More often than not my children can work it out themselves. I don't always have to get involved in their general discord. Sometimes just saying, "What do you think you should do?" does the trick and they figure out a solution on their own.
Other times, before I know it the screams have escalated, my ear drums are burning, and someone is crying very loudly. Sometimes I have to get involved. Honestly? At that point? Sometimes, I want to be the one screaming or crying!
I'm not just sitting around here in this house - and if by chance I am, it's because I'm tired and I am taking a much needed break. I don't have to go through my laundry list of jobs. If you're a mom or a dad you know what they are - and they're numerous. Stopping to figure out a fight that involves 1 toy in 200 or the fact that someone made a face or touched someone else accidentally. Well, le sigh...
The thing is, I have spent a lot of time loathing discipline. Although, I have spent much of my time reading books and trying to figure out what works for each individual child in my house I have spent even more of my time and a lot of feelings literally hating the whole process.
After all, who likes to send their kid to Time Out? Who enjoys having a sit down to talk about how hitting a brother or sister is unacceptable?
My love of perfection and order has hindered a very valuable lesson in my personal life with my kids.
I have chosen this path of living life in close proximity with my kids - them home each and every day, learning, growing, and living under this roof. The breaks aren't often and are hard won. Homeschooling is another facet to this. I'm not just with preschoolers. We are negotiating 5 (soon to be 6) different relationships and personalities of multiple ages most of every day.
But, what if disciplining your children is actually disciplining you? I have always looked at discipline as an interruption, something I have to do, something that well, really really stinks. I know that it's necessary for the bringing up of my children. I know that it's good for them - but I never realized that it's good for me too...
"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge: but he that hates reproof is senseless." Proverbs 12:1
I don't have to love the act of disciplining my children. It is still not going to be my favorite thing. However, I can love the results. I can love that they're learning. I can love that I'm learning. I can choose to see it as an opportunity to connect with my children, to teach them (which is after all what I really want to do). I can see it as a more than something obnoxious that I have to get through. I can be thankful that I'm given these opportunities every day to teach grace, forgiveness, stewardship, kindness, patience... In teaching them I can learn alongside my children. That... truly is gaining something.