Life Coach Magazine

Tough Love–Discipline

By Rusty @russellpurkiss

The other day I wrote about the importance of appreciation and how it can tend to bring out the best in others!  We thrive on positive input, and by emphasizing the positive it can help in a great way to encourage a  positive reaction.  Today I want to share a little about the other side of the coin and that is, what do you do when you need to deal out some correction or discipline?  I am a true believer in the importance of discipline, as if you do not take the time to discipline a child, or a subordinate when they may have made a big mistake, you will be robbing them of an important lesson that could save them more trouble on down the line.

As a parent it is our God-given duty to “train up our children in the way they should go”, and it can be difficult to live up to, but oh so necessary.  With the fast pace lives that we now live, both mom and dad often are busy working and so kids are often given into the care of others.  By the time you get back home, or have time to spend with your child you usually prefer that this time together be positive, and so having to deal with a not-so-positive behavior or situation is not really your choice activity,  so we can tend to let the discipline slide. For one, your tired and two, you just want some positive time with your child.

We as humans since birth, don’t usually invite correction with open arms.  It is difficult to receive and we have learned since childhood to make those having to give us the necessary discipline feel as though they are being an ogre and that they obviously don’t care for or love us. My kids used to equate discipline to a lack of love towards them.  They used to say, “you don’t love me” which made having to continue my job all the more difficult, but I told them that this IS love, but that it was “tough love”.  I would go on to explain to them,  “God loves us all unconditionally as I do you, but although His love is a gift and it never goes away by His grace, on the other hand in order to receive His blessings we have to obey, and that is why that in order for me to reward you, you need to follow my instructions”.

As in all things in life, there is an important balance, you don’t want to create a world around you where everything becomes, no, don’t, you can’t etc..  On the other hand you don’t want to just let everything slide to be “Mr. or Mrs. nice guy” to where there are no boundaries.  We all need to have boundaries in order to accommodate the other six or so billion people in the world, but we also do not want to place our children or others in a box limiting them from learning lessons on their own and progressing into well-adjusted adults.

There are laws that have been put in place concerning discipline to assure that it is not administered too heavily which has been good.  Discipline

Tough Love–Discipline
is something that should never be done in haste or when emotionally charged.  You have the authority as a parent or an overseer, so there is really no need to get all emotionally excited when administering discipline.  I once read a good illustration of this point which used a police officer as an example.  When an officer stops you for running a red light or for speeding he does not run up to your car waving his arms in the air and start screaming at you all emotionally telling you what a terrible thing you did.  He usually walks slowly up to your car, politely greets you, (you are already pretty much shaking in your boots because of the ticket you are about to be issued), he then goes on to explain calmly and mater-of-factually why he is now going to have to issue you a fine for breaking the rules. This is how we should be with those we discipline as well, without emotion and without becoming unnecessarily mean.

At the end of the day, the goal is to help others to grow better, and possibly even avoid future accidents or unpleasantness.  Those you may have to correct today will thank you tomorrow for having been there for them in their time of need!  And you, contrary to how you may feel at the moment, will be even more loved and respected in the future than you would be if you just let things go too easily.

Do you find it hard to administer “tough love?  Have you been thankful now for the times there was someone who cared enough to discipline you in the right way?  Share you thoughts!

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