What I Believe about Discipline part 1

I think I have a pretty old fashioned view on discipline, not just in child raising but also when it comes to criminals. I feel American's have slacked off in this area, which of course is causing a lot of problems in our society. I feel that if parents would step up and discipline their children instead of spoiling them rotten, then the law enforcement's job would be a lot easier. Two summers ago I worked at a day camp for a Tae Kwan do office, I have to be honest I wanted to smack several of the children. I couldn't believe the number of 5 year olds that had game boys and stacks of games. I couldn't believe the number of 9 year olds with cell phones- who used them a lot! But most of all I couldn't believe the amount of disrespect I saw. I know growing up I could be quite mouthy, My mom often tells me the story of how her and my father got called in to talk to the principle and my kindergarten teacher because I had told my teacher she was very stupid and if she didn't start teaching me something I was going to drop out of school. I know we were mouthy back then. There is one major difference I am seeing though, it's the way parents react to children. When I made that comment, although my parents found it amusing they didn't let me know that until I was older. Instead of seeing the humor in the statement, I was shown the rudeness of my comment by enjoying the taste of soap. I also remember one time I was arguing with my mom about cleaning my room (I was older, probably about 8), I told her "no" do you know where that got me? It got me cleaning my room with a very sore bottom from my daddy's belt. That summer I watched some very similar interactions between parents and their children, do you know what I saw those children get? Nothing. Their parents laughed at the rude things they said, they continued to argue with their children when they told them "no". The children learned no discipline, they only learned that they could control their parents, they learned they didn't need to show us respect because they didn't have show their parents respect.
I fully believe in spanking. I am not saying I am going to beat my child black and blue, there is a difference between abuse and discipline. I believe there is a time for spanking and that time is when they out right disobey you. When they tell you no, or when you tell them not to do something and they turn around and do it. Children should respect and obey their parents. There are many Bible verses that say those same words. Ephesians 6:1-3 says "Children obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" There are also many verses to us parents about how to treat our children with love, and how we should raise them up in the way of the Lord. One of the more well known ones is a verse in Proverbs that says "spare the rod, spoil the child." The Bible promotes spanking, just read Proverbs if you don't believe me.
Many people however approach spanking wrong and forget to show their children love while doing so. I feel that if you do spank your child there are certain rules which you should go by in doing so. The first most important one I use is never discipline while you are still angry. The reason is obvious, if you spank while you are still angry you are more than likely going to spank your child more than needed and have a harder time explaining to them why they were wrong because your emotions will be guiding you. I would recommend sending them to their room, or the corner until you have calmed down enough to talk to them. Which brings me to my rule #2- always explain what they did wrong and why it was wrong in a loving way before spanking. If you just go after them with a wooden spoon (my mom's favorite item) and whack them then send them away that teaches them nothing. But if you sit down and say "Tommy, you know better than to tell me no and lie to me. God wants us to respect and obey our parents and when you lie you aren't showing me respect. I told you not to do ________ (fill in the blank) because it could hurt you and I don't want to see you get hurt. You know there are punishments when we disobey and that is why I am going to have to spank you now. Do you understand?" I really think if parents would use this method it would help avoid useless spankings. My 3rd rule is love after you spank. Make sure you open your arms to your crying child and tell them you love them, tell them again why they had to get the spanking, but make sure they know you love them. My last rule is make sure you know what age to stop spanking. This might be different for each child but I think that by age 10 the spankings should stop and other forms of discipline should take their place.
Just as I feel there is a time for spanking I feel there is a time for using other forms of discipline such as time outs, grounding or taking away toys. Whatever the form of discipline make sure before you discipline that the boundaries have been set. You cannot punish a child for doing something he or she did not know was wrong. This is why being consistent is very important. I know some kids who are very confused and actually very angry at their parents, I honestly do not blame them. Their parents are sometimes very strict and other times very laid back. There are no boundaries set in stone, sometimes it is ok to say a certain word, sometimes they get punished by it, sometimes this tv show is ok to watch, sometimes it's not. As you can imagine growing up in such a home has caused many confusing arguments and thoughts. There have been many unnecessary fights and tears shed if the parents would have just made the rules and stuck with them.
There is one more thing that I think is a very important part of discipline. It's Praise. It's very important for a child to know their value, in a world where nothing is ever good enough, it is hard for children to find their worth. It is equally important for us to praise our children when they are doing something good and right as it is for us to discipline our child when they are doing something wrong. A healthy balance of praise and discipline will make a very confident, well behaved adult.
I am a big fan of Dr. Dobson, in my child psychology class in college we had to read his book "Hide or Seek". Although I don't remember everything in that book I remember it was a great reference for discipline, while writing this post I have decided I need to break it out and reread it. I recommend reading it to help establish a form of discipline for your children. It's about so much more than to spank or not to spank.

What other people Believe