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The War Within

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 159

As parents, many of us live in our own private war-zone. If we have more than one child, it's guaranteed, they fight in some way. Different personalities express their brotherly bickering in different ways, but the battle roars regardless of the style of the fight. You may witness in your home verbal bullets, sneak attacks or even psychological warfare.

How can we help keep peace within our homes?

One step to establishing safety within the home involves solid, loving and consistent discipline. This word sends chills up the spine of some parents. Allow me to explain why there is value in discipline and how to begin if you haven't done it previously.

That "D" word scares many parents, but what if we think of it as a type of boundary we establish. As our children fight with one another, they express their desire to find a place within their world uniquely their own. They seek respect, purpose and place.

One wants to be the silly person, one wishes to be the athlete, one enjoys beauty treatments. Collisions happen when they find themselves competing for a chosen spot within the family.

Children can become a bit "childish" in their approach. One may attempt to control the other, to become the rule setter in the family. They do it because they long to see someone in charge of the ship. As parents, that's our job. They long for a referee.

We provide the limits, the rules of the household game. When those limits remain clear, our children will push on them, but they will also depend on them. We also see this within any given sport.

Players kick dirt on the umpire who makes the tough call, yet they want the umpire present to preserve the sanctity of game. Boxers press up against the ropes on a regular basis, still those ropes define the designated battle space. Do you see the point?

As parents, do we know the rules of our home? If we don't, our kids don't. If our kids don't know the rules they will thrash about our home like a drowning victim never taught to swim.

Kids desire boundaries so much, they may create their own rules whether we agree or not. By establishing the rules of the home, you create the safe space. This doesn't mean they won't argue about the rules, but it still helps them like a life jacket confines but also enables floating.

You will have to enforce these rules, to stand up for the boundary you build. Kids will test and push against them. We all do it. For this reason, people still receive speeding tickets, though speed limits have remained fairly constant for decades.

Setting and keeping the boundaries as the battles rage remains one of our toughest parenting jobs, but it matters.

I must point out, the delights you desire probably won't come at the moment you give the discipline. It's a cumulative kind of thing. Just as we imagine what job they may hold later in life, we seek to set a course now which provides peace later in life.

Want to know where to begin as you create boundaries in your home? Our home uses the golden rule, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." You could create your own.

What rules set the boundaries within your home?

Paula's writes and speaks to help couples and families grow through her faithful choices approach to life. As a wife, mom, ordained pastor and persistent friend Paula knows the value of the choices we make each day. She longs to help people get where they want to go by helping them see the choices available to them. As the Faithful Choice Advocate Paula writes a daily blog at

Source: EzineArticles
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