When our kids disobey us, and especially if they cop an attitude, it’s easy for us to feel out of control… as if we CAN’T harness our own anger amidst such outright defiance.
Good desires, like
- for our children to learn to obey,
- for them to make wise decisions,
- for them to respect us as their God-given authority
can lead us into sin (fits of anger) if we aren’t thinking rightly, and acting in long-term focused self-control, in those high-adrenaline situations.
This video of a police traffic stop mirrors what calm, firm correction looks like as a mother… especially in the 3-5 (or maybe 6) year old ages, when our children are old enough to “fight back” but aren’t yet old enough to be reasonable and contrite. Watch it and see how, despite GREAT disrespect, verbal craziness, and ridiculous behavior, the officer controls himself, and exercises his authority with firmness and a calm demeanor.
WARNING: THE MAN WHO IS PULLED OVER USES A SLEW OF BAD LANGUAGE. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever heard such a stream of cussing in such a condensed amount of time. But that is precisely why I find this video helpful as an example (explanation of why, below). PLEASE don’t watch this video if it will offend your conscience to hear bad language.
(Alternatively, you could watch the video but turn the volume down so that you can’t hear the exact words but still get the gist of the attitude of the man who is pulled over.)
Despite the terribly offensive, over-the-top language in the video, I think it’s a marvelous example of calm, long-suffering persevering discipline handed out by a rightful authority, given with good will (and even grace, as he issues a warning rather than giving an infraction for the expired insurance), intended for the long-term good of the recipient.
That’s why I chose, even with the language, to share it here. This police officer is a great example for us as moms.
Our children may, when we discipline them say ridiculous things:
- I don’t love you.
- You can’t do this!
- “No ma’am of course I won’t.” (actual quote spoken in our home, LOL! — I called this respectful defiance.)
- But I don’t like spankings!!!
- No no no no no NOOOOOOO!
- I don’t LIKE you.
- Make ridiculous promises,
- Give all number of excuses,
They may DO ridiculous things:
- fall on the floor
- flail around
- try to hit, kick, bite, punch, hurt us
- scream, fuss, cry, rage
- try to run away
- physically act out– trying to break things, rip paper, knock things over, etc.
Like the pulled-over man in the video, children really can be ridiculous, emphatic, and illogical.
But, like this cop, you really can be CALM and SENSIBLE as you mete out discipline. I believe he’s calm because he recognizes the truth about the situation and doesn’t let the emotions/stress of the moment overwhelm the truth of his position, and the truth about the man who has committed the offense.
It encourages me: You really can persevere and stay calm in the face of nonsense and immaturity.
As moms, we can remain calm when we:
know we’re acting justly
recognize that we’re the rightful authority
remember that no discipline is pleasant at the time (thus, our child may naturally get angry/out of control– this is not personal, or against YOU, mama; it’s natural)
remind ourselves that God is OUR authority and judge and sees everything we’re doing (so we need to be above reproach)
are acting in love (long-term benevolent good will– when we have our child’s long-term good as our aim).