Repentance, Positive Discipline, and the Little Guy

6 November 2007

I haven’t always been the most proactive parent and partner when it comes to practical research. Ask me a question about something useless or obscure, and I’ll find out. Fast. On the other hand, when it comes to the research and learning which can be done any time, the kind that helps us in meaningful ways, and I’m not very focused on these kinds of things much of the time.

Repentance isn’t always about sin. Sometimes it’s simply recognizing a fault, sometimes recognizing it several times, and trying to fix it. Sometimes the first time doesn’t work. Sometimes it takes a dozen turns toward repentance.

That confession made, I think I’m getting better at it. I’ve checked out from the library Jane Nelsen’s books on Positive Discipline (namely Positive Discipline The First Three Years and Positive Discipline A to Z) both seem really good to me. The great thing about these books is that they help remind us about how we’ve wanted to raise the Little Guy all along, but somehow, sometime became distracted from it.

Repentance isn’t always about sin. Sometimes it’s simply recognizing a bad habit, a persistent distraction, or an ideal that has been forgotten, and either working hard to break that habit, focus on the important, or lift up that ideal again.

Our dealings with the Little Guy in times of stress was becoming increasingly negative: miserable for him, miserable for us, and in no way positive.

Nelsen’s books have helped me take things in stride, find different ways of dealing with some of his more annoying habits, and become a better parent.  Instead of trying to make this almost-three-year-old wait to get to Target to have a snack, simply suggest we listen to his favorite song (J. B. Hutto’s “Slidewinder”).  Instead of trying to make this überToddler sit down for “Time Out,” have a brief, non-confrontational “Cooling Off.”  It makes so much sense, and yet I couldn’t think of this renunciative, humble way without the help of these books and my wife.

Repentance isn’t always about sin. Sometimes it’s simply a way of becoming more ourselves, more clearly who we were meant to be, so that we can help others do the same.

We’re having a hard time sometimes with The Little Guy lately, and it’s hard to tell what’s developmentally appropriate, what should be addressed, and what can be ignored. Although I’m sure it will shake out, pray for us that we have the wisdom to discern what is right in the sometimes trying world


3 Responses to “Repentance, Positive Discipline, and the Little Guy”

  1. Beth Says:

    Hey, Jorge.

    I’m feeling better about how things are going too. I like these books very much and recommend them highly. Man. Tough age, no?

    BTW: Hank just asked, “Are you sending something to Jorge?” I told him Yes and asked if he wanted me to tell you anything. He said, “I love you, all the way back to school, Papa.” Awwwww.

    Lucky for us he’s so damned cute. Takes the sting out of those times when he hurls things at our heads. 😉 Love, B

  2. Mother Laura Says:

    Praying for you, and so impressed with how seriously you are taking this call to image God’s love to your child with loving positive discipline–parenting is a real spiritual discipline for us, isn’t it?

  3. Thanks, Laura. True parenting is definitely a spiritual discipline, just as “parenting” can be a really destructive activity.

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