Last week in my blog, we discussed the difference between discipline and punishment. As we discovered God wants us to discipline our kids, I listed several key ingredients to effective discipline. Last night during our student services, we expanded on these thoughts in a parent breakout session. From that discussion I wanted to post a blog about the twin tracks of discipline. There are two specific tracks that carry discipline forward. If these tracks are neglected, it will quickly derail your discipline attempts. As a reminder, there are two parts to discipline…first, conversation, and second consequences. The twin tracks of discipline relate specifically to the consequence side of discipline.
Track 1: Consequences must be consistent: When it comes to discipline, we must be consistent in the consequences that are applied to offenses made. When there is no consistency, kids are left confused. On one day they receive a consequence, and on the next for the same offense they receive no consequence. We must be consistent in the consequences that we set in play for specific offenses. When we choose to be consistent in our consequences, it paints a clear picture of expected behaviors and the consequences for when those behaviors are not lived out.
Track 2: Consequences must be enforced: This is key to discipline. Once we promise a specific consequence to a child, we must be willing to follow through with implementing it, no matter the hindrances it may place on our lives. Choosing to not follow through on the consequences trains our kids that our consequences have no merit and our words will hold no weight for them.
For our discipline efforts to be effective and move forward, we must ensure that both tracks are in place and followed. When we do, we will see our discipline make a difference in the lives of our kids, and see the behavior that we desire to see in them.