Discipline - Introduction

This topic probably generates more interest and creates more division than any other parenting issue.  How to discipline.  What to discipline.  When.  Where.  Why. I would love to present an authoritative post that would settle all angst and answer all questions.  I'd really love to read one like that!  Actually, though, I resist such an approach on most subjects and especially this one.  I really think that parents largely have to figure stuff out for themselves.  And I think that can be a healthy process.  If somebody insists that their way of discipline or educating or any other aspect of parenting is "THE WAY", I don't even bother to listen.  Nobody has a monopoly on figuring this thing out.  I won't even apologize for not being an authority - I'm just a sharer.  I like to share ideas and approaches and let you decide how to adapt them for your parenting process.   Let's take a step back and get a broad view....

First, what is discipline? 

All too frequently, discipline is boiled down to "how do I punish my child for wrongdoing".  That is way too narrow a definition.  Think about how we use the word - "He is such a disciplined athlete", "If I were more self-disciplined, I would not be late so frequently" ,"Sociology is a fairly new discipline", etc. 

Here's how GoogleSearch defines "discipline"

noun: discipline
  1. 1.
    the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

    • the controlled behavior resulting from discipline.

    • activity or experience that provides mental or physical training.

    • a system of rules of conduct.

  2. 2.
    a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.

    synonyms:field (of study), branch of knowledge, 
  1. 1.
    train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

2. train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.

When we consider the definition of the word, we realize that "punishment" or even "correction" is an extremely insufficient application.  And since parents are instructed to "discipline" their children, we must surely understand the task.  Here are just two of about a gazillion things God says about parents and discipline.....

 Proverbs 3:11-12: My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 19:18   Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death

Over several posts, I will share some thoughts, ideas, and resources about discipline.  To close this one, I will leave you with a definition of discipline as it relates to parenting:

The effective equipping of a child by a parent for successful living.

There you have it.  Discipline, ChamFam style!