Disciplining a child requires early diligence

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Disciplining a child requires early diligence

DOMENICK J. MAGLIO, PhD

“He who spares a rod (of discipline) hates his son. But he who loves him disciplines him diligently and punishes him early. Proverb 1.3.24 AMP

The Unites States had moved very far away from Biblical wisdom. Modern child rearing is about maintaining an open communication with one’s children. The child is supposed to be treated equally, on the same level as the parent. Discipline of the child is supposed to come organically from the egalitarian and caring environment created at home.

The consequences of this permissive/materialistic approach to raising children have become evident after the general public has been adhering to them for five decades. Children are more outspoken, debating every safety and other directive given to them. They have difficulty following directions as they are rarely given any to follow. They have few if any chores required of them. These children’s opportunity to study adults interacting among themselves is very limited. Most of the time children spontaneously join in any conversation they encounter and often dominate it. There are no boundaries enforced that even hint that children should “be seen and not heard.” They are deprived of the skill of listening in order to learn. Simultaneously they are saturated with false esteem statements of how wonderful and smart they are.

Children are in the middle of the mix spouting their naïve and nonsensical opinions as fact. While adults pretend to listen intently. Many children believe they are smarter and stronger willed than their parents. This observation is constantly being reinforced by the parents giving in to the children’s demands while the children persist until the parents capitulate and the child is victorious. This scenario is allowed to happen time after time verifying this apparent truth that children do not have to listen to parents or any other authority figure such as a teacher.

To reverse this warped picture of modern families, parents need to make it clear it is their duty to be in charge. Children do not have the wherewithal to make an appropriate and wise decision for other family members and especially for themselves when they are in the early stages of life. The modern child is not as intelligent as he is led to believe, while the discipline of the parents is incredibly pathetic.

Establishing their power as parents requires them acting as parents instead of equals or friends to their children. They have to be in the family for sufficient periods of time to assert their authority. Quality time, not only quantity time is essential for ensuring the child that the parents will be at home enough to direct and protect them. When this happens children naturally become more comfortable that their parents can function as responsible leaders in the family.

This leadership starts with simple commands to their child. “Take this to your mother.” “You need to eat this food to be healthy.” “Please come to the table, now.”
The child experiences that the parents know how to accomplish caring for them. The more the parents establish their authority, the more the child sees the parents as the head of the family. Any power conflict between parents becomes minimal when parents quickly use an authoritarian voice, manner and appropriate consequence when the child oversteps the boundaries.

Being a positive disciplinarian does take early intervention diligently performed during the child’s formative years. The punishments should be just right for the offense. The consequences should be “just right” consequences that are explained to the child after being given. The explanation helps the child not resent the parent’s punishment but understand they made the wrong decision and need to correct it.

When the child is ready to push his obstinence the parent may emphasize their resolve by moderate spanking to remind the child who is boss. This will not destroy the child’s faith in mankind but will emphasize the parents’ authority as head of the family.

This moderate spank, certainly not an abusive one, has been shown in studies not to have negative mental, emotional, social or any other detrimental effects on the child’s development. It is wise to use moderate spanking early when a toddler shows defiance and is used as often as appropriate. It is necessary to show the child the parent’s willingness to show the child right from wrong. Ignoring a child is often more destructive to his well beingerin.

Learning to listen and follow wise and caring elder’s advice guides a youngster to best navigate life’s decisions. This loving act of disciplining the child puts the child
on the straight and narrow path to healthy and successful development.

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