Creative Discipline Moment from Dan Phillips

I enjoyed the following story from Dan Phillips of how he used a teachable moment to impress upon his children the importance of respecting their mother.

Once upon an undatable-by-you time, an unidentifiable-by-you pair of my four kids showed my dear wife a degree of disrespect that appalled me. I learned of this while at work.

On the way home, I bought some food for a meal such as my wife loves. I got home, set Valerie’s place with care, called us all to dinner. Made my children stand with me as I seated Valerie with particular honor, and served her. We prayed.

Then I talked with them and explained what was about to happen. I reminded them of what I’d taught them since the cradle about respecting their mother. I told them how appalled and shamed I was by what they’d done (don’t let your imagination go nuts; you’d probably think it a small thing — I think it related to homeschooling), and that I would never tolerate such treatment of their mother — ever.

And so, I told them that we would all keep Mom good company as she enjoyed her dinner. I told them they could have water — and that was it.*

And I told them I’d do the same.

Why? I told them that I must somehow have failed to communicate how deadly serious I was in what I’d taught them. So we’d all just let it growl a bit, together.

*Note: No Phillips children were starved (or ever have been) in the teaching of this (or any) lesson. Trust me on this.

What kinds of creative discipline have you used in training your kids? If you have some good examples, share them in the comments.

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  1. Margaret says:

    I don’t know any creative discipline ideas, but we used “The Creator’s Discipline” with our children – in other words, corrective measures as recommended in the Scriptures.

    I still remember my Daddy spanking me as a child, for using a disrespectful tone of voice in speaking to my mother! Just the tone of voice needed to be corrected, and I have remembered this a long time (over 70 years ago!) So, I guess the lesson was well learned! My father was a wonderful, kind and loving man, and strict on discipline, and I’m sure it was a lesson I needed to learn.

    As far as creative ways, we sometimes took away privileges, such as using the bike or phone, – not particularly creative, but they served the purpose!

  2. Sharon Gamble says:

    When our kids were teenagers, they wanted to be driven everywhere, of course. Each of them wanted to attend at least two – and sometimes three youth groups. These involved about 2 hours worth of driving them there and back and there and back again. So…I finally made a system where, after a reasonable amount of driving had been done, they needed to pay me back in household chores for additional driving needs. I literally couldn’t get the house in order for the driving. It worked out so well. They washed my floors, and the time I would have spent washing them, was spent serving my girls back. Not really a discipline, but happily creative and effective. It made everyone happy. 🙂

  3. Eva R. says:

    How did your children react to this? I think it was a wonderful way to show your children how much you honored your wife and was hurt because she was hurt, and that you ‘suffered’ along with the children instead of making it a ‘parent vs child punishment’. I bet they didn’t play you two against each other very often! I think I would have wanted to show my love and forgiveness to them by preparing their dinner after I was finished with mine though. God bless!

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