Oct 4, 2009

We’ve come a long way from the days of “kids will be kids” or perhaps it would be more accurate to say we’ve come a long way since the days when parents were parents. There is an increasing amount of children who are ruling the roost these days. The most frightening aspect of these domineering children is their age. We’re not talking teens or even tweens. Some of these kids are barely of school age. These tiny terrors are wrecking havoc. The question is why are the parents rejecting discipline in favor of outright defiance?

It is a sad state to see parents begging children to behave. Some children are even physically striking back at their parents. Even if parents are willing to tolerate certain unacceptable behavior this is where they need to draw the line. Why are parents refusing to act like parents? In an age where expectant parents read tons of books about parenting and even attend parenting classes they still lack parenting skills. It seems like the more they strive to be better parents the more they come up lacking.

Parenting includes taking on the role of disciplinarian. More parents need to realize that. Disciplining your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them. In fact, it is just the opposite. You love your child but you must realize that children need discipline. Children can’t be allowed to run wild without any guidance. Children need to be disciplined for their own protection. If a child is allowed to play with matches, lighters or around a hot stove the chances are that he’s going to get burnt. If a child is not disciplined for hitting other children the other children may start to hit him back. If a child goes around kicking the family dog eventually the dog may bite him. Children have to be taught that behavior such as this is unacceptable.

Parents often add to behavior problems in children. I’ve heard parents make comments that are completely wrong in situations such as those mentioned above. “Look, he’s no wimp. He knows how to handle himself already,” was the comment one father made when his three-year-old son walked up and pushed another child to the ground for no reason whatsoever. “Isn’t that cute? He’s only two and already he’s got the dog listening to him,” is the comment one mother made when her toddler kicked the dog and then slapped it on the head even though the dog was lying down and not bothering anyone. Actions such as these are not cute nor should they be tolerated let alone encouraged. Maybe the parents themselves need some discipline since their way of thinking seems to be rather juvenile.

Discipline is a necessary part of effective parenting. Parents often feel that their child won’t love them if they discipline the child. But what they don’t realize is that discipline is a form of love. You discipline your child because you love him. Disciplining your child shows that you care. Of course, children don’t see it that way but in time they will. We discipline our children because they are unaware of many dangers that the world holds. They are not yet able to discern the difference between good and bad. They have feelings and emotions that they do not understand and do not know how to express appropriately. It is important that we acknowledge their feelings but we also need to provide them with guidance to be able to properly channel their emotions.

Don’t be afraid to discipline your child. Discipline does not have to mean physical punishment. You can discipline your child by setting rules, providing guidance, letting your child know what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

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