An older mentor told me a story once of how his daughter had made some regrettable decisions in high school and was caught. When he and his wife sat her down to discuss what happened, they asked her what she thought her punishment should be. The punishment she suggested was way worse than what he would have done. Still, after she shared, he asked her, “Would you rather take the punishment you just suggested, or instead, come down and give me a hug and a kiss every night for the next month?” She obviously chose the latter, and my mentor said it had a profoundly positive impact on their relationship. He knew a thing or two about positive discipline techniques.
Admittedly, disciplining my kids is not one of my strongest skills. Too often, I get tired, annoyed, or—worse—angry when my kids misbehave or make poor decisions. I don’t want to be the dad who’s constantly exasperating his kids with negative discipline. But I don’t want to be the dad who abdicates his responsibility to discipline his kids, either.