Training a child in the way he should go is a very long and slow process. We have to look at the fact that we have over twelve years to influence and train. Much of the foundation is laid in the first three to five years, but the process continues much longer. Try not to look at parenting your child as if the child has to know “everything” today. Don’t rush the developmental stage he or she is in or expect them to do more than they are ready for. Find the balance of knowing where they are and stretching them a little.
Think about any new job, sport or musical instrument that we want to learn. It takes time and practice and no one becomes an expert instantly. Realizing this about character training and discipline helps us be more patient with ourselves and with the children, as we keep our eyes on the goal down the road, while consistently training for that goal.
Jobs and sports take consistent training, little by little increasing the difficulty and the understanding of the whole. Consistency and remaining calm are as important to discipline as a patient coach or trainer is to a new sport or job. Calm, consistent training will over time bring about the results that you have written for your goals in Chapter One. And keep in mind how long it takes to master a new sport, skill or job. Continually look for balance as good coaches do—just enough hard work to learn the skill without discouragement and enough praise to keep the heart loving the journey.