Discipline Mistake #5: Never call a practice

A Tale of Two Coaches

I played Little League Baseball four years, ages 9-12. Coach Thomas was a perfectionist. I remember him teaching us how to “hookslide” over and over in practice. Rarely, someone would get it right and he would make them freeze while he taught the rest of us. Once that year, I rounded second base heading into third and the throw was coming in toward the home plate side of the third base bag. I focused on sliding out and away from the bag just letting my toe catch the corner. The third baseman tagged (more…)

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Discipline mistake #4: Double standard, Double trouble

“No sweets before supper!” mom says as she is finishing the icing on the cake. Then she runs her finger along the bowl and wipes out a delicious scoop of chocolate icing and, without thinking about it, pops it into her mouth.

Or Dad comes home from work, throws his jacket over a chair, drops his case on the couch, grabs the sports section of the news, leaves the rest of the paper on the counter, plops down on his favorite throne, I mean chair, turns on the TV, kicks off his shoes, and complains about clutter.

Of course, these areas are not nearly as serious as (more…)

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Discipline mistake #3: Mom and Dad don’t agree

Jim and Sally are a great couple. They love God, love God’s people, and serve unselfishly. We have known them for over thirty years, they have been married over forty. They had three kids, now all grown and married. They were agreed on their church and their place in it, but not agreed on how to raise kids. (more…)

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Discipline Mistake #2: Our consequences don’t fit

Sometimes in the process of disciplining their children, otherwise sane and sensible parents suddenly lose their grip on reality.

Sixth grade Kati had a moment of weakness during a math test; she peeked at her neighbor’s paper to see problem number twelve. She had never cheated before, and on her first attempt to cheat, she got caught. Her dad wanted to come to the school, so the three of us met in my office. She admitted her wrong, and sat with her head down. Dad announced that she would not spend the weekend with her friend Megan. A tear ran down her cheek. Obviously he had hit home. Then he went on: “and you are off the softball team, and you are out of the class play, and you probably won’t get to go to camp this summer.”

Whoa! Dad. I think you made your point (more…)

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DISCIPLINE MISTAKE #1

Patricia and I looked at one another and asked, “What are we doing wrong?” I know what some of you are thinking: Six kids within ten years was the mistake! But that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that they were bickering. They were obeying very slowly and with some pretty sorry attitudes. They were not putting their things away, they were not pleasant to be around. The list could probably go a little longer.

This was just not our vision of a happy family, (more…)

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