Recently in Elder’s Quorom (Men’s Group) we had a very good discussion based on the current LDS prophet, Thomas Monson’s, recent talks he had given. The quote that stood out to our instructor today, as well as myself, was
Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.
The discussion then turned to raising our children and focusing more on “problems” rather than loving the child. As the discussion continued, I thought of an incident I had with my young daughter that morning where she wasn’t listening and she was ignoring me. My reaction was definitely not Christ-like and I lost my patience with her, unfortunately. Although I came to her later and apologized, I still felt bad and had been praying about how I can better approach the situation when it arose again.
Another elder in our class talked about a situation where his daughter had totalled his car when she was in high school and lied to him about the circumstances surrounding the accident. He found out at the scene from the police and fire-fighters that what she had told him was not true and he said he completely lost his temper with her and focused on the “problem” more than on loving the person.
It’s a difficult situation, because as a man, my tendancy is to act like a military officer and order the child to behave “because I said so”. However, that approach is pretty ineffective, I’ve learned. Yet, the child still needs to learn respect, etc.
What are some good strategies you as fathers use to discipline your children yet still show them that you love them?