Over the last several years we have read several books on disciplining and correcting children. We have enjoyed the ones we read and felt like the information was really good. But that is about as far as it went. I don't know if it was just a lack of discipline on our part or if it was something else.
At the start of the New Year, I became fed up. I was feeling tired, overwhelmed, stressed, angry, and impatient. Losing my joy. I was not being the wife and mother I wanted to be. I felt like we couldn't even really take our children out because I would get too stressed with the way they were acting. A handful! Church was another place where I felt so stressed out and inpatient with them.
We had to do something! I shared my heart with my husband and he agreed. Thank the Lord there is a couple in our church who have perfect, well-behaved children. Well, OK NOT perfect, but they are a VERY good example of what it looks like to be disciplined enough to discipline their children. And they have well-behaved children. And they don't look frazzled or stressed. And they can enjoy an outing out or a sermon at church. We decided to ask them for their wise counsel, which thankfully they gave us!
We met with them after church to unload all of our grief over our children and they listened intently and gave us so many different valuable tidbits of wisdom and counsel.
They also let us borrow a book called To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. They have a ministry called No Greater Joy, as well. I had briefly heard of them before and I did sign up for their free magazine subscription not too long ago, but I wasn't all that familiar with them.
Let me just tell you how much of a blessing this book has been. Sean and I started reading a chapter or two a night and then we would discuss it. As we read, we implemented the new things we were learning. A few things, like keeping sugar out of the house and no TV, we did not implement, but for the most part we absorbed every bit of it and have been trying to apply it to our family. It is so much more about training than disciplining.
Within a day or so, joy started to return and stress, anger, and impatience started to dissipate. The children are so much more well-behaved and they seem so much happier, as well. Of course, we are still making mistakes and we are not perfect, but we are diligently working at it, with the good Lord's help.
We also decided, besides church and groceries/errands, to not take the boys out in public until they are ready, which has been a huge help, as well. Also, a nice time of year to do it since it has been so cold and it's flu season!
It is absolutely true that you can have joyful, happy, obedient children and that you can be joyful parents! It is possible!
This book is a must read!