How to Discipline Your Kids
A Letter to my Son... Happy Birthday!
“How do you discipline your kids?” It is a common question I receive but it’s the wrong use of the word discipline. For the sake of my argument, a simple Google search of the word “discipline,” gives the following definition:
The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.
"Are you okay?"
Today, my first-born, you turn 10 years old! That is amazing to me that you have been alive for a decade. A week prior to your birth, Mommy and I had attended our last birthing class. The advice I remember the most was to have Mommy walk around if she thought she was having contractions. This is where I learned about Braxton Hicks contractions and how walking could help calm the abdomen. That week we took a walk every night, thinking about how we were going to meet you very soon. Then, in the wee hours of the night, Mommy nudged me awake. She said she was having contractions and she thinks you were on your way. The advice from the teacher entered my drowsy brain and I responded, “It’s Braxton Hicks. Just walk in a circle.”
At the age of 16, for my birthday, my Dad bought me a 1983 Pontiac Brougham. We called it the Bro-Ham. It was money green with mirror tint on the bottom and had close to $12,000 worth of stereo equipment in the trunk (had to have been stolen, the car only cost $2,500). I was in heaven. The car was old. We had to fill the radiator with water every morning and the front right tire was a spare (or as we call it a donut). We also had a second donut in the trunk in case of an emergency. I would ride around with my friends, blasting music. It was a reward for always keeping my grades up and doing well in sports. Though I was a good kid, I still have a checkered past. This particular blotch on my record happened the night of Winter Formal, my junior year of high school.
Do's & Don'ts
The first night we slept in our home, my wife and I laid our heads intimately engulfed in the future becoming the present. Before we could drift off into dreamland, we heard what could only be described as 100 cats in heat with a megaphone. It was a sound I had never heard before and was so distinct and unique, I was puzzled. I looked outside but could not determine where it was coming from or what animal was making the sound. It wasn’t until the next morning, when the neighbors approached asking, “How was the first night?” We responded, “It was great except for those damn cats in heat or whatever it was.” “Oh, you mean the peacocks. Yeah, it takes a minute to get used to.”
A Coach's Responsibility
Some of the best ideas come during a time of reflection. Spending at least 30 minutes a day, doing nothing but thinking, reflecting, or pondering the possibilities is of tremendous benefit. As I become older, raise my boys and watch other children grow, I end up doing more of these types of activities and spending time thinking about my life experience. When you look back on your life, what do you see? For some, this may be a very tough thing to do; look in the mirror and be honest. For others, this may be a joy. When looking back on my life, staring in the mirror, I have times of sorrow and times of elation. I don’t regret anything but I definitely see some of those experiences in a different light.
There is an old adage that sports build character and I find that to be false. The game does not build character. The game can enhance character. What the game really does is reveal character. Now, there is another aspect to consider here. If sports do not build character than what does? The answer, the Coach. Of course, it all starts at home but parents aren’t (or shouldn’t be) relying on sports as the only avenue for character building. That job, with respect to sports, is left in the hands of the Coach.
Don't Be Scared. Everything Will Be Okay.
For the next eleven days, deliberately seek out an opportunity to be kind. It can be something as simple as a smile to a little child on the street, buying the coffee for the person behind you in line, or reaching out to an old friend just to check-in and say hi. Post the story of what you did and tag @rebirthbx #11KindDays. Share your kind acts to help inspire others to do the same. I can’t wait to see this paid forward and shared to as many living organisms on this planet as possible. What will you do in the next ten days to be kind? Check out the story that started the idea!
Life Lessons from a 4 Year-Old
Visualization is such an effective technique because our brains don’t know the difference between “reality” and “visualization.” You can hook an athlete up to electrodes and ask them to visualize playing their sport and muscles will fire as if they were actually playing. Pretty cool, right!? However, not everyone is an athlete and fear does not discriminate. I decided to play around with different fears of my own and create a visualization that worked for me and offer to share with you. I was very successful in using this visualization for my fear of scaling my business and taking bigger risks professionally.
Abundance Speed Limit
His desire to keep pace with his brothers is something that just seemed commonplace and nothing to really think of as special. Looking back though, he has done some remarkable things to ensure he was not left behind. Two things come to mind and one of them happened today. First, let me just tell you, at the age of 2 ½, this kid potty trained himself!
Lemonade Out of Burnt Lemons
Here comes the naked vulnerability part…
I did this exercise and was astounded at what came out of it. I mean, I believe I am an intelligent individual, can remain objective most of the time, and am aware of any poor judgements I have, leading to eliminating those judgements all together. Well, I never put my focus on Abundance before and it shows. Below are verbatim the exercise sentences (that you then fill in), my answers (the fill in), and my reflection of my judgements.
Finding Your Passion
“Wake up! Wake up! Someone is at the door!” These are the words I heard as my wife nudged me violently while in a sound sleep at 4 a.m. “Someone is at the door? What?” I hustled to my feet in a daze and gently cracked the door open. “The back is on fire,” are the words uttered from my neighbor. “What?” “The back is on fire.” I shut the door and ran through the living room, dining room, and to the back, sliding glass door to see my entire garage engulfed in flames. The roof had a new vent and the flames fled out of the garage door, pulled in back over the roof, and through the vent, feeding the fire like a scene from Backdraft. I ran inside to get the kids and wife, but she had already gathered them to safety, next door with the neighbors and was on the phone with the fire department. I returned to the back porch, sat down, and watched as my heart sank.
To Be or Not To Be
This may seem simple or it may seem that it leaves your question unanswered. Think of this. You have spent so much time trying to find your passion, yet you are reading this article in hopes for the answer because you are found wanting, still searching. You can spend more time in the depths of uncertainty like I did, waiting fifteen years. By all means, enjoy the misery. The other option is to stop and try something different, something that eliminates the pressure of it all, something like the plan outlined above. Happy hunting!
Soft & Hard
“If you allow anyone to control your emotional state, you deserve everything you get.” -Coach
The more you deny people the privilege of controlling your emotional state, you can possibly set a trap for yourself. At the beginning stages of controlling your emotions, being the source of your own emotional energy, it can be difficult. You find yourself constantly evaluating, analyzing, and correcting your reactions. I am aware this is not the goal, but you must start by simply being aware of how you respond to others.
I like to talk. I like to talk about myself, I mean, a lot. In conversation I often find myself listening to the other person while simultaneously talking to myself privately, waiting for my opportunity to share. Typically, that share is nothing more than a “one up” of the other person. It is simply my ego feeding itself. I don’t do it intentionally. It was a skill that was built over time. In my personal journey of growth, one of the areas I made a committed choice to change was actively listening.