Drawing a Hard Line

I’m so not good at drawing a hard line. If my kids require a consequence, I’m usually pretty soft on them. Time outs, the “I’m disappointed in you” speech, a very occasional spanking. Tonight though, H6 crossed the line in a very serious way.

I laid out a very serious consequence in my book. No hanging out at the playground after school for 2 days. (Ouch…can you just imagine poor H6 having to sit in the van while sister and brother play with the other school kids??) I thought this was pretty tough. I also built in an “If you give me any more trouble about this particular incident consequence.”  

Well, she did give me a whopping load of more trouble, and I had to enforce the big one – the consequence to end all consequences – the “what mother in the world would ever do this” kind of consequence… I am not allowing her to go to her friend’s birthday party this week.

I’m so sad. Sad because I really want her to go. Sad because of the very bad choices she’s made tonight. Sad because I’m going to hate enforcing this all week. Sad because Ben isn’t here to help. But, really, so, so sad because my little daughter’s hearts was so full to the brim with sin tonight I almost didn’t recognize her face. It was all scrunched up with rage and frustration. She said things she knew would hurt us all. It was so raw, and revealing, and sad.

I know the gospel will fit into this picture, probably even tonight. I know her heart will soften. I know hugs and forgiveness will be exchanged. But, I have to draw this hard line with her, which I think is part of loving her. I want her to take responsibility for bad choices, even ones made in anger.

Hard, hard, hard…

On a lighter note, since Ben had been gone, I’ve eaten nearly a quarter of one of the best, “From Scratch” chocolate cakes I’ve ever tasted. I’ll share the recipe tomorrow. It’s the best.

5 thoughts on “Drawing a Hard Line

  1. steph says:

    Wow – hang in there Jess. That has got to be so hard on your own. I hope the chocolate cake helps. Do you remember our dashes to the kitchen during commercial breaks to make chocolate cookie dough?? Boy we didn’t do ourselves any favors though, did we!

    It is amazing to me how you can so clearly see what is happening with your kids regarding sin etc. I just look at Lj and think “wow, what am I supposed to do with this! Discipline? ignore? cajole? distract?” I suppose her foibles are rather small at the moment and maybe it gets easier to tell when they can actually do enough to disobey (= hmmm

    any thoughts?

  2. SA Megan says:

    Hey Jess. Your post made me cry! I know what you mean–how much it breaks your heart. I’ll pray for an extra dose of perseverence for you for this week. Love you.

  3. It’s hard to do it alone. I know you have the full support of Ben, it’s hard when they aren’t there. I will pray. I am tempted to say more right now than is needed. My constant struggle.

    I wish I were closer to give a hug. It’s a worthy thing attending to the heart of your child. Do not get weary of doing the good, HARD work of discipline in her life. How has God used this to soften your heart? How is your heart.

  4. Twig City says:

    Dear Jess,
    I can soo… relate. Hang in there. God appears at the most interesting times when hubby is away & child discipline needs are high. A couple of weeks ago, I had a train wreck of a disciplinary day with the kids while hubby was travelling on business. God will teach you (if nothing else, about his grace to you) during these rough times. I will pray for your sanity during these times. You can pray for me too—hubby is leaving town in a couple of weeks for a week.

    Nav alum,
    Twig City

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