is replaced by peace and hope from God.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and helping us in our own journey of parenthood…

    Blessings abounding!

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