Welcome to Day 3 of the Homeschool Enrichment series where we’re talking about Discipline. I realize this is a sticky topic, but you really should have a game plan, so that your emotions aren’t dictating how you will administer discipline to your children.
It is my belief that the real meat of homeschooling is the character training of our children, the academics are important and will come, but one of the huge benefits to homeschooling is that we are present for all of the discipline “opportunities” during our child’s day.
We can stop what we are doing and address their behavior on the spot. We can take a day or week off to focus on honesty, respect, compassion and the like. We can reach their hearts and change them from the inside out. Anyone can command obedience, but seeking to change your child’s heart will carry on into their adult life, the lives of their children and grandchildren after them.
Let’s take what we’ve learned on Day 2 about being a minister to our family and apply that to how we view the discipline our children. It totally changes our perspective when we realize that we are simply carrying out God’s will for His children not our own. The discipline of our children is God’s way of encouraging, motivating and steering them in the right direction. Same as He does with us.
It takes some of the pressure off of us to be what the world deems good parents. It allows us to parent and teach with intention as servants of God. Out of love for our children we faithfully follow God’s plan for their lives. One way to accomplish this task is through consistent discipline and structure in our homes.
House Rules: In order to teach with intention, we need a game plan. A set of rules that we agree to follow as a family to make our little community work. Again if we have no set goal, then not only do our kids not know what our expectations are, but neither do we.
In an attempt to retain some semblance of order and sanity in our household, my husband and I came up with a set of family rules that we follow. Once we got the rules and consequences down, my husband called a family meeting. We presented the new rules to our children along with the decided upon consequence, asked if anyone had any questions and let them know the new rules were in effect immediately.
I have to say this has been the best thing we’ve done for our family yet. First, it took all the pressure off of me to be the bad guy, after all I’m just following through with the rules. Second, it keeps me from going over board emotionally because the kids are acting up and I can’t think of a consequence for their behavior on the fly. Third, it seemed to give the kids some sense of comfort and stability knowing what our expectations of them are.
Sit down with your spouse (if possible) and create family rules similar to the ones below. You can also use the goals you set for your home on Day 1 of this series, to help define what is important to your family. I encourage you to keep the rules fairly simple, our family has 7 main rules. I have provided you with a sample of our family rules below so you have a starting point.
How do come up with family rules? First, sit down with your spouse (if possible) and discuss rules that you’d both like to see applied. You can use the Vision you set forth in Day 1 as a baseline to help you get started. Here’s how we organize them:
- What is the rule? ie. Respect Mom and Dad then give a couple examples of what that means like how you talk, tone of voice, obey right away all the way…etc. I included school rules in our house rules chart just to keep things simple.
- What is the discipline or consequence for breaking the rule?
- What is the “motivator” for not taking the consequence. Be clear that the motivator does not replace the consequence in step 2, and is only there if your child needs to be ‘motivated’ to accept their due consequence. Since explaining all the rules to our children I’ve found that we rarely have to resort to the motivator. In the printable below the motivator column is empty as I imagine you all have your own means of disciplining your children. We choose discipline that is appropriate for the ages of our children for example the older ones get something they desire taken away such as TV time, DS play time, Wii time etc.
- What is the supporting Scripture? As I’ve stressed in the days leading up to today, we need a reason, plan, and guidance for what we are doing. It is much easier to explain to your child why a rule is important, if you yourself know why. The supporting scripture just reminds us what God’s Word says on the topic so we can be faithful and just to carry out His commands.
I really hope you all take the time to do this, consistency in discipline is key to getting your home and homeschool in order!
Stick around tomorrow for Day 4 of Homeschooling Enrichment where we’ll be talking about teaching responsibility to our children!
Note: Some of the ideas from today came from an awesome bible study on parenting that my husband and I have just started which I’d highly recommend going through, plus it’s FREE online at “Parenting as a Ministry”.
Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.