Our Children Our Future

Margaret Adams

As a parent what comes to your mind when you hear the word discipline?

As a matter of fact what comes to most people’s mind when we hear the word disicipline?

I am sure it brings memories of some form of punishment.  We all have personal experiences of being disciplined and I would guess they are not pleasant memories.

Discipline is more than a form of punishment to get someone to do what you want them to do.  Discipline is a way of life.  Discipline consists of the instruction and training that we as parents and caregivers give our children that bring stability and structure to their lives, and helps prepare them for the world outside of their homes.

Discipline teaches a child to be respectful and responsible for their actions. Discipline means a child is able to sit through a task until completion. Discipline is what great artists, musicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, and athletes have in order to succeed.

Discipline provides rules for people to live their lives efficiently and effectively.  It creates habits, and habits make routines, and those daily routines become who you are.

Discipline starts at home with everyday things like parents making sure children have set times to eat, play, read and sleep. Discipline means learning to be polite to others, learning that things are not always going to go your way and being able to cope with it.

As parent/caregivers we are responsible for providing our children with CONSISTENT AGE APPROPRIATE DISCIPLINE. How you discipline a toddler is different from how you discipline a preschooler, school age, pre-teen or teenager.

The way we discipline can be passed from one generation to the next.  Historically there is a link between how slaves were disciplined and how we discipline our children.

There are many culturally appropriate resources available on the topic of discipline. There are also many parents in our community that can be used as examples of good parenting.

Ineffective discipline is when there is inconsistent punishment, excessive shouting with no explanation given for what is or was expected.  When using physical discipline keep in mind that there is a difference between appropriate physical discipline and physical abuse.  Physical abuse can cause long term harm to a child.

By the time our children begin school they should have mastered some forms of self discipline at home so that they will be more receptive to the learning process.  When they start school they should be able to sit in the classroom and control their behavior so that the teacher’s primary function is educating our children.  We should not have children coming to school that disrespect and fight our educators, and where too much time is spent on corrective measures and not teaching. When too much time is spent on corrective measures the outcome is that our children will not be disciplined enough to navigate this rapidly changing world and the future will not be as bright for them as it could be.

When we think of discipline let’s strive to think of it in its positive form, where the behavior that is being guided by adults is done for the child’s growth and development, and that discipline in the form of punishment is used less often.

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