Stone Soup for Five: Remembering the Punishments

Remembering the Punishments

The last few days I've been challenged in my parenting skills (or lack therof) by my boys.  There have been SO MANY times I've come so close to yelling (and a few times when I did raise my voice a bit louder than I would have liked) and it got me thinking about how things have changed over these last 10 months of learning and practicing Love and Logic.

And as I was thinking through the positive changes, and the frustrations that STILL haven't gotten better, I remembered something. Well, acutally, I think the Lord reminded me of it.

And that is that throughout my childhood 
(and I bet yours too)
I remember being BUSTED for things.
  I mean, the BIG BAD punishments. 

Punishments handed out by MAD parents...

I remember being spanked by angry adults.  
I remember being yelled out by red-faced parents.
I remember being lectured, screamed at, and hit.

But to this day have no clue, NO CLUE, what it was I did.

I remember the anger,
hatred I felt,
unfairness of it all.

But I have NO idea what it was over.

And I talked to another friend, who has adult children now, and she told me a story about her adult son remembering being slammed up against a wall, and yelled at by an ANGRY parent an inch from his face, but he can't remember what it was all about.

And it really hit home.

My ANGER as a parent will never accomplish the training I want to do.

My YELLING and out of control-ness will NEVER drive the point home.  
Will NEVER make my boys think "Whoa, I better not do that again".
It will NEVER make them apologize for their wrongdoing.

I do know what my ANGER will accomplish.
The list is long.

My out of control anger WILL:

-make me feel better temporarily
-permanently damage or at least strain the relationship
-show my own lack of self control
-train them to yell to get their way
-make me a reactive parent, rather than a thoughtful one
-disturb everyone around us
-not lead them or me closer to Christ-like living

Dealing with things the Love and Logic way has helped me see that:

-it is more painful for the kids to have to think through the solutions to their problems than it is for me to yell at them.
-hopefully they will remember a firm, but loving mom who didn't yell that much
**cough, choke... ya riiiiight**
-that they CAN work through their own problems without someone telling them what to do and how.
-strengthen our relationship as I empathize with them
-keep my attitude and anger in check so I can focus more on how to live for Christ than releasing the frustration I feel for the moment.

I just pray it's not too late.

Lord, please help me to be the wife and mom You want me to be.  Help me keep cool.  Help me delay the consequences when I can't think of a good one at the moment.  Help me to preserve (or restore) any relationships that have been damaged by my out of control anger.  And help me live a life of example to my boys, love to my husband, and glory to You.


  1. Oh man, this post convicts me. Because today I was the yelling mom. No self control at all. I love this post, mostly because it was hard for me to read and I really needed to. Must get my hands on that book! Thanks for your transparency. I know I've told you this, but I sincerely love your blog.

  2. what a beautiful reflection of your heart. i know the Lord is doing a mighty work in and through you. :) i can relate to your's so hard to rise above the *heat* of the moment and remain calm, yet firm in tense circumstances where we feel utterly powerless.

    i'm a HUGE fan of love and logic! i read that book & began implementing the strategies several years ago when i was an assistant teacher (before kids). i was always amazed at the results and have had the pleasure of seeing it work wonders with our own children as well.

    it's so hard to rise above a reactionary method of parenting vs. embracing a more mindful approach, but in the long run, it's SO worth it.

    i recently read a blog post that i think would bless you - the author suggests that when we change our parenting approach to what WE would have liked to have as a child, then we also offer an opportunity to heal our own young-heart wounds...

  3. I so hear you. I'm even aware I'm doing it now, while I'm doing it and still can't stop myself sometimes. I don't want to be that mom. If you go to your library they usually have a lot of books by Love and Logic, or Jim Fay (one of the founders). They really have helped me. Giving me options when I thought the only one was yelling and freaking out. Though I still have those days...

  4. I love you Kari, I hope I can remember all this as my girls get older


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