Parents should stop terrorizing their children with old-fashioned discipline

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There are ways in which we could discipline a child without using violence.

The other night my toddler has accidentally broken his vitamin bottle. It fell off his hands to the concrete floor while he’s carrying it. The content spreads through the floor and a portion of it splashed onto the makeshift short table where I put my laptop.

I then called my wife to help me gather the broken pieces of glass and to wipe the wet parts with a rag. My son just stared at me motionless. He seemed to look very frightened with what happened. I stared back at him and asked: “Why did you break your vitamin son? You should have not been carrying or playing with it in the first place.”

He offered me no answer and this time he bowed his head downward and I could see he’s about to break in tears. I tried to spank him just once in the butt using my right hand and it was a very light one. That very moment he cried out loud.

After cleaning up the mess, I called on my son to come to me. At first, he was hesitant to come near me but later on he stood at my side. I hugged him and said, “I’m sorry son, it’s not your fault, but don’t do it again okay?” He nodded, and I kissed him on the cheek and on his forehead.

When we’re in bed already, I thought about what I have done to my son. I shouldn’t have been hitting him in the butt, even a light one. I should have controlled my emotion. Spanking is not a way to correct his behavior but it may even be a tool to make it worst for him. I don’t want to become my dad, which I would be if I allow myself to be eaten up by my anger.

I grew up to a father who used spanking as a form of discipline. But it’s not just ordinary spanking, as far as I can remember he spanked me and so with my siblings so hard and so brutal, and would use a stick, belt, and even a wire doing it. There are times when I had to ask myself: “Do I deserve to be getting all of these a brutal punishment?” I knew my father had crossed the line for discipline but I was young then and afraid.

If there’s one good thing that spanking ever did to me, it was about being awakened to the reality of the fact that what my father has done to me I should never ever be applying to my own son. Parents should never be using physical discipline to correct their children’s behavior. Spanking, to cite from my own experience, doesn’t work. It would only plant seeds for later violent behavior.

Spanking, no matter how it is being viewed, is an act of violence. It does more harm than good especially in the psychological and the emotional aspects of the child’s person. It causes trauma just like those you can get from being abused.

There are ways in which we could effectively discipline a child without using violence. One of them is isolation, then there’s deprivation. The other one is reparation. There’s even what they call diversion in which a parent should find a way to divert a child’s attention from what’s causing him or her to misbehave.

Parents should never instill fear in their kids just so to coerce them into behaving.  Children should be respecting their parents not because they are afraid but because they know that their parents love them and accept them for who they are. Let us stop this old-fashioned discipline that’s terrorizing kids for centuries, from generation to another.

Three important approaches I’ve learned from experience on how to discipline a child with dignity

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Nathaniel, sometimes, loves to be alone.

Discipline doesn’t always mean punishment and humiliation as what most people perceived it to be. It could be in many forms. What’s important is that, in getting your child to behave the way you wanted him or her to, you’re not losing his or her dignity in the process.

But is it really possible to discipline a child without hitting him or her? Is it really necessary to spank your kids? Knowing how to discipline a child is never easy.

As a parent, it is important to consider the fact that you can’t solve every problem concerning your kids but there are certain ways worth dealing with for that matter. The following are just some of the few important approaches I’ve learned from experience on how to discipline a child with dignity:

MAKE A PLAN ON HOW YOUR CHILD CAN IMPROVE THAT YOU CAN BOTH WORK WITH

At three years old, I think Nathaniel’s never too young to be applied with this kind of approach though. Sure, he’s still struggling how to write his name or the alphabet but he can scribble something on a piece of paper.

It’s as simple as this: each time he knew he has done something wrong I want him to write it down on a piece of paper. After having scribbled something, I will be expected to react by saying, “See, they’re ugly”.

I would then encourage him to do better next time so that he can avoid the ugliness of his work. I would be waiting for his nod and after we have made a deal I will let him write again on a separate sheet of paper. He can write what he likes to write on a piece of paper and that’s fine with me then I would react by saying “Wow, beautiful”.

I would then ask for the pen and draw a figure myself out of the irregular lines and curves he was scribbling which I know he will like. Of course, he likes the fish, angel, butterfly, and so on and so forth.

Why I’m doing this is simple. I want to bring out the confidence in him while, at the same time, expecting him to be responsible for his own behavior. Good behavior deserves to be praised while negative ones have to be avoided.

MAKE THE RULES EASY FOR THEM TO UNDERSTAND

Making the rules clear and simple is a challenge every parent must overcome. Some parents are writing these rules down on a card board and post it in the bulletin board for everyone in the family to see.

These are common in schools, too, in public offices and places, and in the streets. Some of these rules include: no stealing, no throwing of objects, observe silence, no defying authority, no jay walking, no hitting, no abusive language, and so on and so forth. You can also do it verbally but make sure your child understands what you mean.

SETTING A FAIR LIMIT FOR MISBEHAVIOR

While it’s a fact that every child misbehaves, it is important for a parent to know when to step in and do something to correct the misbehavior. This will only be after a child has been warned out but still continue doing the undesirable. Nathaniel, like most children his age, has a short attention span and often forgets.

And while it’s important to praise a child for behaving well, I am making sure each time that he sees the consequences, for misbehaving, that are not pleasant to him. I have to communicate with him instead of giving him a sermon. I know that by discussing about his behavior instead of preaching at him will have to gain better results.

So these are the three important approaches I’ve learned from experience on how to discipline a child with dignity. I hope this article was able to help in some way. I will be writing more on this topic so keep following this site for my future posts.

Here’s why the physical form of punishment to discipline a child is not the best option

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Nathaniel’s first carousel ride. He was two years and eight months old in this picture.

Nathaniel was one hyperactive toddler. He spends a lot of energy moving, giggling, screaming, playing, slapping, and doing what he likes. He scatters toys I had just arranged for him and throws things at the window.

He dribbles a ball and breaks glasses by throwing that ball everywhere. While this behavior is normal for a toddler, not all people will come to view it as such. I had to admit I had spanked my own son at the buttocks a couple of times already and that’s when I’m losing my patience or temper.

There was even a time when he stayed away from me for a while because he was afraid I would hit him again. That’s when I realized I had gone too far or I may have been doing it wrong for him. Anyways, here’s why the physical form of punishment to discipline a child is not the best option:

YOUR CHILD IS NOT A BEAST

You may disagree with me and I’m fine with it, but I strongly feel that the physical form of punishment will work out better on the lower form of animals which only have instincts to rely on. Human beings are special, a cut above the rest. Human beings are the only species in the animal kingdom who are capable of rational thinking.

The application of physical form of punishment to tame down unwanted human behavior may work out at times, but only temporary. The psychological impact resulting from physical abuse endured by these children could left a permanent scar in their beings which they will carry throughout their lifetime whether they are successful in their chosen field or not.

IT WILL NOT MAKE YOUR CHILD A BETTER PERSON

There was an old adage people are buying to sugarcoat or even promote the application of physical form of punishment in humans and especially the little ones. “When the body suffers,” the adage says, “the spirit flowers.” While this may ring true to some people, it’s not always the best form of discipline there is.

A lot of people who are product of parents known to use physical form of punishment to discipline their children tend to continue the cycle into their own children. The psychological conditioning they have acquired through their battered childhood will continue to feed their minds with something that stimulate craving for more physical assault on their subjects.

The point is, in dealing with really difficult children, when the need to inflict a little pain upon them is high in order to teach them a lesson, make sure that they understand clearly why you are punishing them. But a heart-to-heart talk with your misbehaving child explaining to him why he should not be acting that way again and that you’re raising that issue about him because you love him is the best way to do it.

The use of physical form of punishment to discipline a child will not make him a better person. You can’t make him a better person by simply pressuring him or smacking him each time. But when you’re encouraging and dealing with him patiently, then you’re doing it right for him.

ISOLATION IS THE BEST FORM OF DISCIPLINE FOR YOUR GROWING CHILDREN

When your children do not behave the way you wanted them to or the way they should, it could only mean one thing: they don’t know how to act in a community. The family is your children’s first community. You have to isolate who is that family member of yours who doesn’t know how to act accordingly and to talk to him about it.

So whenever one of your children behaved badly, keep your cool. Isolate him or her, or you could ask someone else close to him or her to cheer him or her up to divert his or her attention. It is recommended that you have to talk it out to him or her.

I hope this article was able to shed some light on why the physical form of punishment to discipline a child is not the best option. Simple as that, yet may be hard to the majority of people.