11/21/2007
In reading recently about discipline for home and school, I was struck by how our conception of sin influences how we approach discipline. Granted some sort of connection seems obvious, but I was intrigued by the difference it made in whether behavior and discipline became an individual or communal thing.

In the traditions I have been exposed to sin is viewed as an individual action. You commit a specific act - break a specific rule and you have committed a sin. Sin is a concrete thing that you (individual you) do. It is a very self-oriented/ it's all about me sort of thing. The focus is on what I have done wrong and then on how God will either punish or forgive me. I must repent of those sins for my own sake. I choose not to sin based on the reward or punishment I will receive. I ask - Will this send me to hell? Will this hurt my prayer life? Will this get me to heaven?

If sin is viewed less as concrete acts, but more as a state of the heart the issue becomes communal instead of individual. If being in sin means having a broken relationship with God or with others (failing to love God and love others with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength), the focus is shifted away from ourselves. Instead of focusing on ourselves, we put God and others before ourselves. Their needs and feeling become what is important. We choose not to sin because we care about God and others - we don't want to cause them pain. Caring for others is a value that is then upheld and the basis for the good things one does.

But the self-centered view of sin is what dominates our churches, homes, and schools. Children are not taught to care for others or to be aware of their needs. They are instead encouraged to make sure their own butt is covered and to tattle when others perform a wrong action. Instead of being encouraged to love misbehaving kids, understand why they acted out or made a mistake, and help them find solutions, our kids are forced to view these kids as bad examples who must be punished and ridiculed. The messages of love, humility, and compassion are ignored in a discipline structure where it's every man for himself. Why do we ignore Philippians 2:3-4 - "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others"?

One of the worst examples of this is how our modern Christian culture has taken a Bible passage originally intended to help restore relationships and made it a mandate for personal vendetta. The whole "eye for an eye" concept severely restricted vengeance back in the day. It called for a one for one exchange instead of the typical escalation of violence common back then (you killed my friend, so I will kill your friend, then your friend kill my friends, then my friends... until whoever is bigger, more powerful, or just more numerous wins). So instead of dragging a whole tribe into a petty argument and disturbing the peace (as well as economics, agriculture, the lives of all the innocents) vengeance was restricted. But even when Jesus' words are completely ignored (Matthew 5:38-39 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.'But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."), this passage is taken as justification or a mandate to harm others instead of a way to help control violence and maintain peace. It become about getting our need for vengeance satisfied and not about loving others.

So if I want to take the Great Commandment seriously ('Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself) I need to examine if that is the message I am sending in how I talk about sin and in how I discipline. If my desire is for Emma to be a person who loves God and loves others, are the things I say to her and the ways I discipline her serving to achieve that end? If not, am I willing to sacrifice habits, rote responses, and what may be easy in order to change?
(this has been reposted from my blog onehandclapping)

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posted by Julie at 3:56:00 PM | 1 comments
11/18/2007
A couple commenters have asked for some practical examples of gentle discipline (or compassionate parenting or empathic parenting or whatever you want to call it). I don't think there's one right way of doing it. I think that as long as you are respectful of both your child and yourself and allow yourself to be guided by love, you'll be in good shape. For a lot of people, that's all they need to know and without reading any expert books on the topic, they practice gentle discipline as naturally as breathing air.

For others, however, like myself, who have never had gentle discipline modeled for them, there is a learning curve, and it can take a lot of practice as well as continued awareness of one's attitudes, beliefs and feelings in any given situation to remain committed to the principles of compassionate parenting.

Many of the suggestions below are taken directly from the book Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser, specifically from the chapter titled Moving Beyond Punishment. I've also drawn from ideas on the site Empathic Parenting, the website of Lisa Stroyan, a parenting coach and contributor to the book Adventures in Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower. Also, my daughter's only 3 years old, so some of the examples I offer are more applicable to very young children.

1. Honoring the Impulse--This is the tool I fall back on the most and usually first. I can't tell you what a paradigm shift it was for me when I realized that when my toddler daughter was doing things I didn't want her to (i.e., banging on stuff, throwing stuff, hitting, running away, doing the opposite of what I asked--you get the picture), it wasn't because she was being naughty but because her toddler self had not yet developed a level of impulse control to my adult satisfaction. What I needed to remind myself was that the impulse behind the behavior was not bad but perfectly natural and an important part of development and learning. For example, banging on stuff is a natural way of learning through her senses. Hitting may be her way of trying to communicate anger. Doing the opposite of what I ask may be an expression of her need to assert independence. Here's a quote from Becoming the Parent You Want to Be:
"In the midst of children's challenging, difficult behavior, it is worthwhile to ask: 'What's the impulse that's behind this behavior?' 'Is there something my child is working on that I can support, even as I help her adjust or change her behavior?'"

2. Redirection--This goes hand in hand with honoring the impulse because if our child is behaving in a way that is not appropriate (i.e., dangerous, destructive, etc.) merely honoring the impulse isn't enough. Their behavior needs to be redirected so that their impulse can be acted on in a way that is more acceptable, and so that the child knows that we value what they are interested in. For example, if my daughter starts splashing the water from her glass and making a mess, I can honor her impulse ("Looks like you want to play with water" instead of "Oh, honey, stop! You're making a mess!") and then redirect ("You can help me wash these dishes" or "Would you like to take a bath?"). We won't ALWAYS find an appropriate alternative to redirect a child's impulse or interest, but the more we try, the more likely we'll get better at it, and the more our kids will feel that we truly care about their interests.

3. Time-together instead of time-outs--I've noticed that when my daughter is being difficult, it's because she has a need that is not being met and she doesn't yet have the ability to communicate this to me constructively. I know some folks may roll their eyes and think, "Yeah, right. She NEEDS to be a brat and have her own way, right?" Actually, I don't think she's a brat for wanting her own way. It's a natural part of being her age. Who doesn't want their own way? At least she's being honest about it. That doesn't mean there aren't times when I want to just scream at her to shut up and leave me the hell alone because I can't figure out what the heck it is she needs. It's usually times like that when she needs my presence and focused attention the most. Sometimes she just needs a really long hug and to have her hair stroked. Sometimes she just wants me to be in the room with her as she plays. It's times like these when I have to remember that my daughter's need for my attention is a very valid need.

4. Put yourself into your child's shoes--Sometimes our kids may appear to be misbehaving because we just don't know where they're coming from. If we can pause to put ourselves into their shoes, we may be able to see that their behavior is just their way of communicating a need. If we believe that our kids are doing the best they can with what they've got and where they're at (developmentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) then we're more likely to empathize with them, figure out what their unmet needs are and hopefully meet those needs if possible.

There are many other suggestions that can make gentle discipline effective. I'm just listing these four suggestions here, but there are some good resources online that I'll list at the end of this post.

Let's take just these four suggestions and put them together in a hypothetical situation. Let's say that my daughter Cadence and I have been having a grand ole time at the playground on a Saturday afternoon. I work full-time outside the home, so these times are important to both of us. When it's almost time to leave, I can tell Cadence that we'll be leaving in five minutes. I may ask her, "Do you want to play on the slides or the swings before we leave?" After a couple minutes, I may tell her, "Ok, five more times down the slide and we have to go pick up Daddy." Each time she comes down the slide, we'll count together. On the last slide, I'll give her one more reminder that this will be the last time before we leave.

When she comes down the slide the last time, I'll offer my hand and say, "Let's go pick up Daddy at Trader Joe's!" Cadence may yell, "NO!" and run away from me. Instead of telling her, "Cadence, I gave you plenty of warning that we'd have to leave, so now let's GO!" I can Put Myself Into Her Shoes and remember that this is the first time all week that she's had Mama at the playground, and so it's understandable that she doesn't want to leave. Heck, what kid wants to leave when they're having fun? So I can Honor Her Impulse to keep on playing and having fun and say, "Looks like you're having fun and don't want to leave. We were really having a good time, weren't we?" Then I can Redirect and say, "Can you think of something fun we can do together as a family after we pick up Daddy from work, all three of us?" If she still refuses to go, I can say, "Looks like you're having a hard time leaving on your own. Will you walk with me, or should I carry you?" If she refuses to walk on her own, I will carry her off the playground to the car. This is when Cadence may just lose it and start screaming and kicking and hitting. Instead of thinking, "Oh, goodness gracious, what a BRAT!" I'll try again to Put Myself Into Her Shoes and realize that as a 3 year old, it's extremely maddening to be physically limited (by being carried) on TOP of being made to leave a fun situation. By this time, she may be in total meltdown mode, and I will give her some Time Together and hold her (if she'll let me), stroke her hair, and let her continue to work out her tantrum. If she won't let me hold her or tries to run away, I will carry her (best I can) to the car and put her in the carseat or take her somewhere else safe until she is done.

Okay, so maybe the various strategies didn't prevent a tantrum in this situation, and I wasn't able to find an acceptable alternative to redirect her screaming/hitting/kicking etc. However, by being respectful and truly caring about my daughter's experience of the situation, by showing my daughter that I was really trying to understand her, by not belittling her feelings (however trivial they may seem to me, they're important to her) and by staying with her when she was at her "worst" and remaining calm, my daughter's security in our relationship remains intact, and she knows that I love her and care about her and no matter what she does, I will NOT withhold my love. At the same time, by placing limits when necessary, I can still be firm and teach her about things I will not allow her to do because they are harmful to herself or to others. The relationship part is so important though, for the long run. I mean, when they're 3 or 4, the choices for their "rebellion" are quite limited. Yeah, they can throw food everywhere and be a holy terror on the playground. What I'm thinking about is when my daughter is a teenager and has her own drivers license. Or in college. By establishing a loving and attached relationship from the beginning, I believe that I'm increasing my chances that my daughter will WANT to do the right things because she loves me and doesn't want to make my life miserable. Hopefully, by having a loving relationship, it'll be easier to teach her about things like compassion, mercy, justice, responsibility, etc. so that she'll develop SELF discipline and do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not because someone's watching to punish or reward her. I don't think this is too far off from God wanting us to obey and serve him out of love, not out of drudgery or guilt or duty.

A word on tantrums. I don't think that you can always avoid the Total Meltdowns. In fact, I think that temper tantrums are necessary and can be an indication that the child is working through something. I know that a lot of experts and pediatricians say to ignore kids when they are having a tantrum or else they'll keep throwing tantrums to get attention. I don't agree with this, especially for younger children. Ignoring children, especially when they are very young, teaches them that their feelings don't matter. Sometimes, I think the best thing to do is to provide a safe place for the child to have their tantrum and to stay with them (keeping them safe from being destructive to property or to themselves). I highly encourage reading this article regarding temper tantrums, which goes into these ideas in more details:
Cry for Connection: A Fresh Approach to Tantrums by Patty Wipfler. It's a long article, but I would read it all the way through. It'll take a load off your back, especially if you are a parent who absolutely dreads temper tantrums.

Also, if your child is tired, hungry, sick, or has some other basic physical need that is not being met, all bets are off...

For more suggestions on gentle discipline/empathic parenting, I highly recommend the book Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. If you don't have time to read, get the DVD. My husband and I have watched it numerous times, when we needed affirmation and inspiration.

Here are also some good articles from Lisa Stroyan's Empathic Parenting website:
My Discipline Goals and Beliefs
Strategies for Handling Conflict with Toddlers
Respectful Discipline Tools (lots of good suggestions in this one)

I apologize for the wordiness of this post and for my inability to organize paragraphs. Fact is, I've only touched the surface on this topic, but it's something I care deeply about because I really do believe that compassionate and peaceful parenting CAN change the world.

P.S. My daughter and I had a traumatic experience tonight that involved an hour on the potty, a lot of clinging and screaming and wailing(on her part) as well as confusion, self-doubt and helplessness (on my part). Truly, I no longer measure success in the LACK of such experiences and situations, but rather in how my daughter and I feel about each other afterwards. If I didn't, I would've thrown in the towel on this stuff a long time ago.

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posted by Unknown at 11:32:00 PM | 6 comments
11/16/2007

Walking together

If we really believe that the message of Jesus Christ has the power to transform our lives and the world, then it makes perfect sense to me to apply these teachings to how we parent and discipline. I'm no theologian, but my understanding of Jesus' core message is that of radical love and mercy and compassion and freedom, a message that has subversively transformative powers. The kingdom of God turns our world upside down, and it should turn our parenting world upside down as well, if it hasn't already.

The Jews in Jesus' day had all these laws and regulations that they had to follow to maintain their membership in the Righteous Club. The Pharisees were among the few who followed the letter of the law to the last detail, but Jesus called them white-washed tombs because their hearts did not match their outward deeds. Do we want to raise our kids to be Pharisees? Always in line and following all the rules (as long as someone's watching) to avoid punishment and to be praised for their good behavior, but inwardly devoid of love and justice and goodness and mercy and compassion? Just as Jesus didn't come to abolish the law but to call us to a deeper and higher standard*—having inward righteousness as well as outward—why should our standards for our kids be different? Why feel smug if our kids grow up to be well-behaved and well-mannered, who say "thank you" and "please" and "excuse me," who don't interrupt when a grown-up is speaking, who follow all the rules at school and home and church, never rock the boat. Will such kids be willing to befriend and stick up for the ones at school who are being bullied or ostracized for being a different color, for being gay, for being poor, for being disabled, for being clumsy, for being different in any way from the mainstream? Will such kids pass a homeless person on the street and be filled with compassion or will they not even notice or just be embarrassed?

If we apply the message of the kingdom to the way we discipline our children so that they will be molded from the inside and for the long-term, what would that look like? This is something I hope we can discuss, and I offer here a few of my own thoughts. [Some of these paragraphs seem kind of jumbled, which is why I'm putting them in bullet form, so I apologize in advance.]

  • I think we first have to reexamine our attitude towards/assumptions about children. Do we see children as people worthy of respect and dignity? Do we think that children have a natural tendency to misbehave unless they are kept in line with an iron hand? Do we view children as lesser citizens in God's kingdom? I think Jesus was pretty clear about how he felt about children. He welcomed them with open arms and declared that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. If we keep that in mind, we'll probably think twice before we belittle or disrespect a child.
  • It also would be helpful to keep in mind that we are also children of God and to think of how God disciplines us. I don't know about you all, but God didn't win my heart with time-outs or spankings. It was his gentleness and mercy during those times I deserved most to be punished that really melted my heart. Alfie Kohn writes in his book Unconditional Parenting that it is when kids are behaving at their worst that they need most to be loved. I've witnessed the truth of this in my own life with my 3 year old daughter.
  • I believe in gentle, compassionate discipline that is respectful and mindful of the child's body, mind, spirit, personality and developmental readiness. I believe that the goal of discipline is to teach, not to modify or control undesirable behavior. I also believe that the best medium for effective discipline is a loving relationship with our child that is based on trust, unconditional love and acceptance, compassion and respect.
  • I don't believe that gentle discipline means weak discipline. In fact, based on Jesus' teachings, I believe the opposite to be true. I believe that you CAN be firm and provide guidance, but that doing so gently and lovingly and humbly has more power to teach a life lesson than using harsh punishment or one's greater size/strength to enforce compliance. I don't believe that gentle discipline equates to sparing the rod, but to me that rod signifies the guidance of a shepherd's staff, not an instrument of physical punishment.
  • Many parents may use discipline as a way to make children do as they are told, to "behave," and I wouldn't be surprised if those children grow up to have a warped view of God. I think Jesus calls his followers to a higher and deeper practice of discipline, one that is based on gentleness and humility--not power; mercy and compassion--not severity; trust--not control; respect--not shame; freedom--not coercion; unconditional love--not conditional rejection.

*My thoughts on Jesus' calling us to a higher and deeper standard come from The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren.

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posted by Unknown at 6:40:00 AM | 6 comments
11/12/2007
I just wanted to share this quote with folks here for your reflections and reactions:

"The future of our movement may be less in convincing the established system that we are legitimate, and more so in showing our spouses and children that we represent a genuine alternative to the hypocrisy we're frequently critical of. If emergent really is this generous spirit of change and hope, it should be obvious to our household." —Zach Roberts
 
posted by Steve K. at 8:32:00 PM | 6 comments
11/10/2007
When I told my kids that I had volunteered to write a blog post about discipline, all three burst out in laughter. That's probably not a good sign. My husband and I have been called "very relaxed parents" by a friend who was trying to put a positive spin on what he saw as our ridiculously lax discipline. I chose to take that as a complement. We aren't the kind of parents who yell a lot, we don't grab our kids by their arms and shake our fingers in their faces, and we absolutely never hit our children. But that doesn't mean we don't have a method of discipline. We do--we do our best to set our children up to succeed.

For example, when our kids were toddlers, we didn't take them to nice restaurants where they had to sit in a chair for a long time and eat food they didn't like. When we did take them to places where they had to be quiet and still, we made sure they had quiet things to do and snacks. And we kept our eye on them, and scooped them up and moved on when we saw signs that their patience was running out, BEFORE the meltdown happened.

This method had one main benefit: from the beginning, we tended to enjoy being around our kids. We weren't anxious or tense around them when they were little in large part because we spent very little time trying to make them behave. We put them in situations where they could behave well, and when they couldn't, we took them out of the situation, gave them a break, let them run around outside and blow off steam, let them take a nap, let them have a snack.

I still smile when I remember our three-year-old twins having races on the sidewalk outside a wonderful Japanese restaurant in Berkeley, in between the courses of a very long dinner with my aunt and cousins. At first, my husband took the kids outside, but by their second or third race, the various adult relatives wanted to go too, and some of them joined in the race. My hunch was they needed a break too.

I am constantly amazed at how often parents around me fail to set their kids up to succeed. Airplanes are a great example. It is really hard to take a little kid on a long airplane flight, so you have to get prepared. You have to bring books, toys, markers and paper, and lots and lots of snacks. If you don't, you kid will start to entertain herself by annoying you, kicking the seat in front of her, etc. And then you start threatening her, telling everyone who will listen how impossible she is, etc. I have no sympathy for the parent in this case, and lots of sympathy for the kid. Why not set her up to succeed instead of setting her up to fail?

Maybe it sounds like I give my kids too much control. Maybe it sounds like I haven't really let them know who's the boss. I choose to think of it this way: from the time my kids were little, I let them know that our family is a team. We're not competing against each other and there aren't winners and losers. We're all on the same side, and we are all going to succeed together. That has built a kind of "esprit de corps" in our family that now exerts a very strong persuasive influence on my kids. They enjoy being around us, and even as they teeter on the edge of adolescence, we still really enjoy being around them. As a result, I can now see that sense of connection and empathy which is such a core part of my parenting is in them too.

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posted by Heather Kirk-Davidoff at 4:41:00 AM | 11 comments
11/07/2007
John Wilmot (1647–1680) was the 2nd Earl of Rochester, a poet, and a friend of King Charles II. He once opined, ‘Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories’. Not a few of us parents know how he feels, and that not least when it comes to the vexed question of discipline. When I only had a dog, I was an ‘expert’ on parenting, and made sure as many parents as I knew understood what a great resource they had in me. But now I’m a dad of an actual person - a person (like me) with a will of their own; and I’ve now lost count of how many times I've said to my 18-month-old daughter, ‘That’s not your draw … you know that’s not your draw’, or ‘No, BooBoo (my affectionate name for her), I asked you not to touch that’.

In a post (or even an entire monograph) one cannot say everything that could – or perhaps even should – be said about discipline, though one must say something, while being encouraged that the conversation that we enter on this issue goes back a long way (and may it continue). Tell me that Cain and Abel’s folks didn’t have a few chats about it! That said, with so many opinions, agendas, fears and practices that abound, one does embark on any public discussion of parental discipline with a certain amount of trepidation. Suffice it to say that despite the passion that erupts in some parents on this issue, and despite the reality that there may indeed be some models that are better for some kids (and parents/carers) than others no one model is best in every situation. We not only all cook lasagne differently, we all parent, and discipline, differently. This is not to suggest, however, that all lasagne recipes are equally good.

In his delightful book A Little Child Shall Lead Them: Hopeful Parenting in a Confused World, Johann Christoph Arnold, reminds us that in an age when discipline of any kind is regarded by many as physical abuse, it is tempting to dismiss wholesale the Old Testament proverb about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. (Indeed, one of the most helpful books that I have ever read on parenting – though it is not directly about parenting – is Join Up in which Monty Roberts suggests that the rod in question here is that of the fishing kind). Arnold suggests that even if we reject physical punishment (which, incidently, he does not), we can find sound wisdom in other proverbs, and he cites 19:19: ‘Reprove your child, for in this there is hope’. The reason: Whenever children are conscious of having done something wrong and there are no consequences, they learn that they can get away with it. ‘It is a terrible thing’, he writes, ‘for a child to get that message. With younger ones, the issue might seem unimportant; their misdeed may actually be small, but the lessons they learn will have repercussions far into the future’. Discipline so conceived is essentially a positive thing. Moreover, it has goal; namely, to nurture a child’s will for the good.

With our 18-month-old, after it is established that she really is being naughty (and there is not some other reason for her behaviour) the good old ‘time out’ (or threat of) seems to do the trick most of the time. Hopefully it will for many years yet. It enables us to be assertive, and to clearly follow through when a threat has been made, and ignored. That said, parenting (like good lasagna making) requires creativity too, and that no less in matters of discipline. In his sapient book, The Secret of Happy Children, family therapist and parenting author Steve Biddulph devotes a chapter to the issue of being assertive (as opposed to aggressive) parents. Assertive parents, he contends, are ‘those who are clear, firm, determined and, on the inside, confident and relaxed. Their children learn that what Mum and Dad says goes but, at the same time, that they will not be treated with put-downs or humiliation’. He also suggests that it is not a skill we are born with so much as one we can take time (if we will) to learn. He summarises:

Be clear in your own mind. It’s not a request; it’s not open to debate: it’s a demand which you have a right to make, and the child will benefit from learning to carry it out.

Make good contact. Stop what you are doing, go up close to the child and get her/him to look at you. Don’t give the instruction until s/he looks at you.

Be clear. Say, ‘I want you to … now. Do you understand?’ Make sure you get a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

If they do not obey, repeat the command. Do not discuss, reason, get angry or scared. Breathe slowly and deeply so that you become calmer. What you are signalling to the child is that you are willing to persist on this one and not even get upset about it. This is the key step, and what matters most is what you don’t do. You don’t enter into debate or argument, you don’t get heated, you simply repeat the demand to the child.

Stay close if there is any chance that the child will not carry out the task fully. When the task is completed (say, putting away toys), then don’t make much of this either. Simply say, ‘Good,’ and smile briefly!

It seems to me that one of the most important things to remember with whatever form of discipline is employed is that one be not only persistent but also consistent (and this extends to backing up your partner; if you disagree with their call, talk about it later, in private). Again, Arnold: ‘Aside from creating confusion in a child’s mind, inconsistency also prevents the formation of the boundaries that every young child needs. Even though he may resist at the beginning, he will thrive on routines once they are established’.

It also seems to me that one’s disciplining will only ever be productive if our kids feel our love as strongly as they feel our desire to correct them. Isn’t this precisely the way it is with God whose discipline of his people always occurs within the context of his covenant love for them, a covenant that is unilateral and so not ultimately threatened by our rebellion. In other words, discipline is effective when it takes place in the context of a pre-existing relationship of love and trust. Which is why it’s basically futile for absent parents to try and discipline. And which is why at the heart of any discussion of discipline must be the reality of forgiveness. Forgiveness for our children … and for their parents. True discipline is never an end in itself. It never shames, but always liberates. Its goal is always redemptive, always reconciliatory, always freeing, always hopeful, always manifesting the triumph of grace. Only in the context of grace are we set free to love our kids enough to discipline them for their good, and are they set free to be the people they were created to be.

Image: Rembrandt, ‘Reconciliation Between David and Absalom’, 1642. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

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posted by Jason Goroncy at 3:40:00 PM | 4 comments
11/02/2007
During the month of November here at Emerging Parents we will be focusing on the topic of discipline. From theological reflections, to practical advice, to funny stories we will hear from a variety of perspectives on the topic. I'm sure that we will disagree at times, but I hope we can all be open to learning from each other.

To view the posting schedule for the month and to find out when you are slated to post, click here. There are still openings for posting if anyone else wants to offer their thoughts or stories.

But to start off in our discussion of discipline, I thought it might be helpful for us to reflect on the structures of discipline we grew up with. How were you disciplined as a child by family, teachers, pastors, etc.? What impressions did such discipline make on you as you grew up?

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posted by Julie at 12:00:00 PM | 9 comments