Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Children and Discipline

There seems to be such a disconnect these days as to what is the correct way to discipline children. So much concern is placed on their self esteem that we don't injure their sensitive feelings while many households are being held hostage by youngsters. It is my belief that a lot of parents are extremely hesitant to appropriately discipline their kids. Then the question is obviously asked, "what is the correct way?" Let's look at this. First off, when children start running the household, we now have the tail wagging the dog. Why can't we take away a expensive DVD player, or a flat screen television, a computer, x box etc. many people ask? They do not become permanent fixtures in a child's room. These are earned and retained by regularly displaying good, healthy manners, polite attitude and proper communicating of the English language, without any demeaning, sarcastic or cutting words. If their behavior or manners are indicative of disrespectful slang, innuendos or gestures, things need to come flying out of that room and not taken back until there is a significant shift in their attitude. If they are only left with a mattress to sleep on and the floor to hold their clothes, then so be it. This is what they have earned for themselves. We have a generation of young men who have already learned the negative skill of control and manipulation. We do not need to teach the next group of kids coming up the same thing. I am quite sure that some people reading this are already in disagreement with what I am saying and that is perfectly okay. I will just ask you that what you are doing presently, if it isn't working well, would you be open to something new and different? Here is a rule of thumb to go by: with any discipline it needs to be respectful, related and reasonable. If you follow that guideline, then it will teach the child to do this in a loving, teaching, caring and supportive way. Too many times we as adults will make a child the brunt end of being punished. Remember: discipline comes from the word "disciple", which means to teach. Punishment only looks around to "blame" someone which is generally the child. Self esteem bottoms out, self worth plummets, self confidence flies right out the window and they walk away feeling like, "not enough". It does not take too many instances for them to get that message of "not enoughness". Children do not question the wrong doings of adults, they suffer them. Please keep that in mind. If we all could become an ambassador for children's appropriate rights, then we will fully understand how we are raising respectful adults, not children.

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