12.29.2009

Responding to Fatherly Discipline


Our kids' extra needs impose additional parenting challenges on Amy and me, particularly in the realm of instruction and discipline. Jada's communicative delays muddy our ability to guide her when she is in the wrong, to explain to her why we said what we said, and to understand where she is coming from when she has misbehaved. Aaron's oppositional issues mean that every time we need to correct him - and, for a three-year-old, isn't that something that happens about two dozen times a day? - we brace ourselves for the full force of his defiance and rage. To say the least, it is a frustrating and tiring experience; our kids are no more or less bad than others, but their responses to our correction and punishment make parenting extra challenging.

It occurs to me that we often frustrate our Heavenly Father in the same ways. It can seem at times that we do not speak the same language, or at least are misfiring when it comes to the hearing and heeding. And our defiance may not approximate a toddler's in outward appearance, it is borne of the same mistrusting, me-first sentiment. No one likes to be disciplined, but everyone needs it; easier to understand when we are on the correcting side, easier to forget when we are the ones in need of the correcting. In other words, if there is a silver lining in discipline challenges being a daily occurrence in the Huang household, it is that I have many reminders throughout the day of what disobedience and obstinance looks like, that I might check myself to see if I am being the same way.

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