Today we had one of those incidents that you know have to be disciplined and you know it needs to be memorable. I am finding that discipline is more challenging as the darling little girl grows up. Time outs I can do, I can suspend the story privelege, but as she grows the issues are getting bigger. Maybe I (and Daddy too) read too much into them, but years of working with teens and a current job working with “troubled” girls will lead to that.
As I thought about what had happened today on the way home from work (said incident occurred at work), I realized it embodied two of the most important things I can teach my child.
- Telling the truth especially when you think the truth will get you in trouble
- Accepting the blame for your share of the harm that was done even when others were also participating and may have been the instigators
I realized that these are the very reasons that my heart seems to sink whenever I am confronted with this difficult discipline times. These are huge concepts that many adults don’t seem to grasp and that are hard to live out all the time.
Equally interesting to me, telling the truth and accepting blame are those things that separate people into those who contribute to society and their world and those who take from and ultimately cost society something. Lying and blaming others are common behaviors of people who cost society money, security, and time. An addict is a classic example. If you don’t have the privilege of knowing an addict (not talking about people in recovery here), trust me when I say they lie with nearly every breath and it is always someone else’s fault.
Parenting would be so much easier if children came with the innate knowledge of truth telling instead of the instinctive desire to get out of potential trouble by saying “I didn’t do it” or “I forgot” or whatever.