Parenting by Design - Aug. 21

Discipline with Empathy

Gal 6:1-2:  "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted" (NIV).

For some of us empathy is harder than for others.  Learning to be more empathetic with our children may require taking some time to remember what it was like when we were their age.  Walking in their (little) shoes can often help us understand why they do what they do.  Sometimes we forget we were a child once, too.

Interestingly, we may find the things we struggled with at their age cause us the most anxiety in parenting.  There is a temptation to be frustrated when the same issues reappear in a younger generation.  This "remembrance" can have two outcomes - we can anxiously step in to "fix" the problem, which usually results in an overblown response that makes the situation worse.  Or, we can take time to remember our experience and use it to connect with our kids.  God may be using your child's struggles to sanctify both of you!

When your child's struggle causes you extraordinary anxiety, be alert - God may be teaching both of you. 

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