In the last piece we looked at how Proverbs 22:6 means to discipline children in a way that works with them instead of against them. God is not an adversarial Parent to us, therefore, we should not be adversarial parents with our children as we are also sinners and actually sin more than our children do. The purpose of this series is to learn how to discipline our children in a manner that will lead them to God instead of away from Him. We must provide gentle yet firm discipline to our children. In this piece we will look at how to validate feelings, deal with temper tantrums, and why we shouldn’t use time-out as punishment but instead use something known as “time-IN” to help children calm down in a helpful way.
Validating Feelings—“It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want to!”
Many people fail to realize just how much of an emotional life infants have right from birth. The young infant feels happy, sad, angry, and scared. But because crying is the only way of communicating their feelings, many infants do not get the validation that they require. Tragically, some infants are ignored and/or punished for crying. It is very important to understand that infants’ emotions are also their needs, and those needs must always be responded to in a sensitive and respectful manner. “It seems wise for caregivers to make the assumption that infants of all ages have feelings, since it helps us to understand their needs. The interventions we make that are consonant with our interpretations of infant emotions often seem to have the intended effect. We pick up a crying baby to soothe what we believe to be the child’s pain or discomfort as much as to stop the crying, and the subsequent relaxation of the infant confirms our belief about his or her feelings” (Fogel, 2011, p. 280). [Read more...]