Challenges in Domestic Discipline: Children

Practicing domestic discipline can be difficult at times as it is, but with many couples there are numerous factors that make practicing the lifestyle even more difficult.  There are many things that come up throughout the course of a lifetime that challenge the progress of a couples growth within a domestic discipline relationship.  At times these challenges can be very hard to deal with.  This entry is the first in what will be a series of entries about these challenging elements that couples often run into along their journey in the lifestyle.  The goal is to work with, or work around, the challenges and not get discouraged or derailed by them to keep the dynamic running as smoothly as possible.

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We’ll start with the most common challenge to work around, which is the element of having children around regularly.

Whether children are newborns or teenagers, it’s important for couples to do their best to keep the domestic discipline aspect of their relationship private and as “out of view” of their children as possible.  The dynamics of a domestic discipline relationship are difficult for many ADULTS to understand, let alone children.  Children of any age aren’t going to completely understand what living a domestic discipline lifestyle is all about.  It’s recommended couples keep the lifestyle as “out of view” to their children as possible since children, from a developmental standpoint, are not mature enough to emotionally and mentally understand what exactly it is and what exactly it entails.

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The most crucial time in a child’s development is early in their life.  This website isn’t about childhood development, but if you’re interested in more about that, we encourage you to read this article.  That article has a lot of good information that illustrate our main point – children are constantly learning and constantly influenced by their surrounding environment.  If you have children, how many times have you done or said something that your child mimics?  How many times has that caused a moment of difficulty or embarrassment?  Needless to say, children need to remain uninfluenced by domestic discipline regimens not because a domestic discipline lifestyle is wrong, but because children plain and simply will not understand it.  This lifestyle is for adults.

How does a couple work around their children and maintain a healthy domestic discipline lifestyle?

Very carefully.  If a couple must conduct a punishment, it’s recommended the punishment be done at a time when the child (or children) is/are not going to see it or be influenced by it.  That’s much easier said than done no doubt, but it’s important.  Punishments should be done when children are asleep, or at school, or out of the house for one reason or another.

We’ve stated numerous times that punishments should be carried out as soon as possible after the infraction for the best overall results.  We stand behind that firmly, but the key part of that sentence is as soon as possible.  Sometimes, particularly with children present, immediate punishment simply is not possible in the moment.  It may be hours later, or even a day or two later, but the punishment should be carried out as soon as possible.  If that means working around the schedule of the children, then so be it.  Yes, it’s difficult and not ideal to put off punishments, however to protect the children, it’s necessary at times.

We’ve done our best to protect our children from our domestic discipline lifestyle, but unfortunately one of our children saw a punishment of ours and we don’t know what to do.  How should we handle this?

The age of the child plays a major part in answering this question, but generally speaking it’s recommended parents deflect the direction of the conversation elsewhere, or be honest with their children in a way that protects their innocence.  Being honest with children does not mean parents needs to disclose every single little detail.  In a situation like this, we’d recommend the parents say something along the lines of the following:

I know this may seem strange,  and I know it may be really hard for you to understand right now, but it will make a lot more sense when you’re older, and I promise I will explain it to you someday.  The important thing for you to know is that your daddy and I love each other very very much, and more importantly, we love YOU very very much.  You don’t have anything to worry about, sweetheart.  I’ll explain it all at another time.  So do you want to watch a movie before bed tonight?

That’s just an example of course, but it illustrates some key components.  One, the parent is reaffirming the love that they not only have for their partner, but the love they have for their child as well.  That’s important.  Two, there are not a lot of details disclosed.  If the child gets more curious about things and starts asking more specific questions, we’d recommend letting the child know you’ll discuss those things with them some other time.  There’s no need whatsoever to go into specifics with a child.  Three, deflection is taking place.  “So do you want to watch a movie before bed tonight?”  This will help get the child’s mind off of what they saw, and hopefully get them thinking about something positive.

To be clear, we are in no way, shape, or fashion telling anyone how to parent their children.  These are simply recommendations and should be taken as such.

This isn’t an easy position to be in.  We feel it’s best not to insult the child’s intelligence by lying to them, however we also feel it’s important to protect the innocence of the child by NOT going into any details or any lengthy explanations.  A young child doesn’t need to fully understand the dynamic of a very adult practice.  Honesty is the best policy, but in a situation such as this, honesty doesn’t have to include specifics.

It’s not easy to work around children.  Being parents ourselves, we certainly understand that.  It may be difficult at times, but the presence of children shouldn’t stop couples from doing what is best for their relationship.  A healthy relationship will have a positive impact on the children of the couple.  It is our belief that a healthy relationship equates to a healthy home environment, and a healthy home environment equates to healthy children on mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

For more Domestic Discipline Challenges articles, click the following links:

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