Posted in Discipline vs. Control, Parenting, Uncategorized

Discipline Vs. Control–Part 1

Welcome! A much-belated happy new year to all! Not one post in on the parenting series, and I’m already behind schedule!

Let’s go straight to some definitions.

According to, discipline has several definitions; among those training, punishment and instruction to a disciple (i.e., student).  

Control, on the other hand, is to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command. (This one can give me the heebie-jeebies when I see it in action, or how its negative effects can manifest themselves.

Aside: Two quick thoughts: EVERYONE wants to be in control and NO ONE wants to be controlled by someone else. Just bear with me on this, parents. I’m not giving free rein to any child–no matter the age–just yet! 😉

Real-life story illustration (from 2012; Older Son was 16 years old): On the Saturday before Christmas we’d just gotten home around 8:30 PM from a family get together. Within the hour, I’m hearing kids’ voices outside calling out to Older Son. I figured they were coming from another friend’s, who lives three doors down from me. They came in for a minute then headed back out.

One of the girls in the group often complained about her parents being strict, especially her father. After the kids left, Hubby asked if that particular dad knew his daughter was out walking around at that hour. I had no clue.

Didn’t think much about it until the next day, when Older Son’s girlfriend dropped in, along with her mom. She was among those  who’d stopped by the night before. I mentioned Hubby’s comment about the other girl walking around at night. Older Son’s girlfriend’s mom went off a bit on her daughter, after she realized her daughter and the other friends wandering around the night before had essentially been stranded at a neighborhood restaurant (which amounts to a 25-30-minute walk from my house). Sounds like a disagreement between the kids at the restaurant resulted in their ride being cancelled by the boy whose dad was supposed to provide it.

My immediate thought was: my kids would never have thought twice about calling me to pick them up. The girl with the strict dad might have been afraid to call. My son’s girlfriend stated, “We didn’t want to bother you,” and the other boy who was with them rarely asks for a ride from his parents. (His stepdad watched his toddler brother while his mother worked on Saturday nights. His father lived about a half-hour away.)

The situation made me feel really good about my relationship with my kids to that point. When they were really young, I found it very tough and often terribly frustrating to manage (a.k.a. control)  busy boy behaviors. Seems like back then it was all about them getting to do what I wanted or expected, and I often felt resentful during those times they did not. (Sometimes I still feel that way, lol.)

Too many times, I grappled with whether I was being permissive or letting them make choices out of respect for them as people, especially after I’d set a boundary then found myself discussing/negotiating it. (That’s a supposed no-no in the way of effective parenting, or so I’ve been told here and there 😉 ).  Maybe what appeared to be negotiating then was my way of thinking aloud and making sense of the process as I lived it. (I still do that and my poor kids have to listen to it, lol. Good thing that older one is patient!)

Respect for my children—and for children and teens in general—is something that helps guide me in this process. We’ll talk more about this in the subsequent post. In the meantime, please go ahead and add your thoughts and experiences on this subject. Not an easy one, but one that is manageable with a shift in mindset.

One more request: if you like what you read here, would you kindly take a second and click the  Facebook, Twitter and/or any of the share buttons below? (Feel free to post share links at any site not represented here you feel might benefit from the content as well.) Reblogging is nice too, and helps get word out to others in cyberspace. By working together, we can each get our content and our names out to that many more people. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

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Have a wonderful day!


©Joanne C Timpano, 2017, content and images.


Posted in Uncategorized

Parenting Series on the Way!

Welcome, parents, guardians and/or providers of childcare! (Educators, you’re included too!)

Many thanks for taking a chance with my thoughts on parenting your children. I am humbled and honored and hope you find ideas that will work for you in the following series.

I too, want—and strive daily—to be the best parent I can be. I’m past twenty years experience, and my learning curve continues to grow.

I have, however, gained some hindsight. As goes the (paraphrased) saying, looking back is supposedly through 20-20 lenses. By no means do I promise to be certain of that, but maybe some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way will be of service to you. I certainly hope so.

I began writing the upcoming series in February, 2012; Older Son was fifteen at that time; Younger Dude, thirteen. These articles have been gathered into a booklet (not yet published) and developed into a workshop,  Lay the Groundwork: Thoughts and Tips for Building a Powerful, Peaceful and Lasting Connection with Your Kids. 

When my boys were younger, I often asked myself, Am I raising them right?” From the day they were born, my biggest struggle has always been finding a balance between disciplining them vs. being controlling.  At the time I wrote these articles, I was just beginning to get a glimmer of hope; that the fruits of all the years of (frequently) agonizing over which one I was (or am) in any given situation that calls for me—or hubby—to step in and exercise parental authority were beginning to pay off. (BTW the “boys” are  20 (today and 18; I still often wrestle with maintaining this balance.)

One more VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: It is really hard to see the payoff as you go. This is a process: a long one that often hints at success, but one that only time and perspective (a.k.a. hindsight) will allow you to see. Patience will be your biggest roadway to peace. (Special note to those of you inclined to pray: Someone gave me a wise piece of advice when my boys were very young. Don’t pray for patience; you will find yourself tested. Pray for peace instead.)

I plan post to one article weekly.*  Please feel free to comment, pose questions, contact me privately. Although each of our situations is unique, there are often common factors and/or denominators that many of us can relate to. Also note this: if you contact me I pledge to maintain confidentiality and anonymity.

Have a great day!


*Unfortunately, I must allow myself the flexibility to roll with what life doles out, so kindly be patient if my posting schedule winds up being less regular than I like. In the event, consistency goes off, I promise to get back on track ASAP! And thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. 🙂

©Joanne C Timpano (content and images), 2016. All rights reserved.