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If you have not read part one, find that in Dealing With Disobedience Part One. Read that for the first four steps and then come back.
Once we have clearly defined the root (the negative behavior) and the opposite (the positive behavior), we talk about how the situation could have been handled properly.
At times I have my kids role play with me to accomplish this. It is important to make sure they understand how to do it differently next time, don’t rush this step.
Next would be to apologize to the person or persons they have offended.
Oftentimes that is me if it is just a disobedience issue, but the apology needs to be sincere and heartfelt in order to be accepted. Included would be an acknowledgement of how their behavior made the offended person feel, if appropriate.
This is the point where I inform them of a “punishment.”
It might be a loss of a privilege, it might be that they are given a way they are to serve the person they offended by doing some chores, or sometimes if appropriate, my kids do some good old fashioned line writing or Bible verse copying.
The punishment varies as much as the crime does, but it must always fit the crime. For instance, being neglectful in doing a chore often means extra work for added practice. If the offense is a repeated or ongoing issue, the punishment becomes more harsh as well.
I often remind my kids that my job is not to make sure that they have nice life filled with nice things and experiences, but that my main objective is shaping them into the person God created them to be. They need to learn to be obedient to me so they can learn to be obedient to God.
With my older kids, I continue with reminding them that their time in my house could very well be coming to an end in only a few years. When they are not living with me they can do whatever they want, but they will still have to be accountable to God, only without my guidance and umbrella of protection in between. Also, don’t be afraid to get back to them with a punishment if you need some time to think and pray about it.
Finally, they admit their wrongdoing to God, offering sincere admission and then praying for forgiveness and strength to do it different the next time.
I do allow my older kids to do this step on their own if they choose.
I wish I could say that these are the steps I follow every time, but like you, life is busy sometimes and doing so just isn’t possible for one reason or another. Sometimes it is just laziness on my part, but I do let them know that we will revisit an issue later. Then, we implement these steps at that time. I feel it is better to be delayed than to be rushed.
The overall objective in correction or discipline is for your child to walk away knowing and feeling that they are loved. I remind them that it is because I love them that I discipline and correct them.
You know your child, make sure that when you walk away, this vital step has been accomplished. Feel free to use the steps I take as a springboard to developing a set of your own, or follow these steps closely, either way, you know your children best and the calling you have received to be their mom.
Having a structure in place and that is consistent is key no matter what that system is. My overall objective is to parent in grace so in whatever I do, I make sure that I feel grace has been extended to my child.