I felt a sharp pain on my back as I hastened out of my dream to usher the arrival of my mother’s fours mouthed whip. Tears rolled down my innocent cheek as she flogged me blue, black and yellow. With a confused look, i starred quizzically at her trying to remember my offense. She exclaimed, ” This is your punishment for tampering with my newly bought iron”. “If you won’t stop being so destructive, I’ll have to destroy you with this koboko (whip) first”. After facing this battle for 20mins, I was released to continue my punishment on my knees till dawn. “This would instill caution into my heart”; she told me. Little did she know that contrary to her warnings, my inquisitive nature geared me into further research and increased resistance to punishments.
Sometimes a child has the option of receiving lashes on the fingers or on the palm of the hand, but most times caning is more improvised and surprising, like a heavy slap to the face or to the back of the head. According to African parents, caning in whatever form, was and is too basic a kind of punishment to cover all infractions. Things really got interesting when parents got creative on their kids and had them do things like balance on one leg while stretching out their other limbs as though pretending to be a plane in flight or kneeling on with stone above their head in their arm. Can we therefore say beating works for every child? Which means can be described as most effective in teaching discipline ?
Discipline is training and setting corrective measures up to decrease the susceptibility of a child to wrong actions and decisions. To teach discipline is to teach one’s self and others obedience and self control.
Children are amazing beings with great craft and creativity in the invention of naughty and hazardous activities. This continually increases the stress levels of various parents and on many occasions, this can increase beyond the borders and boil over. I’ll be the first to admit that I have lost my cool and pulled out the few remaining follicles I had left on many occasions. However, after talking to a parent I have seen the best results when responding well by exercising the necessary skills for discipline in children.
Disciplining our kids is an opportunity to do some gardening on the soil of their hearts and minds. Its your obligation as parents to create with your kids an illusion of their future person – Ask them what type of person they want to become, define to them who they are (their identity) and create a mental journey of how they would from where they are get to where they desire to be. This will give them a feeling of responsibility and idea of what they are working towards and will get them to look towards. This makes the child look forward to a goal. As much as discipline through corrective measures is indispensable , caution must be taken because correcting a child must be done from the heart of love not from the standpoint of wanting the child feel the pains of his/her actions. Parents must be very careful not to cross the line of discipline and move to the extreme of child abuse.
Essential components that are substantive in discipline.
- Eye contact: Eye contact mean the act of looking directly into another’s eyes. Eye contact plays a very important role in the response of children to discipline. Some kids just want to look you in the eye to check how serious you are as a parent at the particular time when discipline is taking place. It is one of the utmost effective tools in teaching rights from wrongs. By eye contact, a parent can effectively get maximum reimbursements regarding teaching. By using this technique not only does a parent improve the character but also they can discipline and remove the disruptive behavior of the children. This technique can cause powerful feelings of relationships in between parent and children. Eye contact is essential because real meaning behind those words is to being conveyed effectively.
- Cognizance : Explain to kids what you expect of them before you punish them for a certain behavior. For instance, the first time your 3-year-old uses crayons to decorate the living room chair, discuss why that’s not allowed and what will happen if your child does it again (for instance, your child will have to help clean the chair and will not be able to use the crayons for the rest of the day). If the chair gets decorated again a few days later, issue a reminder that crayons are for paper only and then enforce the consequences. The earlier that parents establish this kind of “I set the rules and you’re expected to listen or accept the consequences” standard, the better for everyone.
In our next post, I’ll be talking about how to teach discipline to children at different age group and how to make discipline very effective. Remember, consistency is the key to effective discipline, and it’s important for parents to decide (together, if you are not a single parent) what the rules are and then uphold them.