Supernanny Parenting Discussion Guide – Week 7 (Discipline – Methods)
Week 7 – Methods of Discipline
Icebreaker Question: Looking back on the past six or seven weeks, what is one positive change that has happened at your home as a result of this series?
It is amazing how things can positively change when we put our minds to certain things. The past six or seven weeks we’ve been focusing on how we can be better parents for our kids. When Leanne and I first did this series with our group I was amazed at how excited our kids were to make some basic changes in our own home. For example, we still have the schedule on our pantry door. Our family uses this to help prioritize our hectic schedules especially from 3:30PM until bedtime. The “Stolpe Family Schedule” has helped tremendous to bring order out of the chaos that was happening as our children arrived home from school everyday. I think another benefit of this series is the renewed focus on teamwork as a family and as a couple. Leanne and I are on the same page more often than not. And the kids are seeing a united front. Hopefully, your family has been positively impacted as well.
When we think about ways in which we were disciplined as kids, we recall memories of soap in the mouth, belts, spankings, timeouts, being grounded, writing lines, etc. Jo Frost (Supernanny) has used some of the following in her approach to discipline: The Naughty Step, The Naughty Mat, The Naughty Corner, The Naughty Room, The Naughty Chair, etc. This week, we will talk about how we discipline our children. Hopefully, the discussion will give you a fresh perspective as you aim to teach your child to make good choices.
Here are some of the key points for this week’s conversation:
- Discipline is NOT meant to harm our children, but to help them make good choices in the future.
- When we discipline our children, the punishment should fit the age of the child and the “crime.”
- Sometimes living with the consequences of their actions is the appropriate discipline for an inappropriate action by our children.
- Consistency is critical.
- Through discipline, we have an opportunity to teach our kids about God’s grace.
This week we’ll continue our focus on discipline. As we watch the Supernanny DVD clips together, pay attention to the methods that Jo Frost equips the families with for carrying out discipline.
Note to leader: Show the following clips from the Supernanny Season 1 DVD: The Weston Family DVD Disc 2: 0:44-2:53, 3:37-5:29, 6:35-8:14, 16:42-20:40, 23:20-24:20, 32:54-33:56, and 35:08-38:07. You may choose to show all the clips at once or you may decide to stop the DVD after each clip and discuss the answer to question one or pull out key points as you go.
1. What observations can you make from the DVD clips that relate to how we discipline our children?
If I haven’t said it before, I’m very thankful for my own parents. In my opinion (as an adult parent), I think they did an excellent job especially when it came to discipline. When I was young, they used timely appropriate spankings to help me to understand the errors of my ways. I am not scarred in any way. As I grew older in my elementary school days, I was grounded a few times for disobeying or going outside the boundaries that my parents had set for me. As I moved into my teenage years, more often than not, I was left with the consequences of my own actions. For example, I know I paid for the replacement of several windows when I carelessly broke the windows doing something I should not have been doing. At each stage, the discipline was appropriate to my age and to the crime.
2. How were you disciplined as a child?
One thing that we have found to be important in our families discipline process it the end conversation. We ask our kids to apologize specifically for their infraction. We also extend forgiveness to our children. They need to understand the importance of forgiveness and grace. These are both things that we as parents have the privilege of modeling for our kids.
3. What has worked (or not worked) for you as a parent when it comes to discipline?
4. Read the following verses from the Bible. What do these say about how we should discipline our children?
21 The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.
23 The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
5. List one or two things that you will do differently or that you will try as a result of our discussion on the methods of discipline.
Take Home Activity: This week, there are two “homework” assignments. You can do both if you’re ambitious. If you have time for just one of these, I would recommend the first activity (Faith Fall) for families with older children (1st or 2nd grade and older) and the second activity (Red Light, Green Light) for families with younger children. Have fun!
Activity 1: Faith Fall
Point: You can trust God even when something seems scary or does not make much sense.
Supplies: You’ll need a chair and a Bible.
Get down on your knees next to a chair. While standing, have your child hold onto a chair with their back towards you. Ask them, “Do you trust me?” Let them respond. Ask them again, “Do you really trust me?” Let them respond. Ask them one more time, “Do you trust me with your life?” Let them respond (hopefully it’s an affirmative response. Now tell them, “Then let go and I’ll catch you.”
- How did you feel when I asked you to let go of the chair?
- Why did you think that you could trust me not to drop you?
Read Proverbs 3:5-6 together, then tell your child, “Just as you can trust me to catch you, you can trust God – even when something seems scary or does not make much sense. God cares enough to catch His kids, and He’s strong enough to hold on to us.”
Activity 2 : Red Light, Green Light
Point: Following directions is important. (This may be a better activity for the younger kids.)
In a big room, your yard, or in an open field, play the old game of red light, green light with your kids. Take turns being the traffic light. Everyone starts at one end of the room or other open space. When the “traffic light” yells “Green Light”, everyone starts moving the other way. When they proclaim “Red Light”, everyone must stop right where they are. If they don’t stop, you can send them back to the beginning or send them back three or four steps.
After the game is over, ask these questions,
- Why is it important to obey the traffic lights when mom or dad is driving?
- Why is it important for you to follow the directions that mom or dad give you?
Next week’s topic: Introducing Your Kids to Christ
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