Monday, September 13, 2010
I am purposefully not going to go into specifics here, because the last thing I want to do is start a debate about spanking vs. not spanking, etc. That would miss the point, I think.
We just finished our chapter of Little House in the Big Woods for today, and it brought up a very interesting conversation with Hannah and Audrey at naptime. Laura's cousin Charley was supposed to be helping his dad and Laura's Pa with the oat harvest. Rain was coming and they had to have the harvest in before it was ruined by the water. Charley was asked multiple times to run errands which he did with a terrible attitude, he hid tools, he got in the way, and finally resorted to screaming like he was in trouble just for the fun of it. Three times he did this and three times they found him laughing, but he was not disciplined. A fourth time he started screaming, but this time they ignored him and continued working. This was the time he actually needed help because he had stepped on a yellow jacket's nest and was being stung. Before they figured out he was in trouble, he had been stung all over his body, and the swelling was horrible. Pretty tough way for a kid to learn a lesson...
Two things about this - first, what an interesting way to illustrate to my children the importance of telling the truth and being obedient. This is the holistic aspect of homeschooling. We're not talking about discipline, we're reading literature. But literature can produce so many opportunities to talk about ideas. To talk about real life and how to live it well. I love that we have the freedom to stop and talk about things like this while doing a subject that is, on the surface, unrelated.
Second, this underscores for me the importance of disciplining my children in love. What if that boy's father, the first time he screamed and laughed about it, had disciplined him? That child might have then had the ability to do what was being asked of him without having that horrific experience with the bees - which honestly could have killed him.
(Incidentally, the way they treated all those bee stings? They went outside, made some mud, plastered him in it, and wrapped him from head to toe in cloth. The mud would then dry and draw the poison out of the stings. Back to that whole holistic thing - we do this with mosquito bites. You can buy bentonite clay at the health food store, mix it with water, and apply to bites. I am highly allergic to bites, they swell up huge and feverish and this is the only thing that helps them heal in under a month. Ah, the wisdom of past generations...)
There is much said about different discipline methods and ideas these days. Personally, I feel I've almost read too many of them. I start to feel paralyzed by all the conflicting information. One "expert" says one thing, another says the opposite, and both are convinced you could ruin your children if you don't follow their advice. Here's the conclusion I've come to: Pursue God. Love your family as unselfishly as you can. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Seek wise counsel. Do the hard things. Don't make excuses. Get enough sleep, and ask for the things you need.
That's all any of us can do. The rest is up to God and our child's free will. Thoughts?
Posted by Sara Kay at 1:22 PM