The Celebration of Discipline
The Celebration of Discipline
Perhaps the most common expression of parent-school partnership is the way we work together to discipline our learners and your children. Our Community Covenant commits to discipline as a means to blessing our children. In it, we have each declared our support for each other as we seek to use discipline to make our children wise. We declare, “We, the parents, believe that discipline is a blessing for our children so that they may live good lives, learning to use their freedom for the good of their own soul and their community. We will support the faculty and administration when they discipline our child, just as we expect teachers and administrators to honor and support the discipline and expectations that we have for our child. We support the notion that our child is free and responsible for his or her own choices and that they should be treated in a way that respects their fundamental freedom.”
At Capstone, we consider discipline a great expression of love. The Hebrews writer says as much when he writes, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives...If you are left without discipline...then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” Our Gryphon’s Weapons or school virtues, which we explored in our early newsletters this school year, were conceived in love for our learners and are largely taught through parent and school-administered discipline. Children learn prudence, temperance, fortitude, charity, reverence, integrity, and humility through both the disciplines of daily school habits and curriculum but also through disciplinary responses to their own sinful attitudes and behaviors. While discipline can be intrusive and cumbersome in the midst of our busy moments throughout the week, love demands that we consistently provide it.
Perhaps the prerequisite virtue needed for discipline to work is humility. Proverbs 15:31-33 teaches us that “the ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” As our children learn to embrace discipline, they, like we, will wrestle with pride and may find it difficult to take responsibility for their actions. Discipline is a humbling experience. Sometimes it’s humbling for us as parents. It’s not easy to receive word that our child is being disciplined for a poor attitude at school. At those times, it can be easy to look for ways to justify or exonerate rather than to embrace the opportunity afforded by the occasion. Wisdom, however, teaches us to listen to reproof. Our desire for honor will not be satisfied by refusing rebuke but rather by embracing it. Humility comes before honor.
When this humility is typical of our community, discipline can be a pleasant partnership between parents and school. Having parents at home to discipline makes what we do at school that much more effective. Likewise, having teachers and deans at school to discipline makes what we do at home that much more effective. We are each greatly blessed to have this synergy. However, that does not mean that we will always get it right. There will be times when the school’s approach to discipline is not best and needs counsel and correction from you, the parent. At other times, we may respectfully suggest that you consider a different approach based upon what we are seeing at school. In both cases, we prayerfully commit our hearts to God, asking that He will humble us to see the way of wisdom for your children, and we stand ready to listen and to learn from you. At Capstone, discipline isn’t just for the children. Our parents, faculty, and staff all readily acknowledge that we are still learning and that we need and crave discipline from the Lord, who will sometimes use each one of us to provide a loving correction.
May God bless our growing partnership as we gladly receive His loving discipline for our blessing and his glory.