Star Wars talked of restoring balance to the force, to keep evil in check.
A few years ago, a mentor shared a story from his past. He had kids who enjoyed playing at his neighbors house, because they had kids similar age.
Over the months, my mentor saw evidence of “unneccessary punishment”, not necessarily abuse, but he characterize the observations as “discipline without love”. He didn’t say anything to anybody because it was none of his business how they raised their kids.
The neighbors were good people who had good kids…and they had fun together!
They were at the neighbor’s place one evening to share a meal. As they sat around chatting and waiting for the food to be prepared, the kids played. My mentor’s son was getting into something he shouldn’t have been, and he told him to “Stop!”.
“Why?” his son asked.
“Because I said so,” came the reply.
The father looked at my mentor and said, “That’s awesome! You just gave me another tool to make my kids do what I want them to do without the hassle of explaining every detail!”
Immediately, he cringed inside.
He already felt bad for the kids because of how he perceived they were being treated and now he gave the parents one more tool to keep their thumb on them.
It was frustrating to say the least.
From what I was told, there seemed to be plenty of mechanisms of control over the kids’ behavior without the love required to support them when they were good.
As in Star Wars, from my view, there was no balance.
It is important for your child’s development to be specific with praise, but specific also with discipline.
In the Bible, God seemed to always step in when his children displayed bad attitude…whether at the individual or national (Israel) level.
I often used attitude as a guide for when I stepped in to discipline. I looked for patterns of behavior, typically multiple “infractions” that seemed to come from the same motivation or emotional state.
Then I’d sit them down, have a chat, and move forward with whatever action we thought best at the time.
My boys always knew that we loved them and they knew that love also meant we had to hold them accountable as well.