Child Discipline

Punishment Without Relief: the dark side of warring with children

There is no doubt that developing good character in children is very vital to their success and survival in life. There is equally no doubt that appropriate discipline provides a road map in instilling a virtuous and godly character in them. However, discipline as indicated here must be appropriate. Parents must provide that delicate balance between doting, indulgence, strict discipline and firm instructions. Unfortunately, this is where many parents miss it. They can rarely provide that delicate balance which so essential in growing the child into a matured and responsible adult.

A cursory look at the countenance of many adults betray their background and parental heritage. The tensed and harassed look on their face shows they emerged from a background of harsh and constant criticism, bitter discipline – a life devoid of grace, love and appreciation. For many adults, that spontaneous, sweet childhood spirit of happiness and a carefree life, has long been snuffed out of them through harsh upbringing. Is this what you really want for your children? Parents need to have a rethink and a critical reassessment of their strategies when it comes to discipline and correction.

It is incontrovertible that a life without boundaries, rules and instructions will do commensurate damage to the child in other ways. What then is the balance on this issue? I have constructed the following practical strategies on how parents can ensure their children grow up knowing boundaries, complying with rules and following instructions without suffering permanent psychological damage.

  • Anytime your children offend or break the rules, spanking should not always be the first resort. What you need to determine quickly is whether that is the first time the child has committed that particular offence, or whether he has been told repeatedly without success to desist from that particular or similar behavior. Never spank until other forms of admonition or discipline has failed in correcting the child. Child experts have continually insisted that indiscriminate spanking can have adverse psychological impact on children.
  • Any time you have a reason to spank, don’t do it out of anger. You must be disciplined and self-controlled yourself in using the rod. The spanking must be proportionate to the offence, otherwise you stand the risk of permanently damaging your child.
  • Once a child has been punished for an offence, either by spanking or any other form of discipline and that child seems sober and have taken to the correction, do not continue to hold the offence against the child through constant nagging, constant reminder or by just being mean to the child or not granting the child his or her usual privileges. To do this is to continue warring with the child and this could ultimately turn him to a rebellious child. Give the child a relief. Punishment without relief is torture.

It is hoped these few tips can get you going on the road towards successfully raising your children.

For more comprehensive disciplinary strategies and teaching on this and other parenting concepts designed to assist you in raising well adjusted, matured, disciplined and responsible children, please consider enrolling in one of the webinars we organize from time to time.

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