Last update: 01-Aug-2014 10:06 am
Friday, August 01, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Discipline dilemmas plague all parents
If you’ve ever seen children who have not benefitted from discipline then it’s clear to you why it is important to “train up a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6).” The truth of that principle is not only in the child’s welfare but the well being of the entire family. Discipline is not only good for children, it is necessary for their happiness and well-being and that of the entire family.
Among my siblings, we are blessed to have children who are stable and progressive and who contribute positively to the community. We inherited discipline, which I always say was akin to slavery since the parents, who did their best, knew only the discipline of control.
And, in the realm of parenting I would not be considered a good parent because my matrix got muddled with mental health issues which created a mostly negative— and severely criticised—manner of disciplining. Later, I’d learn the principle of 95 per cent encouragement; five per cent punishment, and now everyone’s amazed at how disciplined my six pets are (no joke). Yet, the fact that so much discipline and training went into my child is what makes me to rest comfortably in the knowledge that he has sufficient information to make good decisions. Notwithstanding, being human, I expect, as every parent should, that he would err but that should be the exception once we’ve trained our children.
It’s imperative that parents discipline their children to avoid having to blame their children’s out-of-control conduct on a medical condition. We live in a society where more and more such behaviours are labelled with one mental condition after another. Which is “not to say these conditions don’t exist,” says childcarebridge.com. “Obviously they do; and millions of kids suffer with the consequences of them everyday. However, there isn’t always a medical reason for kids’ unsavoury behaviours. Sometimes the issues may simply stem from lack of discipline.”
Strict parenting raises angry kids who lose interest in pleasing their parents, while permissive parenting raises unhappy kids who test their parents. In both cases, the child resists the parent’s guidance and doesn’t internalise self discipline.