Fight the Good Fight

September 27, 2010

Ah, the dreaded task of discipline. If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I struggle with this just like everyone else does. My kids fight with each other very, very often! They can be, and often are,  unkind and intolerant. I feel as though I am constantly refereeing and fussing, all to no avail.

There has got to be a secret formula to get your kids to obey. I have punished them by taking things away, and punished them by giving them extra chores. I have tried spanking them (which is my least favorite form of discipline) and I have tried time-outs and having them stand on their knees. Nothing has been an effective deterrent for this unacceptable behavior. Is it me? Is it them? Am I missing something?

And the thing is, just as ugly as they are to each other, they can demonstrate the same amount of love and caring toward each other. They can, at times, be the sweetest, considerate, most compassionate kids I have ever seen. They can be patient and kind to each other. It simply makes my heart melt like "butta"!

And now, to top it all off,  there are new issues that have begun to creep up on me as the kids get older. For example, Karli has convinced herself that I don't trust her. What would give her that idea, you ask? Well, I may or may not have taken a peek at her text messages on her phone (in front of her) a time or two. I feel totally justified to do so. As a matter of fact, I feel that it is my obligation to do so. I want her to know that at any moment I can and may check up on her to make sure that she is being honest with me and her daddy. But, I fear that this might be backfiring on me. She is becoming more reserved in what she shares with me. She is determined to keep "her business" to herself. Now, she is only eleven. She doesn't have her own "business". But, I am still trying to figure out the best way to handle this. I absolutely do trust her. She has not given me a reason not to. I try to give her as much space as she needs without totally disconnecting. But, I also want her to know that she is accountable to us and to God for all of her actions. I am not so concerned about what she is doing now, but I know that in the future this could change. 

I am confused, and as usual, I have no idea what the heck I am doing! I know that I want to be able to always trust her because she is always 100% honest with me. I also know that it is not very likely that this will happen. I was a teenager not too long ago and can remember that part of my life all too well. I want her to make the right decisions on her own. Again, I also know that there are hormonal and external factors that don't always make it easy to do so. 

I guess that I am going to have to do everything I can to keep the lines of communication open between us. If that means giving up on intruding into what she considers "her business", then so be it. I think. Maybe. We'll see. I'm gonna have to pray about it. Dear God, I cannot do this on my own! Amen.

"If you need wisdom- if you want to know what God wants you to do- ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking." James 1:5

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