On Child Discipline

posted by Jan on ,


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In its most general sense, discipline refers to systematic instruction given to a disciple. This sense also preserves the origin of the word, which is Latin disciplina, "instruction."
To discipline thus means to instruct a person or animal to follow a particular code of conduct, or to adhere to a certain "
order," or to adopt a particular pattern of behaviour. So for example, to discipline a child to wash its hands before meals. Here, 'washing hands before meals' is a particular pattern of behaviour, and the child is being disciplined to adopt that pattern.

Who needs discipline? Everybody does. I need one, too. I need to discipline myself to sleep early so that I can wake up early and be fresh the next day. However, as I still have a baby who wakes up at night for feeding, sleeping early to wake up fresh is still a challenge.

On child discipline. My children need discipline. I know. There are so many books that offer a range of advise on how to discipline kids. James Dobson's are the ones that are very popular, at least in Christian community. To discipline a child, you have to get to know him/her very well. You have to know their personalities and characteristic.s Not only that, you have to know the different stages of children's life to fully understand how they behave and why they behave that way.

A screaming child does not necessarily imply a negative behaviour. Do we straight away spank or scold our child because he screams? I don't think so. We have to find the underlying reasons why he screams. This can be a baby's way of letting his needs known or this can be an expression of frustration. For my son, screaming is his way of letting his stresses out. Once he's in an uncomfortable situation, he screams. He also screams when there's too much around him. He was displaying this behaviour from newborn until he could communicate his feelings well. Now, he does too, sometimes, especially when he's imitating his baby sister. Only then we tell him not to scream. Now he listens and obeys us everytime we tell him not to scream. Tell a baby who still doesn't understand or who still incapable of letting his needs known, and you will end up frustrated.

Discipline is one of the most challenging thing one could do as a parent or guardian. It takes effort, consisteny, respect, and above all, love.

1. Effort: Sometimes, it's so easy to just let the negative behaviour pass. No stress, no explanation needed. However, it does take an effort to do discipline. My son was bitten twice. As parents, of course, we felt that biting was not a joke and must not be taken lightly. So when he did that to his sister at one point, my hubby and I agreed to never allow him to do that again. Ever. So we imposed a classic stand-in-the-corner discipline on him for the first time. He disliked the punishment so much he never did it again.

2. Consistency. This is another challenge. You can teach a child in one day and he would obey... but due to his short-term memory at a young stage, he could easily forget about it and do it again the next day. So we have to remind him time and time again. Consistency is very important. It tells a child you really are serious about it.

3. Respect. We need to respect them as we discipline them. If we scold our child in public, it may hurt his ego, resulting to insecurities and such. I really try not to scold/discipline him in public. Let others think I don't discipline my child. His confidence is more important to me than impressing people or showing others I really discipline him. When he exhibits negative behaviour, I pull him out of the situation, take him to a private place and talk to him. He listens this way. It's good ot do this way. Not only you preserve his integrity, you preserve his self confidence as well.

4. Above all, Love. We can read a lot of books on how to discipline a child with love. To spare the rod, or not, it really depends on the personality of the child. Or depends on our principles and beliefs. I believe in using the rod for my child. But if one uses the rod, one has to be sure it's not out of anger but rod a child with love. Hard to do coz sometimes, we only use the rod when we couldn't take it anymore. That means, when we're already so stressful and angry.

I may have left out a lot more on what it takes to discipline. But I am very willing to learn from others who have tried and succeeded.

I have another book given to me by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law about disciplining a child. It's called Making Children Mind without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman. I haven't started reading yet. But I had looked thru it. One thing that caught my eyes were these verses, taken from the Bible, Ephesians 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God's Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessings.

And now, a word to you parents. Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord Himself approves, with suggestions and Godly advise.

Pray, tell me, who can skip such best advise on raring kids?