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Think of discipline like a hammer. Have you ever seen a carpenter use a hammer? He hits the nail one time, maybe two, and the nail is hammered down right where he wants it. Very little effort but super effective.
Often as parents we aren’t very effective with our disciple hammer. We yell and punish with little effectiveness. We use our hammer recklessly and hit it all over the place, bending the nail so we have to pull it out and start all over again. The board and the nail are damaged and both need repair when we are done.
How do we learn to use our discipline hammer effectively?
For starters, we leave it in our pocket first. We don’t pull it out until we first understand the situation. We determine what is really happening before we react. Why is our five year old screaming? Is this normal behavior or unusual? What is happening around them?
As we assess the situation, then we can pull out the hammer effectively. It’s always there in our pocket. Now we can calmly tell them the change needed in their behavior or the consequence of their actions.
Keep the discipline hammer in your pocket and pull it out after you assess the situation. Remember it’s a hammer, and a hammer can either do damage or it can be super effective.
Take the first step toward effective discipline by using hammer wisely.