Grace Filled Parenting| Disciplining With Love

Grace filled parenting. Sometimes this seems so easily obtainable and other times it seems to be the last thing I will ever achieve. 

It’s so easy to show grace to our kids when they are displaying minor set backs, but I think the true test comes when you have that major melt down. You know the one I’m talking about, the one that makes you question whether or not any of your parenting decisions are making a difference in your child’s life. In that moment you have two decisions: completely fly off the handle and react to the situation or take the time and evaluate the situation to see what the actual culprit is to your child’s behavior. That is grace filled parenting.

I think it was just last night or maybe two nights ago (my days tend to run together a lot), my husband and I were talking about how we had yet to experience a major temper tantrum in public. Fox is a diva in her own right and pushes the envelope plenty of times, but no major tantrums. Moose has thrown some tantrums that definitely give us a run for our money, but never in public. Just like clockwork, he decided today would be the day to display his temper tantrum skills in public.

Grace filled parenting through a zoo trip
We love the zoo and Friday morning found us at our home away from home. In the middle of our adventure, Moose was not too happy about going to see the zebras for Fox rather than riding the train. He decided to voice his displeasure by kicking, screaming, and biting while I buckled him into the stroller. I tried reasoning with him, but he was not having it.

I’d love to say grace won in this situation, but I did start disciplining out of reaction. I quickly realized this was not benefiting either of us and chose to walk off my frustration. Once we got to the zebras, I could see on Moose’s face, the effect the heat had taken on my sweet boy. I should be well aware that I need to really monitor his water intake, but with all the distractions the zoo presents, I had failed to make sure he was hydrating properly. Once I got him to drink water and cool off enough, I was able to talk through the situation and we both realized our mistakes.

Grace filled parenting reward after the trouble

It’s hard to see these moments as opportunity for growth, but that’s exactly what they are. Romans 5:3-5 says, “More than that, we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces charcter, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  God knew we would face difficulties in our life, but he promises those difficulties will blossom into hope. As moms, I think we all hope for the day when our kids do as they are told, respect others, and are honest, kind and loving.

Reality is they are humans (in cute, compact, destructive form of course). Just like you and I- so why do we put so much pressure on them to perform better than ourselves? I constantly find myself questioning whether or not my expectations are realistic. Often I find that I expect my toddlers to behave as though they are 5-6 years older. If this is my expectations, I will continually find myself disappointed and more importantly my kids will grow up feeling as though they are not good enough.

Within this conviction, I am reminded how often I make mistakes, but also expect to be the recipient of grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, ” For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift from God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We make mistakes day in and day out, but through God’s grace we are loved by our Heavenly Father. I am certainly not saying to let our kids have a free for all, but in the face of a frustrating circumstance, take a moment and show them love first and address discipline secondly.  Perhaps, demonstrating this in our own lives will help relieve the pressure we put on youngsters to fit into our ideal mold and help us enjoy this time we have with them.

Please share how you find moments to extend grace to your kids. How do you show them love in the midst of discipline? What are your best practices for keeping your cool when you’re in the eye of the storm?

14 Replies to “Grace Filled Parenting| Disciplining With Love”

  1. I give respect to all mums… At some point I might say reading about kids scares me to not getting mine soon. But at the same time, such a story gives me advice and knowledge on how to deal with situations when time comes. Thanks…

    1. Kids are definitely a daunting experience, but they are well worth it. Parenting is a continual learning experience filled with ups and downs, but so rewarding. Thanks for reading, Agnes! Glad to hear this was helpful

  2. My 7 yr old has a temper and he will let you know when he is not happy. I do have to remind myself that his outbursts are just his way of communicating his BIG feelings and once he can find a quiet space to calm down, we are able to communicate better with a clear head. It took some time to get to that point where we could figure a way to handle his outbursts and we are all still working on that communication.

    1. In the moment, it is definitely hard to remember kids don’t entirely know how to express their feelings which makes communication trickier

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  4. Sometimes it’s tough to remember that children don’t always know how to express their feelings and sometimes it comes out in negative ways. What a great reminder to take a moment to think about how to handle it first.

    1. Thank you. Very easy to get caught up in the moment, forget our little ones don’t know to express their emotions and react instead of working through each situation. Definitely an opportunity for me to learn more about my kids and my parenting choices

  5. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.

    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    1. This is definitely an ongoing lesson for me. I have successes and failures, but each opportunity is a chance to learn. Parenting cannot be wrapped up in one thought. My two children are night and day; what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. We all have to find what works for each unique situation. Don’t give up because you have a set back, use that to remind yourself next time to think of how you would want to be treated in that situation.

  6. Well said. A big issue parents face today is how to discipline and when it is too much or not enough. With the growing trend of coddling, many children are not experiencing enough discipline and in a way the benefits of it. There is a balance between good and bad discipline that needs be evaluated as you well said. To simply not or overly discipline doesn’t help either party. Great post.

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