I've always been terrible at journaling. I'm not the most outwardly emotive person and so writing things like that down just didn't ever really jive with me. However, I do now keep a homeschooling/parenting journal. I find that it helps me to really think things out and keep records which are helpful to me as my husband and I raise our children. While I keep notes about teaching in there, I also make specific notes about the individual characteristics and needs of my kids as I learn them, as well as recording encouraging and inspiring things I've read, etc... There are a lot of notes to self about ways that I am challenged or want to improve or things to be cognizant of as a parent. Here is a recent entry for example - a brainstorm about instruction where I just recorded my stream of thought.
"Regarding instruction of children: reading Proverbs 16:21b "pleasant words promote instruction" NIV *like to look at other translations, further study
brings to mind the need to instruct -> teach -> disciple -> with firmness, clarity and passion but also with gentleness *fruit of the spirit, Galatians instead of anger, frustration. Yelling is a lack of self-control *fruit of the spirit, Galatians It promotes embarrassment, shame, is demeaning and disrespectful. It causes defensive behavior and thinking rather than softening the heart and opening the mind to receive. Yelling/threatening in word or tone or stance creates fear and retreat rather than motivation and advancement.
Yelling is not discipline, it is an adult temper tantrum because I am not getting what I want at that moment.
Yelling/being short or harsh is compounding a poor and weak manner of communicating with a prior failure in communication/instruction or accountability.
Reminder: I cannot expect my children to meet behavioral expectations for which I have not instructed them or thereafter consistently held them accountable.
*outside circumstances: tired, hungry, emotions: frustrated, jealous, fearful, etc...
*instruction: have I clearly communicated instructions or expectations? Do I need to do this again to ensure understanding?
*have I been consistent in my follow-through/accountability so that my children know that I absolutely mean what I say
*is my child being outright stubborn/rebellious? in which case I need to address a deeper issue than outer behavior -> heart, mind
love, gentleness does not equal passivity - loving discipline is active and intentional
passivity = no plan, no long term vision = kids in control = chaos
What is our discipline plan? (I have written about this elsewhere) Is this something I can consistently follow through with? is this something my husband/I are in agreement and consistent with?