Monday, March 09, 2009
Posted by Dharm
I'm sure many of you have been in a situation where you have watched children screaming and throwing a tantrum in a supermarket; maybe fussing in a restaurant and making a scene; how about sulking and not talking to friends of yours who kindly ask your child their name. There are many variations to this and quite frankly, it is quite painful to watch a misbehaving child. I dont blame the child though, I blame the parents for not disciplining their child and to me, that is really what is painful - a parent that allows their child to misbehave.
I'll be the first to admit that bringing up children is not an easy task. Although I try to be a 'cool' Dad and strongly believe in letting kids be kids, I also firmly believe that it is ultra important to instill good values in them and to bring them up the right way.
Now I suppose the key to the sentence above is 'the right way'. What's right for me may not be right for you and similarly, what you may think is important may differ greatly from what I think is important. So, having mentioned this little disclaimer, let's get on with this article.
I was brought up under the old adage, "spare the rod and spoil the child". The rod used by my father was his belt and it was never a pleasant experience, I can tell you that! The problem I had though, was that I never thought that anything I did really deserved a belting. Getting disciplined in this way though only taught me to fib and tell tales to get away from getting belted. This probably ended in me getting belted even more when I was caught lying but I just tried to figure out newer and more creative ways to avoid getting caught when I knew I had done something wrong.
The best part was that my father would always say "This is going to hurt me more than in hurts you." I could never understand that as HE was the one hurting me and not the other way around. As a Father myself now, I know that it is not easy discilining a child and yes, in many ways it hurts me when I have to discpipline my children but No where close to how much I am sure it hurts them!
I never knew, until researching a little for this article, that "Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child" actually originates in the Bible. It comes from the book of Proverbs 13:24 and says "He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently."
I beleive in discipline. At the same time I am also a firm believer in sparing the rod. Having said that however, I do think that there ARE some 'misdemeanours' that not only ask, but demand, for the rod.
The rod, of course, need not be an actual rod and can take many forms. For my children, 'the rod' is simply a good smack - on their hands from my palm - and it takes a rather serious overstep of their boundaries to get a smack from me. I think I can count the number of times I have smacked my children and it doesnt go more than 3 times. Some parents feel that using a rod/cane/belt or whatever to discipline their child is the best method and if you feel that is the right way, that is your call. I don't.
I used to discipline my children by making them stand in the corner, very much akin to a time-out. For some reason, standing in the corner was a terrible thing for them and they quickly wisened up that it wasn't a particularly fun thing to do. Another trick that I have is the '5-count'. This comes into play when they are meant/told to do something and they don't or even worse, start whining. I then start counting aloud from 1 to 5 and if what they are supposed to do hasn't been started by the time I reach 5, then it is off to the corner.
Lately, since they have grown up a little, I have introduced a new method that I call 'Military Training'. If the children misbehave, then they are sent to Military School where they have to stand at attention, answer every question I ask them with "Yes Sir" and other similar military style discipline. Fortunately for them, they have yet to be sent for Military Training!
Some of you may think it is harsh but I believe these are far better measures than using the rod. As mentioned earlier, I am very particular about how children behave and what I dislike even more is parents who let their children misbehave.
I believe that discipline is a key in developing good manners, good values and good behaviour. I also believe that the exposure to discipline from a young age has resulted in a strong awareness of the values and character that I wish to impart to my children.
What are your thoughts on discipline and how do you discipline Your children??
This post was written by Dharm
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