I’ve come to think of discipline in a different way. As I was trying to set a daily rhythm for our homeschool, my plans kept failing. I’d start the school year off with a bang, but several weeks in, our routine would slip, I would be less consistent with sticking to my predetermined schedule, and frustration would creep in. I realised I needed more discipline to keep a tight, consistent routine for the long haul. Did this mean I needed someone to come and sit me in a corner when I got off schedule? Of course not!
What I needed was inner motivation and better time management skills, not punishment. I think of discipline in the same way now for my children. My goal is always to teach them how to govern themselves – their emotions, spaces, time, behaviour, etc. Therefore, I ask “what does he need right now to build self-discipline?” The answer has never been an arbitrary punishment.