Lent went by so fast, didn’t it? Praise God it’s Easter time!
You may have read my previous post about how I was focusing on being more present with my kids and focusing on discipline. Why did I focus on discipline for Lent? First, I know I can be lazy in regard to it, and I am committed to loving my children well. When it comes to discipline, sometimes I’d rather ignore the behavior or prevent the situation from happening by having the T.V. on. Hey, I’m being honest. Here’s what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about discipline:
“2215 Respect for parents (filial piety) derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. “With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?”19
2216 Filial respect is shown by true docility and obedience. “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. . . . When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.”20 “A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.”21
2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”22 Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.
As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
It is my duty (and my husband’s) to train my children to obey so that they will grow in stature, wisdom, and grace.
“It is my duty (and my husband’s) to train my children to obey so that they will grow in stature, wisdom, and grace.”
Here’s how it all went:
What went well
Unless there were unexpected circumstances, I was faithful to my 2 hours a day for screen time. It helped me to be flexible in the way I used it. For instance, if I didn’t wake up before my kids and have my usual quiet time, I would put the TV on while I said my prayers and got ready for the day for an hour, and then again in the afternoon while I blogged for an hour.
What I struggled with
I had a hard time accepting when my day wasn’t going as planned to give myself grace. I can struggle with thinking it’s all or nothing. It was very hard to prepare meals, or make a phone call, or basically do anything that required concentration with my kids underfoot, sans screens. I learned to give them an activity or box of toys and I would set a timer and offer a reward if they could occupy themselves until the timer went off.
I definitely grew in patience. Patience is something I have needed to grow in because it is the root of why I overuse the T.V. in the first place. I tend to get overwhelmed by a lot of activity and find it hard to focus, and so I lose my patience when the kids start crying, or whining, or making a mess instead of staying calm and doing the next right thing. I believe my kids have grown spiritually as well. Somehow they seem more patient. My son is always offering to help me with chores. My children play together and are just sweeter to each other in general. Having the T.V. off has also made me discipline my children more often, because it caused there to naturally be more opportunities. My son is also practicing better manners like asking for permission to leave the table, asking to open the fridge, saying “may I please” instead of “I want.” My daughter is also practicing these things.
What I can do better
I am going to plan more activities in my day so I don’t feel as ill-prepared to occupy my children another way. Though unrelated to discipline, I also had also been reading “Rediscover Jesus” by Matthew Kelly during Lent and I felt very convicted when he talked about purchasing clothes from sweatshops and not thinking about the impact that has on our brothers and sisters in other countries. It inspired me to look into buying more second hand, and saving to buy things from ethical clothing realtors and artisans. Here are some online resources a good friend (whom I admire) recommended:
Lotta from Stockholm