Parenting is a Spiritual Discipline, one in which we can learn together, learn from one another;
a practice over time, which is rewarding and renewing,
which contributes to the well-being of the young ones and to the larger whole.
It fosters healthy and whole beings who grow into our friends, our leaders, the parents of children to come.
- The Right Reverend Riscylla Shaw, Suffragan Bishop & Ambassador of Reconciliation,
Diocese of Toronto, Anglican Church of Canada
The word 'discipline' comes from a Latin word meaning 'to teach'.
The word 'disciple' comes from a Latin word meaning 'learner'.
Parents have been entrusted by God to nurture, protect and teach their children. Jesus provided the model for parents to follow - of a wise leader, a skilled mentor, and a kind listener. He embodied our vision of 'positive discipline' as he taught his disciples.
Children are learners. They enter the world knowing nothing of rules or adult expectations. But they have been blessed with the curiosity, energy and motivation to learn about the world around them. Over many years, if they have a safe place to learn, they gradually become all that God envisions - creative, compassionate, confident, honest, responsible, generous, and loving.
If children are hurt by those they trust most, this development is impaired. They might start lying to avoid being spanked. They might begin to resent their parents or become vengeful. They might become fearful of trying for fear of being punished if they fail. No human relationship is strengthened when one person hurts the other.
As Jesus showed us, positive discipline involves patience, understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. Children need to feel safe to ask questions and make mistakes. They need to know that adults will guide them with understanding. True learning takes place within a strong trusting relationship that reflects our trust in God.