You want to discipline your child because you love her and you want the best for her but it is a terribly difficult task to do for certain. I can’t help but feeling awful afterwards and I just want to cry my eyes out all day long. You see, it’s not about me being “soft” and weak but it’s the combination of compassion and fear, believe it or not.
My mother was a big time “spanker” and though she loved me, she didn’t always show it or know how to separate her emotions while disciplining me. You can imagine how confusing that is to a child since the same behavior sometimes get you into trouble and other times not. There was no hugging or saying “I love you” afterwards, either. I’m not complaining though for my mother did what she could do to the best of her ability while raising three girls, dealing with her drunkard husband and being a bread maker for the family all at the same time. She’s indeed a remarkable woman and I respect her for that tremendously. However, I’d give anything to have what my daughter has, the show of compassion and love in regards to disciplining.
I sometimes fear that my daughter fails to recognize my love and compassion for her in the midst of my disciplining her, hence, the fear factor. I’m afraid because I do see my mother “coming out” of me from time to time when I’m disciplining my daughter that makes me raise my voice a little higher, spank little harder, get impatient faster and show warmth and compassion less…. I love my mother very much but I don’t want to be like her, not in this matter anyway. Thank goodness, I have the authority and ability to break that bondage from my mother and be different in God’s truth and light. And that is why I step back, breathe a big breath and pray a quick prayer for God’s help and guidance when I sense my mother coming out of me while disciplining my daughter.
“For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs as heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.” –The Unbearable Lightness of Being–
I love my daughter more than anything in this world and I won’t blink an eye before I lay down my life for her. And that is why I discipline her to be obedient, know right from wrong and be holy as she is consecrated to God, set aside for His good purpose. Still, it’s terribly difficult to see her lips tremble and eyes filled with “fear” when she’s being disciplined. And that is why I cry and my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. But I know better and that is why I’m ‘the displiner’ in the house, more so than my husband, which makes me ‘a bad guy’ sometimes. But I know I’m doing the right thing somehow because when it comes down to things that really matters for my daughter (when she gets a boo boo, when she finds something new and exciting, when she just woke up and is in need of hugs and kisses, when she’s not feeling well and needs a shoulder to lean on, when she wakes up in the middle of the night from bad dreams, etc.), she calls out for her Mommy, which just melts my heart….
What comforts me is that my daughter knows that I love her and that she loves me back. And though I feel the unbearable lightness of being to my core as an imperfect human being, I pray that my little girl would see God and His glory and understand His love and compassion through her Mommy’s love (however small that might be compared to God’s) for her.