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Creative discipline

Creative discipline

Here are some suggestions to help you develop a spirit of collaboration in your children.

For problems with an uncooperative attitude

Biblical basis

James 3:13-18: “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Suggested disciplinary action

If one of your children refuses to submit to authority or cooperate, liken this to refusing to yield the right-of-way in traffic. Explain that if drivers refused to follow the rules of the road, the end result would be chaos. So it is in our homes – if kids disobey their parents, then their homes will lack harmony and will instead be full of chaos. God’s plan is for our homes to be peaceful.

As a discipline measure, assign your child a task that involves sorting or organizing, or some form of restoring order. You’ll likely need to work alongside your child. Take advantage of the time you spend together to further discuss the importance of cooperation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Sort clean socks into matching pairs. Talk about the chaos that would be created if mismatched socks appeared in everyone’s sock drawer. Imagine Dad trying to put on a child’s sock when getting ready for work.
  • Sort washed cutlery into the appropriate place in the drawer. Talk about what a bother it would be to set the table if all the silverware were mismatched.
  • Tidy and sort shoes left in your hallway, closet or mudroom. Discuss why it is better to leave shoes tidy and in matching pairs, rather than all jumbled together.
  • Sort recyclables and take a trip to the recycling depot. Chat about the importance of order versus chaos. Have your child imagine how difficult it would be for the recycling depot staff if all the containers were tossed in a single bin.
  • Sort through a cluttered toy box, putting the toys in appropriate bins. Talk for the toys, pretending that some toys are cooperating and others are not. Explain to the toys that if they want to be played with, they need to be in the right bin so that your child can find them.
  • Sort soiled laundry into colours and whites. Point out what would happen if you didn’t sort the clothing before washing it: blue jeans would snag delicate fabrics, bright or dark colours would run into the whites, and the clothing would begin to look dingy and wear out quickly.
  • Clean out an odds and ends drawer and ask your child to help sort paper clips, safety pins, coins, elastic bands and string into separate containers. Chat about how much easier it will be for you to find the items you need when they are well organized.
  • Organize your food storage containers and ask your child to help figure out which lids go with which containers. Arrange the containers from small to large. Mention how easy it will now be to find containers for snacks and leftovers.
Affirmation

When the job is completed, pray with your child, basing your prayer on James 3:17-18: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” Ask God to give your child wisdom from heaven in the form of a submissive and obedient heart that desires to spread peace rather than chaos.