Do you discipline your child?

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

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: We look forward to hearing your ideas.


So good to hear from someone who actually uses consistent discipline with their children. As you said, the proof is in the children. Obnoxious, misbehaving kids are really shouting, "I'm not loved enough to discipline correctly.

Anonymous said...
March 10, 2009 at 10:20:00 PM GMT+1  

I am amazed that parents allow their children to literally get awy with "murder" nowadays, and the best part is, they dont seem to realise it. Even in my country, Malaysia, I can see young Kids, who are way out of control.
What I say is "Its not the kids who are out of control, its the parents!"
If you cant say no or dont discipline your child now, you are definitely asking for trouble later on!
Am not ranting, just my "two" words!
Grandma of 3, Mrs Singh

Anonymous said...
March 12, 2009 at 4:51:00 AM GMT+1  

I have to hug you for this post. Some of the stuff might shock a few readers but I agree with you - there are situations where you need to use the rod. For me my rod firmly squeezing Soeren's shoulder. Almost like trying to get him to snap out of his tantrum. I too have the 1-5 count with me it's 1-3 (i have less patience!) and time-out is sitting on a chair in the corner. He hates that!

There are other measures too - no TV, confiscating his lego etc. It works! He will be 7 and now when we are anywhere in public and I see he is going to have a hissy fit - I just raise my finger. It works!!

Nice one Dharm!

Meeta K. Wolff said...
March 12, 2009 at 2:05:00 PM GMT+1  

We get our daughter to pick her own punishment. And it's amazing how much harder she is on herself! And she sticks to it because she chose it. Although there are times when there are negotiations towards the end - we handle each on a case by case basis :-D

I don't believe in hitting / slapping / smacking. For the most part, a change in the tone of my voice or just a look are enough to get the message across. I consider myself really blessed to have a (mostly) well-behaved child because I know what I was like and what my parents had to endure!

March 12, 2009 at 4:33:00 PM GMT+1  

Thank you for this post! I agree, the parents are just too lazy, distracted, selfish, whatever, to discipline their children. I read a post on facebook the other day from a friend who said she will never take her kids to the supermarket any longer because they misbehave. How about you TEACH them how to behave?! You wouldn't believe how many of her friends commiserated with her and told the same stories. What is wrong with parents today? I work in an elementary school and many of the children are just rude to adults. I think they take after their parents, unfortunately.

Just a look from our mother or father would stop us all dead in our misbehaving tracks! We were read the riot act before we went out and if we were rude our mother would look at the three of us and just something in her eyes would tell us to stop and be quiet. That was all it took. We knew we got out of hand and we needed an adult to reign us back in. Today I greatly appreciate the life lessons on manners, consideration for others, respect and discipline I learned from my parents.

Queenie Francie said...
March 13, 2009 at 1:34:00 AM GMT+1  

Thanks for all the comments! I'm glad this article was well received coz I wasn't too sure how well it would go down.

I too dislike smacking kids but as I mentioned, the two times I smacked my son(and one for my daughter) was when they had really gone over the top - and a look would not be enough. But as I also said, to each their own. I know some parents that belt their kids for Everything. I've got a load of observations from my sons primary school (elementary school for the US folks) and some of these stories just stink of 'no discipline' - but that may be for another post!! :)

Dharm said...
March 13, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM GMT+1  

I'm a firm believer in discipline in kids Dharm, & badle behaved kids really put me off. They are now quite used to seeing 'other side', & know I mean business. The park, playing, cell...benefits get confiscated pretty fast. Yes sir, military school gets my vote. High five Dharm...I'm with you totally!!

Deeba PAB said...
March 20, 2009 at 1:16:00 AM GMT+1  

I read about discipline for children on your blog and found it a little sad to read about your childhood experience. Being a school governor, I hear about some harsh punishments that the parents seem to think are justified in their own little world.

As a mum, I have found that communicating effectively has the biggest impact on a child and as a parent makes you feel proud that you did not need to stoup to the level of requiring any physical punishment. My son is in one of UK's best achieving schools and has always been open with his feelings and questions things he does not understand. I always re-assure him that I am here for him when he needs to talk and he can talk to me or my partner about anything. This has worked really well, he has talked to me when he was being hurt in one of his previous schools (by the teacher) and he was the only child (4 yrs old) who spoke up. By using effective communication, he has managed to put that in the past and move on to achieve great success.

Please parents, talk, listen and understand their point of view. Physical discipline causes stress and has a negative long term from what I have seen and experienced in my own childhood.

Love your children and be loved by them!

Anonymous said...
March 23, 2009 at 11:31:00 PM GMT+1  

Yikes. I have to say I was dismayed to read this and all the comments that are in agreement with it.

What I've done with my son (9yrs) is to say yes as often as I can. I don't say yes to disrespecting others, I don't say yes to destruction of property or disruption.
But I listen to him and his needs. I pay enough attention to him to know when he's feeling overwhelmed and help him navigate thru the experience at hand. Sometimes that means leaving a shopping mall early or buying a snack in the grocery store before all the shopping's done or taking a walk outside during a long family dinner or whatever.

I've found that he respects me because I listen to him and respect his needs and wants. When I have to say no or stop, I say it gently. He knows it's for a good reason. And when he wants something, he knows I'll try to find a way to help him satisfy that want. e.g. "No, you can't climb that ladder, but I bet we can find a place to climb at the park." or "I don't have money for candy right now, but I'll bet we have the ingredients to make cookies when we get home." It's things like that that have helped my boy grow up and be well behaved and happy and trustworthy.

I've never had to spank my kid. Ever. And he's a normal, high energy boy who plays lots of video games and has lots of toy guns and swords.

There's all sorts of parenting styles out there, but do we have to resort to spanking or smacking? No. Not ever. If it gets to the point of spanking, the parent didn't pay attention to the signs *before* the kid's behavior deteriorated. Makes sense?

Anonymous said...
March 24, 2009 at 9:22:00 AM GMT+1  

I think consistent discipline is the key. I am also shocked at the way some kids act and you wonder where in the world are their parents? For questions that I have about discipline and dealing with temper tantrums I have turned to the site with Susan Epstein a licensed social worker and parent coach. Her site is wonderful and offers great advice on parenting in all areas.

Unknown said...
March 30, 2010 at 5:18:00 AM GMT+2  

Post a Comment