Breaking news story from Portland, Oregon (AP* Newswire).
I floated in the pool yesterday evening, gazing peacefully at the blue sky above. The sky was framed by soaring fir trees between which a variety of birds flew and sang. And then it happened. A four year old boy outfitted with a life jacket began running to the edge of the pool, contrary to his mothers protestations. He leapt with a grin of delight and splashed into the water. The mother moved quickly, jumping into the pool behind him. She grabbed him, lifted him out of the water and sat him in a chair. He bawled. Not because he was hurt, but because he disliked being removed from the water. She dried him off gently, picked him up, and then walked out of the pool area.
She never spoke a harsh word. She did not spank him, at least not publically, although some could argue compellingly he probably needed it. She merely doled out consequences to his actions proportionate to his disobedience. She parented him.
I was impressed by the swiftness in which she acted, and the way she gave him consequences directly related to his offense. He wanted to be in the pool on his terms and in disobedience to her instructions and thus acted on his impulse. She disciplined him by removing him from that setting swiftly. Clearly, her discipline was an act of love inspired by a desire to keep him safe, and to teach him to listen to her rather than rebelling.
When is the last time you were caught in the act of parenting? Did your discipline appropriately match the degree of your child’s disobedience and the nature of the offence committed? If not, then what might you do differently next time? Ponder these questions and ask for insight from other more experienced parents.
*AP is an acronym for Almost Prepared. Almost Prepared Newswire, AP for short, is an affiliate agency for the renowned BBC (Boring Beyond Control) news agency. Any resemblance to real news agencies is not surprising, but strictly a coincidence.