Watch Shefali Tsabary, PhD’s video on what is spiritual discipline.
The spiritual approach to discipline refocuses our entire understanding of the discipline process. So, traditionally we look at discipline as fixated on the problem behavior. This is really the problem because in the spiritual approach of the conscious approach we move away from focus on the bad behavior or looking at the child from the length that the child has a problem behavior that needs to be fixed. We entirely remove that notion and start a fresh with a new perspective, and what’s that perspective? The perspective starts with the understanding that the behavior of the child is simply a manifestation of an underlying need. The need emerges from the relationship the child has with the parent and within the child itself. So, the stronger the connection the child feels with the parent and the stronger the child inter-connectivity, the need for discipline really falls away. So, as a clinical psychologist when I worked with people around the area of discipline I try to re-imagine, re-focus, re-align the parental relationship to recreate that missing inter-connectivity. There’s something in the glue between parent and child that has come undone which now manifest in problematic behavior. The next focus of the spiritual approach to discipline is to ask the parent to look at the trigger that the child is evoking within the parent as an invitation to examine what has been exposed within the parent. Usually conflict is such a hard button for the most of us and our children are the best at pushing those buttons. But what the child is really doing when they push that button is that they’re exposing us to something that has been left unresolved within us. This unresolved wound within us causes us to react to them and we further spiral the problematic behavior because we’re really attending to an unmet wound or a need with in ourselves and feeling to meet the real emotional need of a child. Discipline issues are always a manifestation of an unmet emotional need.