Discipline and Love

I frequently told my children, “There’s nothing you can do so bad that will make me stop loving you.  And there’s nothing you can do to earn my love.  I just love you because you are you!”  I occasionally remind them of that, although my youngest is 28.

I frequently appropriately touched my children.  A loving, approving pat communicates love and acceptance.  I also hugged my children frequently.  There is no substitute for hugs for expressing love and acceptance.  This seems to come naturally for mothers, but father-hugs are just as important.   Fathers, hug your children!

Love for my children included discipline.  The purpose of discipline is to teach that actions have consequences.  Here were my quidelines:

  1. Discipline in love, not anger.  Wait until I cool off.
  2. Remember the purpose – to help them remember not to do that again
  3. Do not administer physical discipline with a hand – hands are for expressing love and acceptance
  4. Allow the discipline to sting, but not wound
  5. Remember to communicate why you are administering discipline
  6. Remember to be sure to remind them afterward that you do love them – enough to do this
  7. Forgive
  8. Avoid pointing a finger at them.  (That leaves three fingers pointing back at you!)  Having a finger pointed at you can be threatening or demeaning.