I joined boarding school at 12 for my secondary education and to this day I am thoroughly impressed by the School Rule book. All the school rules were built around the first and most important school rule of all which our legendary head teacher Mr. Busulwa repeatedly referred to as:
DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE TO PERSONS IN AUTHORITY IS FORBIDDEN!
The fine print read something like “there must always be reasonable cause for disobedience”. Translation; be able and willing to defend your actions at all times! And if anything taught me responsibility, initiative and resourcefulness, it was this.
I mean let’s face it; too many parents today have “issues” when it comes to disciplining their children. If you don’t believe me, look around you - the streets, the shopping centres, even the schools at pick-up times.
Haven’t you ever seen kids calling the shots in public? It may be through tantrums or direct defiance but it happens!
I resolved very early before I ever decided to be a parent that I would teach my children respect for authority and do it in a peaceful way.
I am a strong personality myself and perhaps because of it I learned very early in life that handing over the reins of control to someone else takes courage and maturity; a concept that is naturally minimally understood by children but it can be learned.
And while my children certainly aren’t perfect, they are turning out to be pretty well behaved, and that takes discipline. Both from them and myself.
I am no parenting genius; I just pick up as much as possible from reading and research as well as my own experiences. I get great insight from knowing what worked well with me and what failed, after all, we are the same bloodline and the apple doesn’t fall far! Here are some valuable tips I’ve learned along the way.
Say what you see
Say What You See is a phenomenal book that talks about how to deal with bad behaviour in a respectful but no-nonsense manner.
It is about acknowledging that you understand your child’s distress but also telling them that there are boundaries and a system that must be followed.
I found this while browsing a page called LANGUAGE OF LISTENING, their tagline reads: For parents who want more than just well-behaved kids. And I am certainly one of those.
A well-behaved child who is inwardly rebellious because he feels misunderstood or for whatever reason, is just a time bomb waiting to explode. In fact he is fertile breeding ground for all manner of sociopathic behaviour according to Dr Cohen, author of Playful Parenting.
I like to use the “Naughty Corner” technique because it absolutely works. When my child misbehaves, he has to go and stand in the naughty corner for two minutes.
Afterward, I get down on eye level with him and I tell him to say sorry. When he does I give him a hug and kiss and we go on with our lives. Occasionally, he will not say sorry in which case he stays longer or gets excluded from “my fun activities”. The message? Life is full of consequences.
But all of the things we do to discipline our children count for nothing if we are not consistent. Be consistent. And compliment achievement where it is due .Yes, I guess this concept sounds like a cliché but I think acknowledging your child’s achievements ensures that your child feels protected and valued and loved, even when you have to discipline him or her.