Sunday, October 5, 2008

~ Tough Love ~

Discipline, that word can conjure up so many feelings, and opinions. As a mom it's hard for us sometimes to follow through, to be consistent. At times we almost want to rescue our kids from the fate that they have laid out for themselves.

My almost 13 year old son has been struggling lately with his mouth. He is stubborn, and strong willed. Excellent attributes when used in a positive way. Unfortunately, he is using them to drive his momma bananas!

See I'm strong willed and stubborn too, so really it comes down to a battle of who is MORE stubborn. It can sometimes be exhausting emotionally correcting, and guiding an older child. They have their own opinions, thoughts, and justifications.

I need to show respect for that, but I also need to guide him into sharing these also with respect.
As of late he has struggled with this. Hence, I have had the privilege of disciplining him. Yes, I said privilege. I never said easy or enjoyable. These two things, it is not.

Tradesman and I are shaping a man. This is a privilege. This boy is on the verge of manhood. What an exciting and yet difficult time it will be.

Recently his mouth lost him a fun afternoon of freedom with his buddies at a homeschool event. This only comes around once every other year. A chance to hang with his friends all day, going on rides and tasting sweet independence in a safe environment.
Unfortunately, he spent the day following around his parents and younger siblings. He had a great attitude though and we enjoyed the day together despite both his and my disappointment in the lost opportunity.

Against all commonsense I wanted to save him that day. I wanted to take back the consequence. I didn't want him to miss out. It was so hard for me to stick to my guns and follow through.
I'm glad I did though. It was another lesson learned and another notch on his belt in his journey toward manhood.

This past weekend yet again I had to dish out another discipline. He knew he earned it, he was remorseful and preparing himself for a doozy.

Well, this is what he got.

This massive pile of wood had to be stacked in our shed for the winter. Nothing like hard labor to instigate a time of reflection. He again had a great attitude and accepted his punishment like a champ.

It took him 6 hours non- stop work with one 5 min. break for a snack I made him.
He completed it, I was proud of him, he was proud of himself. It was a big job, but a necessary one.

Discipline is love, they need to work hand and hand. Being tough means dishing out the discipline when its essential and then coming alongside your child and encouraging them.

Yes, you've earned this consequence, but come on lets move on, I believe in you, you CAN beat this weakness with the help of Christ. Let's spend time together, let's pray about this. Nothing you do can change my love for you.

My son actually said to me that he wondered if I could be stubborn enough. He wondered if he could ever push back too much, if there was a limit to me sticking with him, training him, disciplining him or if at some point I would give up.

I said never!! My love is unconditional, and I will never stop doing what it takes to help guide you into the great man you will be one day. I count it joy and a privilege to be a part of the work God has begun in you.

Besides, I'm more stubborn!


Erin said...

I'm so glad you wrote about it, Sher. And I'm not far behind you in the raising young men dept. so I'm so glad to see what's ahead!! And how best to handle it with grace and tough love combined. You are a great mom -- thanks for sharing your wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Your son is blessed! You and tradesman are also blessed! Unconditional love is such a rare and wonderful thing>

Love J

mamazee said...

I've got a 13 year old - i find being the first one to smile helps a lot, too :)... Crazy years, aren't they? but so much fun... and i'm finding so much more confidence that God knows what He's doing, it's not just "up to me" ;)... now, i gotta go find some baby pix! I keep hearing about this tiny dolly and i haven't even seen a picture yet :)

paige said...

wow~ What a great post. My oldest son is only 6 ~ & i feel like i am treading in new waters, he's so different from his 3 older sisters. Posts like this show a picture and say, "this is what it can look like"... i love that.
Well done, mama.

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