The absolute worst time to have to follow through on disciplining a child is at bedtime, because the bedtime battle is hard enough without the added stress of doling out consequences.
But my son chose to flat out disobey after being redirected and warned multiple times.
So he got a consequence, which in this case, meant no bedtime story.
After explaining why he received a consequence for his behavior, I turned off the light, tucked him in, and gave him a hug.
He cried. He screamed. He fought. He begged.
Disciplining a child never feels good—not for the child or the parent—and as usual, his tears and distress about broke my heart.
I thought about giving in, considered flipping the light back on and reading that story.
But I chose to follow through with the consequence, then wrap my arms around him and lay next to him in his little bed.
With my cheek against his, I could feel the heat and tears—his anguish both wet and burning.
But in time, his cries quieted. His body stilled. His breathing became calm and steady. His anger fizzled out.
And he was peacefully sleeping.
Sure, I could have easily fixed it by giving him what he wanted.
But he didn’t need me to fix it.
He just needed me to sit with him. To love him through it. To give him a safe space to process and express his emotions.
He just needed me to be there as he wrestled through the problem.
And isn’t that what we all need sometimes?
Support instead of an easy solution?
Whether a child or adult, we don’t always need someone to fix it—and honestly, so many things in this life can’t be fixed.
Sometimes we just need someone to wrap their arms around us and love us through it.