Saturday, February 11, 2012

Discipline. Let's talk.

The other night I was lying in bed drafting this. (Do you ever do that? Compose blog posts while you lie in the dark?) And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much there was to say about disciplining our kids. How much I wanted to say. And share. And ask.

For me, the subject of discipline is like playing tennis. When I was younger, I was a tennis player. I played for years, and my parents invested a lot of money into private coaches. I have a great base of knowledge, now, about how to play tennis. The rules, the form, the equipment. But no book or coach can tell you exactly how the ball is going to come at you one moment to the next. What the other player is going to bring is totally unpredictable. And of course, one’s success at tennis is measured by how well one uses that knowledge and those tools to react, shot after shot.

In the same way, my kids are throwing something new every day, it seems. Envelopes are pushed, lines are crossed, and attitudes bubble into actions, sometimes good and sometimes not so good. I’m now nearly ten years into parenting, and I realized the other night while lying in the dark that I do have a good basis at this point for knowing how to react. That doesn’t mean I do it right all the time. But now, as opposed to when I was a new mom, I nearly always know when I’ve made a mistake, and what I should have or could have done instead.

So I'm going to spend some time and posts writing about discipline, I want to share some of the equipment I’ve come to rely on. I know a lot of readers here are young moms. But also, I want to be vulnerable about how there are days when I have no idea where to go next in teaching and shepherding my children. I need your input too. As my kids age, they are continually entering new territory, facing new challenges, and even experiencing new emotions. And it’s my job to react in love and truth and grace. It is not a small deal. As I’ve said before, we are not raising children here, we are raising healthy, capable, confident adults. So let’s start up the conversation and learn together.

And to make it easier, I’ve installed a new commenting format so that I’m not just talking AT you. Phew. I’m so glad. So please. Talk to each other. Encourage each other. And hopefully, we can all get a little wind in our sails.

{And if you want to see more of the really amazing photo shoot the kids and I did with Shauna and her kids last week - totally impromptu - check it out here. It's so awesome. I'm thankful for a friend who can capture us mommies and children in such a special way.}



  1. What a perfect time to start your new commenting format. I'm sure all the mommys have things to learn from each other.

  2. I'm excited to hear what you have to say. I'm really wanting to read Grace Based Parenting...I've got four at such different ages, stages, and with such different personalites. Seems like they all need different discipline sometimes?

  3. I'm almost finished with Grace Based Parenting and I'm pretty sure I may have first seen it here on your sidebar! It is so challenging and exciting and inspiring and daunting! But I'm loving it. Have you been able to implement the concepts in this book in your home?

  4. I'm very eager to read your posts on discipline, Leslie!! It is already such a tough thing, and my son isn't even 2 yet!

  5. oh Leslie, as always I am blessed by your heart. I needed this. not but 15 minutes ago, my #2 got tangled with my #1. Oh, how I want to parent in peace and love. I blogged about this yesterday actually, so to read this today was very affirming to me. Thanks friend! love you!!! PS your new button is up on my blog...thanks! :)

  6. discipline is such a tender subject, especially among other moms. i pray God leads you in vulnerability, humility, truth, and love. i know He will. i pray even more that that moms who read your posts will receive them as such. in jesus, amen!

  7. my daughter is ten, and i didn't know i needed to let this topic really marinate until i read your blog today. i haven't checked it in a week or two, and it looks like you knew (or He knew) exactly what i needed to see today. i just bought a hardcopy of grace based parenting on ebay, and got it on my kindle, too. can't wait to dive into it this weekend. Thank you, as always, for being the voice of a friend, even though we've never met! I enjoy your perspective so much.