... of discipline is to stay in fellowship - fellowship with God and other fellow image-bearers. Sin is a fellowship destroyer. Recently, there was a remarkably vague post on Femina about the specifics of discipline, but it held a nugget of gold that I latched on to. How do you know after you've disciplined your child whether or not it has accomplished your purpose of drawing them back into fellowhip with not only you, but also God, or if you have just created a boiling-beneath-the-surface-but-I'll-smile-and-pretend-it's-all-good-or-they'll-spank-me-again* situation with you child?
The only specific that was named in the post was that the author's toddler is asked to give a high-five before the discipline can be deemed complete and effective. The premise is simple - most toddlers won't give you a high-five if they are ticked with you. So, we've adopted a similar approach to ending discipline here. Ethan has to shoot us a high-five, and Emory has to tell us a joke. Both are based on the individual tempermants represented by the kiddos, and neither child will preform the necessary action unless their heart is happy.
That's what we're after anyway, isn't it? A happy, joyful heart is a truly obedient heart. My heart's desire is for my children to know the joy of the Lord. It's hard not to obey someone who fills your heart with joy.
*Cat's out of the bag. We do spank, but it is not our only method of discipline. We love our children dearly and are careful to use this method responsibly.*