Creative Discipline

We have a very cute and cunning nearly 3-year-old blonde girl in our family. She is the youngest. The word princess is bantied about to describe her. She reigns over her little kingdom with great glee, and she sometimes seems oblivious to the fact that Mom and Dad still rule.

Last week during family devotions one night, she would not stop getting in and out of her chair. When I spoke firmly to her, she cried–waled is really more accurate. So I removed her from the dining room table where the rest of the family was finishing up devotions and placed her on a chair in the kitchen. I told her to stay there until she could stop her wild lamenting and come to the dining room and apologize for disobeying.

I returned to the dining room where I proceeded to lead the family in singing her favorite Christian song that she requests every night at devotions. I was singing with great gusto, and the older children were following suit and laughing a bit because they saw Mark and me exchanging grins. They weren’t sure what was funny, but it seemed fun to go along with the joke, whatever it was.

After we finished singing, a very remorseful little blonde-headed child appeared near my chair. She said, “I sorry, Mommy.” And, of course, I forgave her. I know there are those out there who would disagree with my choice of discipline in this situation, but this was truly the first time she had been independently remorseful, without a lot of talking and explaining of why she should apologize and change her behavior.

One would think that the 4th child would be easier, what, with 10 years of childrearing experience under our belts. But each child presents new challenges. I felt a small victory inside me. And, I never enjoyed singing that song more than I did that night. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Creative Discipline”

  1. Well done! You didn’t mention the name of the song so should we have a contest to see who can guess it first?

    BTW, from my observation as the 2nd of 4 sisters, discipline seemed to decline significantly by the 4th. She too was exceptionally cute, and there was nearly a 10-year spread between her and the oldest. Our theory was her cuteness combined with our parents’ weariness helped her escape the usual discipline by a long shot. So hang in there — I think with more children it’s more challenging rather than less, partly because you have more to deal with, but especially because, as you say, each one is different. (Maybe that’s why we only have 2 sons?)

  2. Mom,
    I didn’t mention the name of the song because I didn’t think it would be recognized by most people. However, I will tell you now. It is the John 3:16 song that Mark and Calvin learned in Mexico last summer. The missions team sang it for the congregation at evening service when they gave their report, and then we also used it in VBS last year. It is very upbeat and has dancing motions, so it is really popular with kids. Charis has loved it since the first time she saw the missions team do it. On most night we sing John 3:16 plus a hymn, just to keep her highness happy:)

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