Each day we make many choices and every choice we make brings with it consequences, either good or bad. For every choice we make we are demonstrating discipline or a lack of discipline. What is great about this is that they are our choices, and they are our responsibility.
Whether we are an adult or a child we have the ability to choose courses of action that will matter to our health, knowledge and success. The rewards for eating healthy, brushing our teeth, studying our lessons, practicing skills, setting and achieving goals, saving money, or telling the truth are seen both short term and long term.
What is interesting about discipline is that the practice is not always seen in immediate rewards. Is that not what can make it more difficult for children to learn? In their world immediate satisfaction is more desireable, because it is difficult for them to understand what ‘long term rewards’ mean. In regard then to teaching the character quality of discipline – what we want to start with is teaching how long term rewards benefit us.
Here is a physical example of long term rewards. This past spring in our classes we started a long term project of being able to do 25 pullups. No one in the class was able to achieve that on the first day. However after 8 weeks about half of the class was able to achieve that goal with consistent 3 day a week practice. This same principle applies to other aspects of our life too. What examples do you have of being rewarded by patient disciplined efforts?