Does disciplining your children make you a meany?

Beauty Begins with Biscotti: parenting
Decorating cakes, sharing scripture, and baking cookies. These are all great things to do with our kids and ways to show them that we love them. But what about when it's time to discipline them? Is that still loving them?

Early on in motherhood, my answer would have been an affirmative shrug. "Probably, I guess?" Seventeen years later, I have a different answer, thanks in part to experience, watching and talking with other moms, reading, and seeking what God's Word has to say about being a parent. This last strategy for improving my parenting has been the biggest help in transforming my outlook on raising children, especially boys.
Beauty Begins with Biscotti: parenting
I used to think discipline was a bad word, a word with a mean connotation. I loved my kids, so why would I want to hurt their feelings or self-esteem by withholding privileges, telling them they did something wrong, or spanking them when they were little. Here is what Chip Ingram from Focus on the Family, has to say about it:

Far from being a dirty word, discipline is evidence of love. When you consistently discipline your child and do it with the right attitude— compassionately, under control, with consistent boundaries and consequences, and focused on the child's best outcome — you are expressing love exactly as God sometimes expresses His love. It may seem uncomfortable both to you and your child at the time, but in the long run, it's the most selfless, compassionate thing you can do to set your child up for happiness in life and fruitfulness in God's Kingdom.

I have come to understand this reasoning for applying discipline to parenting, but it took a really loooooong time. Like so long that it's embarrassing. But, instead of feeling condemned, I'm grateful that people loved me enough to not let me stay in ignorance. I'm also grateful that by seeking to learn more about God, I also learned more about parenting. 

This week, I'll talk about how my parenting mess looks a little bit tidier by incorporating boundaries into my life. 

I'll also share a natural solution to keeping your hands clean. 

Until then, I'd love to hear about your struggles and successes with parenting your kids.