I’m not that parent. I’m not that parent that put my kids in time outs, tried the naughty chair or took things away as a form of punishment. I definitely realize, the older I get, that my style of parenting is held by about 6 other people in the world. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but there are very few people I have ever come across that parent the way I do. It’s ok, I’ve always liked being different and have had no problem standing alone in this.
When my kids were little, I was pretty straight forward. I like for things to be simple, and I liked that my kids knew what to expect. If my boys disobeyed, they got a spanking. Now before you roll your eyes, or x out of this post, give me a second to explain. It was not a “spanking” like you may be picturing. Spanking is not hitting. And if you grab your child by the arm and swat him on the behind in front of everyone and consider that a spanking? I would like to politely say that it is not. That is hitting. And there is a difference. If you practice Biblical spanking, by the time your child is 4 or 5, you are rarely spanking anymore anyways. I have talked about this topic extensively in the past, and since this post is not about spanking, I am moving on.
Even though my kids are much older, 12 and 14, we have not moved away from Biblical parenting. I don’t ever understand the need to add creativity or my own “big ideas” to what the creator has already set up. So as we continue to raise our children, we will continue to use the guide to life that God gave us.
The Bible is full of examples of the way we should live. The reasons I will not ground my children are:
#1. I don’t feel like it follows the example of how God treats us. God takes care of our sins, gives us discipline and then when we ask for forgiveness, He doesn’t even remember those sins anymore. He doesn’t forgive us but then tell us we have to go dwell on that sin for days. He forgives us, and then He allows us to move on. Sometimes there are going to be consequences for the sin (which would go along with the sin itself) but then the relationship is completely restored. I want my relationship with my kids to be restored as soon as possible. Dragging out their “punishment” leaves room for resentment and bitterness. I am on my kids’ teams. I want to help them grow and learn. Not give them the chance to dwell on their sins and become bitter. The longer we sit on things, the worst they seem.
#2. I don’t ever see it mentioned in the Bible. It’s really as simple as that. It’s not that I don’t do anything that’s not in the Bible. I mean, let’s not get cray cray. I don’t think ice cream was ever specifically mentioned in the Bible either, but life without ice cream? Come on now. But seriously. When it comes to how I discipline my children, I am using the Bible as my guide. I will take verses that are used for their particular sin and work through it. I highly suggest buying the book For Instruction in Righteousness. Everything put out by Doorposts is excellent, but this particular book gives you verses and ways to work them out based on topic. From complaining, to laziness, to anger. It will give you stories to look up in the Bible to see how God handled this sin, and verses to memorize. It’s an excellent resource.
#3. I see a lot of people around me grounding their kids. Typically, if everyone else is doing it? I try to avoid it. It’s kind of a warning sign to me. I want my kids to be different. I want my kids to be honoring God, respecting their authority and loving life through it all. I don’t see a lot of kids with those qualities, so I am not going to take my advice from parents whose children don’t look like that.
Those are the main reasons I will not ground my children.
I know. It makes me look weird. It makes me look different than the rest of the world. But that’s ok. I am ok if I look weird and I actually want to look different than the rest of the world. I’m sure a lot of you disagree with me, and I’m not trying to say you’re a horrible person if you ground your kids. I’m just saying why it doesn’t work for me (and Adam, obviously) and the reasons behind it. Adam and I are very serious about making sure our kids know why we are doing things the way we are. We don’t just come up with discipline by drawing it out of a hat. We think it through. Ask God to give us wisdom and make decisions that are thought out. Not a frustrated – YOU’RE GROUNDED! We think our kids deserve to know how long their discipline is going to last, the reason behind why we are disciplining them and what they have to do to make it right. That seems fair. That is how I want to be treated, that is how God treats us. So that is how we will do our best to treat our kids.
Grounding? It just ain’t our jam. Any other parents out there with me?