You bet it is! The definition of Discipline:
Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
We, as parents strive to nurture and protect our children from the day they are born. We also want to help them develop good character. The reason for discipline is to mold and guide their character.
There are many ways to discipline and it’s important that you and your spouse sit down and decide how you are going to accomplish the goals you set for your children before they are born. You have to be on the same page!
1. It takes teamwork – You must, as a couple work as a team in nurturing your children. Mom cannot have the sole duty of discipline. Kids should never hear, “Just wait til your Dad comes home.” It’s not his total task either.
Much prayer as a couple and a determination that the goal you both set forth for your children begins and ends as a joint effort. Pray together every day. Pray for your children. Talk, talk, talk to each other about your thoughts and new challenges your children give you. There is wisdom to be had when you are working together and talking about what to do and how to handle things.
2. It takes respect – When one parent is disciplining, the other needs to back them. If you don’t agree with your spouse as they are disciplining, you need to wait and talk about the decision in private. There needs to mutual respect when making decisions in the home – including discipline. Your kids need to see a united front.
They also need to be respected. Sometimes parents forget to respect their kids in the middle of disciplining them. Kids make lots of mistakes and it’s our job to direct them properly, not automatically thinking of them as rebellious. Mistakes and poor decisions are part of growing up and as we respect them, we can go a lot farther in training them.
3. It takes agreement – most of all! As Amos 3:3 says, Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? When counseling wayward teens, Mark’s and my experience has proven time and again that in actuality, mom and dad are not working as a team. When there is disharmony in the home between parents, it confuses kids and causes rebellion. Teamwork among parents creates family teamwork.
It takes prayer – Pray for your children regularly. Pray they “get caught” when doing something wrong. If they are allowed to “get away with it”, they will never learn through discipline and poor character is created for a lifetime. Pray for discernment as promised to us in James 1:5. God promises that if we ask for wisdom He will give it to us. . . even in child-rearing.
Yes, discipline is a two parent task, a task that requires respect for each other and for your children. It takes lots of teamwork planning and praying. It also takes agreement as decisions are being made.