In the old days, children were seen and not heard. Dad or mom spoke once and children were obedient. It is also true that in the “old days” most mothers were either housewives or only worked half-day. Daddy worked full-time but was still home before dark.
In today’s time, the dynamics of our families are quite different and so the expectations of children and parents have changed in many ways. Due to parents who work longer hours, get home late or even work away from home for periods of time, the family needs to adapt. Adaptation and change became part of the daily norm and, as Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change”. However, change and adaptation should not be seen as negative factors, but rather than opportunities to improve or to positively look at and apply something else.
The way in which discipline is applied, of course, also changed. How it should be applied, what is acceptable (or not acceptable) and what the best method is. The how and where is left to each parent and educator’s own discretion (within the limits of the law and moral standards of course). However, WHY is a universal principle.
Application of discipline is not negotiable because it determines the order of society. Discipline teaches children and grown-ups that you are not alone and that there are certain social expectations to show respect to everyone with whom you come into contact. Consistent application of discipline is life lessons that have to be reinforced from an early age.
We so easily apologize for our children’s bad behaviour. “He’s probably just tired”, “She doesn’t feel well”, “He only does what he wants and does not accept my authority.” Immediately you made an apology for your child’s bad behaviour and created a precedent. There is now a perception in your child’s mind that his poor behaviour can be overlooked because there is always a reason why he or she does not need to show good behaviour. This escalates with incident to incident and then of course age.
Have we become “obedient” parents with children who dictate what may and may not happen? Have we become parents who do not discipline children because we see it as a sign that we do not love them? Have we given children freedom to do what they want just so that we do not have the energy to address the misconduct and correct it?
Discipline IS love. Correction IS respect. Responsibility for actions and decisions is the nurturing of our youth.
Now is the time to stop making excuses for misconduct and lack of discipline. Now is the time to educate our children, in love, with a good understanding of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. Now is the time we need to teach children to accept, respect and honour the authority of their parents and educators.
What does your child’s behaviour say about your authority and discipline to make them responsible citizens of our country and community?