The Discipline of Change

The Discipline of Change | Part 1


The Importance of Giving Your Children the Tools to Improve Themselves

Many things come to mind when we think of the old year passing and a new year beginning.  We process the passing of time, either look forward with excitement or dread what is to come in the new year, but many of us think of it as a time of new beginnings. It is a time for creating resolutions.  It has almost become a cultural joke how quickly we allow our “resolutions” to fall by the wayside.  What does this teach our children, however?

What does the word resolution mean?  It means the act or process of resolving, the act of analyzing a complex notion into a simpler one, solving, something that is resolved, determined or mended.  A synonym for the word resolution is the word courage.  Now that is food for thought.

How do we take this word literally and become resolute about things that we need to change? Better yet, how do we take this concept, the true one, and utilize it for parenting and help our children use the new year to process how they can make changes for the better in their lives and relationships?




The Discipline of Change | Part 12018-01-04T11:50:56-04:00

The Discipline of Change | Part 2


The Process of Teaching Self-Improvement

Our culture as a whole tends to be very undisciplined.  Like we discussed yesterday the concept of a New Year’s Resolution has almost become a joke in today’s society. The whole idea of “oh, the diet will start tomorrow” is how we have begun to treat all aspects of change.  This attitude has unfortunately trickled down to our children.  Many of whom have the attitude “well that’s just the way I am” so the concept of changing ones self for the better maybe a foreign one.

Many parents in an attempt to help their children have set goals for them.  This is not a bad thing but it is even harder to pursue a goal set by someone else.  What do we do as parents then? We need to train our children to be goal setters.  (more on this topic next week)

This is where you can utilize the process of a family discussion over the table and share with each other what you are going to change in the next year.  You can look back over the year together and say if what would I do differently if I could get a redo in one area.  This could be a springboard to a discussion on goal setting for the year to come.



The Discipline of Change | Part 22018-01-04T11:51:56-04:00

The Discipline of Change | Part 3


Being Moldable

Each age group has different areas to work on.  I have heard an illustration pertaining to raising children that I believe fits for goal setting.  Raising children is like pouring cement for a foundation. (their life’s foundation)  Early childhood/elementary school you are pouring the cement or setting up rules boundaries, guidelines.  Teaching them things like “no means no”.  By middle school the cement is poured but is still fluid. The kind you can move around with a shovel.  By high school age the cement is starting to set it is thicker but still impressionable.  Adulthood is where you have to crack it to move it around. (Why it is harder for us to change unless we have been consistently open to change and things we need to work on in our lives. Allowing ourselves to be moldable.)

This is what we need to think about as we are guiding our children through the process of learning the discipline of change.  We don’t want to become so set in our ways that we cannot be teachable and moldable for what God has for us.  Being set in their ways or having the “well that’s just who I am mentality” doesn’t make someone very easy to be married to or have as an employee.



The Discipline of Change | Part 32018-01-04T11:53:00-04:00

The Discipline of Change | Part 4


Cheer Your Children Into Change

First we start out by identifying the area that we need to change.  In our children’s case we help them to process an area to work on.  Utilize the family discussion that we mentioned earlier, processing what we would do differently if we were allowed a do over from the previous year.

Next we can teach by example. Which is why it is so valuable to do this together as a family. Be open with your children about what you are going to do work on.  Then allow them to observe your personal self discipline as your work toward your goal.

Next we have to find the fine line between helping our children and nagging them.  For instance, if your child has decided that they want to do better at keeping their room clean, don’t consistently ask when are you going to clean your room.  Even worse would be using their goal as a weapon, “Remember you said you wanted to do better this year in this area.” Help them with the how to’s of achieving the goal, such as going up to their room ten minutes early to straighten before bed.

We next have to decide to be our child’s biggest fan.  Find something to cheer about everyday.  When you walk by them straightening their room encourage them, even if you are thinking “finally!” Cheer if they remember on their own to head up to their room ten minutes early.

Finally we have to allow for day’s of failure.  We all have bad days and we all have days where we are going to mess up.  That’s ok! Help your child to pick themselves back up the next day and try again.  Don’t let them give up on their goal!



The Discipline of Change | Part 42018-01-04T11:53:52-04:00

The Discipline of Change | Part 5


Why This Process is So Important

Through out parenting we have to remember that it is about the process not the end result.  Teaching our child how to have the discipline to make changes is very important even if the fall short of the original goal.  It is more about the process and discipline.  For those of us who are more end result type people it may help us to focus on why it is so important for our children to learn this discipline.  Why is this such an important exercise.

We have developed such a “victim mentality” in our culture today.  Victims think that it is “not my fault”.  This is “just the way I am”.  I am this way because this happened to me or my parents…  Now while it is true our past tends to shape who we are and many in today’s society have been through some horrible things.  At some point we do begin to make decisions for ourselves and we have to be responsible for those choices.  Many have been so caught up in a destructive pattern that they ultimately don’t know how to change.   This is not something that a parent wants to watch their child go through.  That is why it is so imperative that we help our children learn the discipline of change.  Being able to see the things/areas in their own lives that may need to be worked on and be able to have the discipline to make the changes necessary in their lives.


dcast for more insight on this topic.

The Discipline of Change | Part 52018-01-04T11:54:55-04:00