The Will and the Child

This morning, I was reading through “Child Guidance” and marveling at things in there, especially in light of grace-based discipline versus punitive parenting.

In pages 209-213, she talks about not breaking the will of a child. Parents and teachers need to study their children and see what they are like and mold and guide the will, NOT break it. A child who has no will of his or her own (think of children who are told to be submissive in all things at all times to parents and adults) don’t understand why they do things, but just do them. While that may seem really, really nice in the short-term, it just doesn’t pay off in the long run, spiritually speaking. “Children who are thus educated will ever be deficient in energy and individual responsibility. They have not been taught to move from reason and principle; their wills have been controlled by another…”

So, as I practice modeling and redirecting and talking things through and out with my children, they are learning how to make good decisions.

When I spend my time saying, “Oh, you made a mess. Let’s clean it up!” and getting a towel and helping my child clean up…

…instead of yelling at them for making a mistake and spanking them…

When dh tells the girls to clean up their toys and get downs with them and directs their cleaning up, even using the 5 Steps when necessary…

…instead of telling them over and over and getting upset that the toys are still out…

When I call them to come and they don’t come immediately and I goyb parent and get up and help them to come over to me…

…instead of getting upset that they’re not instantly obeying me…

I am not breaking their will. I am planting the seeds for good habits. I’m directing my child’s mind to think of solutions and to see cause and effect. I’m teaching them that I mean business. And all of this without spanking, without time-outs, without shaming.

My husband and I most definitely do not have this parenting thing down. Our children and our God are teaching us more every day. I know I stumble and fall and have to ask forgiveness from my kids and seek for help from God. I wish that happened only daily, but it happens hourly or every minute some days.

But to know that I don’t need to punitively parent in order to meet God’s standards is such a relief. And when I read what Ellen White actually says about spanking, I was blown away! Totally against what the Hohnbergers and other child trainers outline in their books.


About randomteacher

Alphabetically speaking I'm a mom, a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, teacher, a student, a wife. In all these aspects, I'm always learning and putting together my learning. As an ENFP on the Myer's-Briggs Inventory, I also process things externally, so this time, I figured I'd save on my phone bill and blog about things instead

Posted on October 11, 2011, in The Journey. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you so much for your blog it’s very encouraging. Someone else recently brought my attention to this. I’m actually just learning the same lessons. I’ve had trouble putting my kids to bed and I’ve used just about every technique out there. But lately, when she gets off her bed, I just take her back to her bed. The first night I did this, it took about 20 times before she got the idea. But now she stays in bed really well.

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