To live a passionate life, a person has to feel passionately; has to loosen restraints of the heart that might have been placed there to protectitself from past assaults. Kids are great at this. Passionate they are! Try taking something away from them that they are particularly fascinatedwith and listen to the howl.There are however, societal restraints put there for the safety of the group that we (hopefully) observe.

If we’re to have a just and caring society we have to model that to our kids. Aye and there’s the rub. The modelingpart. The actual tricky part starts when we attempt to combine passion with the aforementioned modeling.If we want the kids to behave in an acceptable fashion, there has to be a certain amount of discipline – there’s just no escaping it. Fail to do it in the home, as in society, and chaos ensues. And when chaos reigns, as often happens when there are a lot of children bounding around, it is not always easy to keep your head – to reign in your passion.We’re adults! When our kids are yelling, we’re not supposed to yell back. Sure is tempting though. When they’re clouting each other we’re not supposed to clout them back – we’re just perpetuating what we’re trying to avoid. Sure can be tempting though. I should know – I’ve yelled and clouted. I suppose you do teach what you need to learn.

Kenny Rogers sang a Don Schlitz song called The Gambler. I sometimes think it refers as much to raising kids as it does to card games.Having kids is always a gamble when you come to think of it. You neverknow what’s going to happen next. Considering he had almost as many wives(5) as he had children (6) maybe Kenny had them all in mind when he sang his song. Every parent will find a way to deal with discipline – I can only saywhat worked for us. It’s kind of like Kenny said;

“If you’re gonna play the game, boy

You gotta learn to play it right

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em

Know when to fold ’em

Know when to walk away

Know when to run.”

“Hold them” and love them; “fold them” in your arms and smile; “walk” – them to the corner or to their room for a time out or – “run” for the great outdoors and breathe deeply when you are tempted to do something you’ll regret.

We knew we needed to do something to keep our kids in line, but knowing that just as each child was unique, so would each situation be different.We really didn’t know what might work for all of them, yet fair’s fair – they needed to know the outcome when they pushed too far. It’s a gamble!

Eventually we decided that the best way to discipline a child was the easiest – get them to do the walking so we could cool ourselves down, and then figure out what to do next. Often banishing your youngin’ from the herd is the simplest and easiest solution of all.

Thus when today our 3 year old son Alex misbehaved, he was sent to his room. He marched off, paused and did a quick u – turn, then fired back,”You….. pooperdag!”

I looked at Greg and muttered, “Did he just call me a pooperdag?”

“Yes. I believe he did.”

“Wow, great word” I marveled. Very quietly.

2 responses to “Discipline

  1. It’s a prickly topic, all right. Parents the world over flip and flop over their strategies and follow-through with this. Faye, your deft balancing act between judicious caring and droll delivery belies any pooperdag qualities you may possess!

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