Everybody’s parents disciplined them in some way or another, and as they look back now, they either hate the way their parents did it or they love it. Their approach to parenting is most likely based on what they experienced growing up. Therefore, nobody is neutral when it comes to how to discipline children. The conversations usually go something like this:
“My mom and my dad spanked me and I turned out just fine!”
“My mom and dad never laid a hand on me, I can’t imagine what I would have done if they had!”
Remember that when you challenge someone’s approach to disciplining their children, it probably feels to them like you are insulting them and their parents before them. My recommendation is to find your method of discipline and quit telling other people how awful their way is. The truth is that time-outs, restrictions, spanking, grounding, etc… are all acceptable forms of discipline. They can also all be misused and become abusive, and abuse is never ok. When it comes time to discipline your child(ren), here are two things to remember:
Constant Discipline Is Deflating
If you discipline your child more than you relate to your child, then your discipline (regardless of what discipline you choose) is worthless. Remember you are not after complete compliance (which is almost impossible with some kids), you are looking for growth and character development. All kids are wired differently, some are naturally more compliant and some will make you earn your pay!
Lack Of Discipline Is Unloving
It takes discipline to play athletics, to learn to play a new musical instrument, and to get the job you desire in life. It takes effort and the ability to receive correction well. If you refuse to correct your child or require effort out of them, you are making their future incredibly difficult.
The right discipline plan, perfectly administered (like that would ever happen!) does not guarantee perfect children. There are no perfect children, they are like their parents in that respect! Teaching them a system of right and wrong and about responsibility and consequences will give them an opportunity at a great life, and in the end, that’s all we can really do. So, don’t get discouraged, you don't have to be perfect to make a difference!
Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo