One of the things I learned as a rookie teacher was the best way to deal with classroom discipline is to prevent it. One particularly valuable trick (although not profound) was simply to avoid your desk. Walking around while you teach and have your students work is one of those elegant and effective solutions to a problem. I’m learning how true this is for childrearing, too. If I’m trying to get work done, and I can see a potential conflict, just saying â€œLove each other, childrenâ€ from across the room isn’t going to cut it. Physically entering their space and showing them how to love each other works much better than calling it out.
Another prevention trick I’m learning relates to how both Bethel and now Laurel seem to need more cuddle time/ holding time than David. If I can sense tension, particularly with Bethel, just taking the time to hold her and talk with her (one sided since she doesn’t talk much!) resets her, much like sending David to have some alone time in his room resets him. It seems to be able to prevent disobedient spells (particularly the whiny ones, like when I ask her to throw away her diaper and she has a melt down). Maybe it’s just a stage, but I’m all for preventing disobedience.
Isn’t this true of God? Doesn’t he say, “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?” (Jer. 23:23)