Do you struggle with discipline? On the blog I am sharing some tips and helpful thoughts on how to create a more disciplined life. Whether you’re a parent, a business owner, or a creative mind, this post is for you! The Siners Fall 2015 (All photos in this post taken by Amanda Reynolds)

Discipline as a parent

I’m starting out by addressing the definition of discipline that includes child-rearing. It’s interesting how the word discipline can include parenting, dieting, habits and routine. When I discipline my kids, (if I do it in love and from love) I am helping train them to understand and crave disciplined lives as adults. And when they’re adults, I hope they can look back on our discipline as parents as helpful, and useful and not something that conjures up hurt and rejection. Being full-time parents to a four and three year old means life can get a little chaotic at times (okay, all the time). Being consistent at establishing routine and having the discipline to parent fairly with calmness and love is the constant struggle in our lives. With two toddlers in the house, boundaries are constantly being pushed and Ashley and I are daily reinforcing those boundaries. The Siners Fall 2015 8

(All photos in this post taken by Amanda Reynolds)

As parents we have to discipline ourselves to be consistent in those times of chaos. Children will respond to and crave consistency in their lives as well. It can be tiring, even exhausting, to re-establish boundaries multiple times a day for our kids, but this is where the other definition of discipline rings true in our roles as a parent. If we have the discipline while our children are younger to enforce the rules and the ways of our household, then as they grow older these values and rules will be instilled into them. I know every child is different and there are times when you are going to need to show more grace than others. But standing firm in your parenting and having consequences for actions will teach your kids consistency and will discipline them for later in life. They’ll learn early to respect authority, to recognize that boundaries are good things that help maintain peace (rather than lines that keep them from having “fun”), and to operate as contributing members of society who aren’t afraid of strong leadership. In turn, they’ll be leaders and excel in life.

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(All photos in this post taken by Amanda Reynolds)

For example, In our house it is a rule that after 7 pm there is only milk or water to drink. I know this might sound like such a trivial rule and such an easy one to just give into after 10 minutes of crying and screaming, but we have noticed that our kids calm down and go to bed so much easier without all of the sugars in drinks. When this rule was first enforced it meant Ashley and I had to listen to non stop crying and whining, but after almost a year of staying firm and staying consistent, our kids know having any other drink is not an option. Now I know some of you have older kids and your discipline “issues” with your kids may not be as simple as no sugar at night. 🙂 But the concept still remains true. Create a consistent home life for your children. In a world that is so hectic and always changing the absolutes in life, our kids need to have boundaries and have discipline in their life. I can guarantee you that it will not be an easy task to take on but know that you are benefiting them in the long run by sticking to your guns. 🙂 A key to parenting with discipline means allowing for refreshment consistently too. When Ashley and I only work and parent and do life in the fast lane, we treat our kids differently and we slack up on boundaries that actually help maintain the peace for the sake of a few minutes of silence. We have learned that we have to allow, and sometimes force each other to take some “You Time”. Go golfing, go fishing or even hiking, go to the barber shop or salon to get your hair done. For girls, get your nails done, get massages, or even a simple trip to browse through shops in the mall. Do what it is that refreshes your heart and realigns your mind with purpose. It’s sad that we live in a world where we have to plan how to rest, but it’s true. You will approach your family with so much more patience after having this time to yourself.

Discipline in your business.

If you don’t have a scheduler; get one! For our business everything runs through one master calendar. And our calendar is a hard copy paper calendar. Nothing gets scheduled without looking at “the Book” beforehand! We do have an online management system that tracks everything for us as well, but having one source to look at to makes our lives so much simpler. Working from home can add so many distractions. Ashley and I have to be able to find our rhythm and try to get in a work flow to stay consistent. Ironically, I actually like to allow little “distractions”into my schedule. I notice that if I work for hours and hours on end without giving myself a break, I am not as efficient as the times I get up from my work every 20-30 minutes to go play with the kids or go unload the dishwasher or take the dog for a walk. Conversely, I have to discipline my break time so it doesn’t end up taking up my entire work day. Whatever your rhythm looks like is ok, as long as you are allowing yourself time to work and address your business’ needs along with making sure you are at your best creatively, mentally and emotionally.

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(All photos in this post taken by Amanda Reynolds)

Discipline as a creative.

As creatives we have to allow time for our creative passions to thrive. We need to take time to focus on our art just for “arts sake”. Yes, I have the awesome opportunity to use my photography to create a living for my family but if all photography to me is a business, then I will eventually get burnt out. By disciplining myself as a creative and carving out time to be creative, I continue to light my creative fire. We recently had the opportunity to travel to Europe to shoot in Paris, Germany and Ireland. I took this time to rejuvenate my creativity within photography and I shot with no agenda. I didn’t plan out any shoots, I didn’t have to direct any shoots, and I didn’t have any expectations put on me by anyone else. This freedom ignited a creative passion inside of me and allowed me to get back to the core of my art. It helped me drown out all of the negative self talk I usually fill my head with, and it opened my mind to continue to fulfill my purpose as a photographer. If you are a creative, schedule time each month for you to just do something creative for yourself. This activity doesn’t even have to be in your field of expertise, either. For example, if you are a full time photographer you don’t have to just pick up your camera and go shoot for yourself. You can also pick up other art forms, such as painting, pottery, or even writing. By allowing yourself to do this you will be amazed at the freedom you feel and how much more inspired you will be as you go back to your line of work. Discipline is key in life whether we are two or twenty-two. It creates boundaries that our hearts and minds need. It creates freedom and it allows us to fully embrace life and realize we have to master our own passions in order to fully embrace and enjoy them.

The Work From Home Parent | Creating and Maintaining Discipline

November 9, 2015

images Copyright The Siners Photography