Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

discipline

The Devil Made Me Do It

Haven’t you heard that before?  Is it really the devil or are there self-defeating thought patterns that cause you to make a mistake, a big mistake.

Then when you are fired, have a traffic accident for which you are considered to be a fault, or blow it somehow and lose a relationship, you are initially entirely mystified as to how you could have fallen into that predicament and until the shock wears off, you are thinking, “Hey, what did I get into?  How did that happen?  Who, me?”

When the initial blankness wears off, next you face the consequences which can be overwhelming.  “Me, how did I get pregnant?”  “How will it change my life?”  “What happened to my car?”  “Is anyone hurt besides possibly me?  Will I lose my license?  How will I ever find another job with this on my record?”

Decisions may also have to be made at the moment which you might or might not regret later.  You can possibly become defensive and whatever the consequences of your decisions you can and will defend them.  You can then can become “Mr. or Ms. Neverever Wrong” and this too can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

You may also have to come to some conclusions which you may regret later.  Did you intend to do it or did the devil make you do it?  You don’t have to be Christian to think this, but it helps.  You may say that you won’t have any regrets because whatever happened, it wasn’t your fault and get yourself lost in denial even if it is not what actually is found to have happened.  Sometimes reality can become really, really hazy when this happens.

You can see how your self-concept can keep you from seeing or acknowledging your mistakes and how valuable life lessons can be lost this way.  Recently I had a conflict with a friend and lost my relationship with her.  I didn’t know it at the time that the heat was getting to her worse than I knew and I was more concerned about my own ability to handle it.  I learned, as much as I didn’t like it, that I was not acknowledging the signs she was giving me about her own deteriorating physical wellbeing.

I  had had a long-ago lesson ( that pertains to the above situation) where an aunt of my husband’s who was helping me get my baby to the doctor in a far away city didn’t really want to do it and I learned that she really wanted me to read her mind when she said, “Yes” and she really meant, “No”.  I was hurt when I found out that she felt I had taken advantage of her and was mad about it.

My husband’s aunt got really mad at me like my friend was when she had heat prostration.  I learned that I had to read minds and therefore read between the lines when I was in certain situations even when I was not told something.  It initially exasperated me, but I eventually got the hint.  It was a very expensive lesson when I also learned that my friend and also a close friend of hers were very mad at me and did not want to communicate with me.  Again they felt that I had taken advantage of her and was insensitive.

I certainly was part of the problem; but what if I considered that the devil made me do it.  I am sure he would be happy creating conflict among people and making them behave less like a Christian.  In the Lord’s prayer is the line,”and lead us not into temptation”.  We need to keep on our guard as hurt feelings and confusion are a potentially bad mix.  It has caused me a lot of grief.  Can you conceive of the devil enjoying this?.  I can think that is what God meant when he gave Christians this part of the Lord’s Prayer.

For a long time I was very rational about this part of the Lord’s Prayer and I didn’t think I needed pray it because I always knew what I was doing; but then sometime’s I made some dumb mistakes. For example, one was making a left-turn onto a four lane highway holding my fast food that I had just bought in one hand.  I totaled my new car and wound up driving a used Cadillac. I always wanted a Cadillac but not that way.  Who was at fault? me? God? or the Devil?

Also sometimes I have been very dense and as a result get caught in the same situation over and over.  Was it my fault or the devil’s fault?  I felt very strongly that I had to solve my own problems and often was confused in certain situations when I did not catch onto to what others’ wanted of me.  I knew I was not meeting their standard’s but I did not know why.  I was not getting their hints; but it was not malice on my part.

I have a little true story about me that illustrates this that I might have used in some other of my posts.  My lady supervisor at a clinic told me that I had an odor problem.  This was confusing to me because I was a regular bath taker, used deodorant, frequently changed my clothes, and washed those that needed it or sent them to the cleaners.  Needless to say, I immediately either washed all my clothes or had them cleaned; but the odor persisted.  It was very embarrassing and the staff felt  like that I had some kind of problem that I wouldn’t admit like to being homeless or living in a dive and had no plumbing.  Later I figured out that it was a perfume that I was wearing that didn’t mix well with my body chemistry.  I stopped wearing it. Problem solved.  But that never did connect with what the staff was thinking.

As a Christian, I latter learned to call on God especially for problems that I couldn’t solve and not to entirely depend on myself and view it was some kind of a test that I might fail.  I felt that the devil always won in these cases.  I had failed some kind of a test.  I did in an indirect way (I didn’t ask for help); but I think I either had some kind of lesson to learn or I was inadvertently making the devil happy.  Often it is the little things that bring us down.  I don’t think the devil likes us to be happy, without serious worries, and confident that we are okay.  What do you think?

Procrastination Is Making You Wait…

rp_4266893491_71b4f4f722_m.jpgProcrastination often occurs because of the fear of failure or doing something wrong.  You can never get something done right or learn something that you don’t know how to do without going ahead and trying.  Some people avoid doing something because they would rather do something else like nothing.  I have had jobs where at times I had to be at work and had nothing to do but I had to stay there.

I often spend more time avoiding something than it might actually take to do it and then either fail or succeed.  What would happen if you did something when you saw it and/or thought of it?   Might you save time and energy and/or actually learn something about something you are afraid to do for various reasons.  A coward dies many deaths, but a hero dies but once.

rp_4612035503_13ffb333f8_m.jpgHow much clutter do you accumulate because of the fear of throwing something away and needing it later however so slight.  In the long run would it be cheaper in terms of time and energy to redo or replace something or hunt the information you didn’t save up again on the internet.  I got a bargain individual serving coffee maker that did not have the instructions and it really was no problem as I found them on the internet and printed them out?

I have always heard that if you live in New York City where rents are extremely high and space is extremely limited that you have to learn to do this and that people who have amassed collections of stuff over the years sometimes feel relieved when they no longer have to keep track of them and or maintain them.

rp_8182308742_11e245507e_m.jpgAnother problem is the “I can’t” response.  Have you ever really tried and at the same time remembered that other people have been able to do it and they had to learn sometime.  It also improves your self-concept and makes you less dependent on others.

Either farm the job out on a regular schedule like most people do that with their trash or do without.  For example get a duvet and a duvet cover which is washable to replace your top sheet and blanket and simplify a bed making job and/or wait until just before you go to bed to straighten the bed up and now you won’t need the bedspread and fancy extra throw pillows.  Whoever thought a bed had to be dressed up and often didn’t kings and emperors hold court from their beds and I guarantee that their beds weren’t made when they did that.

Aim too highI once solved a patient’s problem with organizing and submitting paperwork so he could get what would amount to a very substantial amount of money refunded when he got all done.  I gave the patient a time limit to get it done in and if he didn’t meet the time limit he would have to agree to throw all the paper that he had saved away so he wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.

Sometimes we take more time ensuring that we not do something than it would actually take to do it.  We sometimes are so busy ruminating about something that we don’t realize this until it is too late.  One thing I am doing is fixing up a standard card table to use only for the current  paperwork that I am doing and it is removed from the TV and the the refrigerator and the company of any human beings (haven’t pledged yet to keep my pets out as the cat likes to sleep in the middle of my paperwork and/or stand in front of my computer screen and paw at it.  He can no longer sleep on top of the monitor (because it was warm) as it is now a flat screen.  No, I don’t know why he does this?

aim at nothingSomewhere we learn early on to drag our feet this way to get out of doing something (going to bed?).  As I have said in another recent post, some people spend more time in the workplace avoiding work than working.  I don’t know how or why they get paid for this?  At least when I do this, I am usually only cheating myself.  Now when you think of it, it seems awfully stupid when we take these things into consideration.the-greatest-barrier-in-success-is-the-fear-of-failure

Children Who Know Their Limits Are Less Obnoxious

rp_303404356_6ff7a23b4b_m.jpgChildren who know their limits are less obnoxious and thus nicer to have around.  Do you want to set up your children so that people say, “Oh, my God, here come the Jones kids again.”  Do you have relatives who you’d rather not see because of this problem?  Is this because the parents are lazy or because they think that their children can do no wrong.  Can you think of another reason?

Good behavior makes for a better school experience.  Most children don’t want to get a red mark on their behavior chart.  Civilizing or taming young human animals is not necessarily that teacher’s job.  Just like a horse, some maybe most children need to learn how to get “broke” behave outside the home.  If inside the home their are no limits and appropriate behavior is not taught, what is a child to do when he or she has to start meeting other people’s standards.?    It is not doing a good service for the child to do this as eventually he or she will be the one to suffer  long after you are gone.

Yes, it seems easier to not discipline or  set limits at times; but children thrive under consistency and the modeling of appropriate behavior.  They need to thrive under well-earned praise and require fewer and fewer prompts when out in public or in group settings.  If this is not done then something like, “tough love” may need to be done when they are teenagers or young adults.rp_Funny-Children-Safety-Sign-S-6709.gif

If you have been slipping and not meeting the standards yourself.  Children are “tattle tails” and can you spank them for telling the truth about our inappropriate behavior.  Relax not everybody is perfect and most children know this.  They may even tell you this.

Have you ever had your house trashed by somebody’s children or even your own children when you were not there to supervise them?  Isn’t it a nice job to clean up after them?  No it isn’t.  Once you establish limits, children will test you by doing the forbidden thing or by being creative and doing something else that is not completely forbidden under the rules you have set.

The best supervision is in operation a 100% of the time.  Observe parents.  Some parents when actively playing with their children  do a good job of supervision; but once they have stopped playing with the children their attention is usually somewhere else.  Other parents have a built in security system and even though they are doing something else can tell when a child is in trouble whether due to an accident or due to some mischief  on his or her part.  Multitasking and dealing with distractions make it difficult to get work done; but it is necessary when you have children even teenagers.

rp_300px-POL_Child_3.JPGOften a parent has a tendency to spoil their child and not expect much out of him.  The parent sometimes thinks that his or her child will have to toe the line soon enough anyway.  They think they are doing them a favor especially if the parent had few opportunities or things as a child and/or had to do housework or care for younger children.  The parent doesn’t spoil his or herself but focuses on the children having what they didn’t have and not being too strict and expecting adult behavior out of children.  Please take the middle road and save some resources for you the caregiver.  Remember the inflight announcement about the parent needing to put on the oxygen mask so he or she will be able to attend to their child?

Please note that sometimes parents have children who by temperament or because of developmental problems, are difficult to discipline or maybe even to love.  Seek help from a childcare specialist, family, and friends and other parents.   Also Look for support groups with those who have dealt with similar problems such as colic, autism, hyperactivity.  When I became a mother at a later age, I found that associating other (usually younger) mothers of infants and toddlers.  Some people organize play groups and take turns having it at their house.

 

Self Discipline

self disciplineSelf discipline means that the only one that you are accountable to is you.  That does not necessarily mean that you can do anything you want.  It means you have an internal set of standards which you feel that you, not necessarily everybody else, must live up to.  That doesn’t mean that this set of standards is exclusively yours and/or goes against God’s set of standards.  You are, however, accountable to you when it comes to these things.  After all, who is the most effected if you don’t live up to these standards?  You are.

Not having self-discipline often means that a person believes that they can wiggle out of having to do something because somebody else (including God) is making them do it and they don’t know what they are talking about and/or sometimes you just have got to do what you want to do, not what everybody else wants you to do.  Scarey isn’t it?  You have to determine whether you are doing right or wrong.  You don’t have to necessarily convince anybody else that it is the right thing to do or that it is not the wrong thing to do.

whatisrightResponsibility is the most important part of the equation when it comes to self-discipline.  Going to confession and being told what penances you should do to pay for the sins you have committed lets you “off the hook” so to speak and you think you don’t have to do anything else.  Self-inspection or reflection is an important part of the process of self-discipline.

Self discipline is developing a set of standards to live by that is constantly being revised as one’s understanding of life grows and changes.  I can change me, but not necessarily you, and that is the most important thing.  If I believe in something strong enough, then I will live that way no matter what other people do.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Little Things Mean A Lot

little thingsLittle things mean a lot.  My grandson broke something of mine.  I saw it coming; but I didn’t get to stop him.  He is the oldest of the grandchildren and I expect a lot of him and he usually delivers it.  I realized I was as mad at myself as I was mad at him.  I knew I should have put the thing in a safer place.  I apologized to him for making such a big deal of it and suggested how he might help me fix it.  Then I forgot about it and had decided that no one could tell the broken part was missing anyway.  He surprised me recently having found one of my trinkets that could be used to replace the broken part.  Neither one of us was no longer upset.

Little things mean a lot.  Do you treat children with respect?  You expect them to do this for you.  Respect others.  Respect yourself.  What else should we teach them?  If we don’t treat them the way we would like to be treated?  How can we expect them to do it to us.  Some people think that with little people, those who are still children, with people who are serving them, with strangers, with people of a lower social class, etc., that they don’t have to bother doing the right thing.  They sometimes go a step further and use people like this as scapegoats and whipping boys to release anger and assign responsibility for something they don’t want to take the blame for.

Little things mean a lot.  You can make or break someone’s day.  You may instill discipline into a child, but not in a kind way.  Kids are people too.  It is not that everything you will do or say to them will not trigger a crying spell on their part.  But sometimes, it is not necessary to do this to get our point across and we do it anyway.  Children are a blessing, but sometimes we don’t treat them as one.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Do What You Say You Will Do!

Parenting

Parenting (Photo credit: Leonid Mamchenkov)

Be consistent.  Do what you say you will do.  This is not only helpful in disciplining and raising children but it helps you to fulfill your own resolutions that you make for yourself.  Also doing so will make you consider more carefully what you say you will do because you are actually going to follow through on what it is that you are threatening that you are going to do.  It will lead you to being more circumspect in terms of the rewards and punishments you are promising yourself or someone else for failure to do or not do something.

Children appreciate orderliness and consistency.  As an adult when you do this, you find that your life goes smoother and is more predictable.

Cover of Parenting

Cover of Parenting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Forgive Yourself

If you forgive yourself, you can forgive others.  If you have a conscience and most of us do (even criminals), you are aware when you slip up.  Hopefully learning is a life long process and things that you might have done in the past, you wouldn’t do now.

You may have treated others badly in the past.  Perhaps you were just a child and you bullied or picked on another child just because everybody else was doing it and if you sided with the person being teased, you might get treated like them.  You realize now how badly you hurt this child.  You learned something and perhaps your behavior has changed because of this.  You might have realized that it was not the child’s fault  that he or she was bullied.  For example, no one chooses to be mentally retarded or poor.  When your behavior changes, it is time to forgive yourself and realize you were a child at the time.

Being a parent is a tough job for which we receive very little training and often undertake when we are very young and immature.  We often hopefully learn by experience.  We do things that when we look backward, we wish that we had neverEnglish: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...

done.  We deliberately had three children within a very short period of time because we did not have much time to do it as we were at the end of our thirties.  They were always fighting among themselves and when they weren’t doing this, they would gang up on the caregiver.  This was extremely frustrating and I would sometimes blow my top and  use my extensive vocabulary of swear words to express my feelings of frustration.  Fortunately they, as a group, would retreat to the farthest reaches of the house and wait for me to cool off.  I don’t cuss anymore and have often felt guilty for this until they told me that they didn’t take me too seriously when it happened and they had a way to escape my “wrath.” I didn’t used to like the picture that this gave of myself as a parent; but I have accepted it now and forgiven myself.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How Do You Raise Children?

English: Children at a parade in North College...

English: Children at a parade in North College Hill, Ohio, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you bring up an obedient child who responds compliantly to commands?  Or do you bring up a free spirit?  Which is more important:  the ability to fit into society and follow the directions of adults or a creative, free spirit?  It may depend on one’s reasons for having children.  In large families where there is a lot of work to be done and younger children to be taken care of the more obedient the child the better.  In a small family or one blessed with only a single child, the parent may feel that he or she should let a child be a child for as long as they can.  In the past, large families were common as parents could not easily choose when and if they had children.  Also some parents feel it is Godly to procreate and expand God‘s family.

It is also important to have some knowledge of what a child is capable of doing at different ages.  Pushing toilet training at too early of an age can lead to unfair harsh discipline of a child who can not yet control his or her bowels or bladder.  Expecting an older child who is still a child him or herself to control younger siblings might lead to the abuse of  his or her power or control over them.  As children get older and they are given more priveledges as they are given more responsibilities, it becomes clear to them that they will benefit from this exchange

As much as possible children should be given the chance to choose what they do when it is appropriate.  Some choices early on are determined by nature such as when they soil or wet themselves, whether they are hungry, and  if they are sleepy.  Infants don’t cry because they want to frustrate their parents.  Children begin to use their senses and explore the world early on.  Children should initially be given a safe place to do this.  It is the foundation of a lot of their learning and reinforces creativity.

Enhanced by Zemanta