Patience Over Punishment

One thing that happens, quickly, after having children, is an immediate need for patience. You are now in charge of a living thing, constantly in need of your love, attention and patience. They know not of what they are doing. And it is your duty to be thoughtfully in charge of training. If it were school, your pre-requisite for parenting would be Patience-101.

However, most of us, being normal people, are severely under prepared for such a jump into patience. No matter how many times you say “sh” or “calm down” your child will scream longer than you want. As much as you want them to succeed, it will take them longer to learn how to walk than you think. You’ll even be tempted to look at other children who may be out walking yours.

As Thoreau states,


So much for a blind obedience to a blundering oracle, throwing the stones over their heads behind them, and not seeing where they fall.


So often do we instruct (throwing stones) and expect them to land without us checking to make sure they landed. As it is with our children or our employees or our students, we instruct once with the novice expectation of immediate knowledge. I am often frustrated that my children continue to get distracted when instructed to do something. The gall!

In discipline, I have found a greater need for patience. Of course, to each their own level of anger and rage. It is with utmost importance we look at each person, not with a system, but with an empathetic heart. We were once so young. One thing I have seen to be powerful, not only in discipline, but in grief, as well, a willingness to sit in silence with someone in their pain and disobedience.

So often, God sits and allows us to show him how little we actually care about obedience to him. We fight, scream and act on our disobedience. And yet, he sits in silence with us. And when we see it fit to draw to him, he embraces us in patience. Only then when we start seeking him, does he speak to us.

So it is with our children, sit with them in their disobedience, embrace them when they return to you and speak only when they seek your affirmation or acknowledgement.

April 6, 2019