Sometimes, I find myself wishing that my mom was still here. She was a truly amazing Mother. I often think about her and wish that I could ask her how she disciplined my siblings and me. I know that this might sound odd, but her form of discipline was completely different from anything I have witnessed or read.
Like most mothers, my mom disciplined us out of love. However, she did not use spankings, a raised voice, time outs, or visible incentives to do so. Rather, she used love. My four siblings and I were fairly well-behaved children, because we did not want to hurt our mother or father. I distinctly remember doing two things that I should not have done and although my mom did not say a word, I felt so guilty because I knew that I had hurt her. I never did them again. I remember my mom calling my dad at work once due to the fact that a sibling had yelled at her. A "punishment" was not administered. My sibling never yelled at my mom again because he knew by that simple phone call how much he had hurt my mom. When we would fight with each other and then claim our innocence, she would remind us that it takes two to fight and that there are two sides to every story. When a curious sibling learned what she was getting for Christmas, my mom switched gifts. When one of us would threaten, "Well then I'm not going to do my homework." She calmly and simply replied, "The only person that will affect is you." When we were falsely accused, she would remind us, "God knows the truth and nothing else matters." She disciplined calmly and effectively out of love and with love.
The manner in which my mom disciplined us, helped us (or at least it helped me) to realize in a very real way that when we sin, we hurt God. I am thankful for the sacrament of Confession. I am thankful that God provides us with an opportunity to apologize for our sins and to let Him know that we love Him.