Monday, June 7, 2010

Discipline or No Discipline?

Recently heard of a boy in United States filing a suit against his father who punished him for not doing the homework! There are many cases where the children in their teenage do things that are unacceptable to society, least to their parents. Why is this happening? Well, compared to developed nations, the developing nations have less cases of such childhood or teenage rage; or who knows they might just lack the sufficient statistical data!

“The children are the nation’s wealth!” “The children are the messengers of God!” Are these idioms mere idioms? Certainly not. They are facts, but we do not comprehend the meaning of these idioms; between the words, between the letters perhaps. Lot has been written about how to develop ‘good’ children or how to cultivate better adults (!) But still such above mentioned incidences are on rise. When some noted child psychologists and knowledgeable people are questioned, they have something common to tell us all—let’s see what it is-

(1) I was perplexed when I asked one of the elderly child psychologists about the reason for such disharmonious children. Her answer was intriguing (her question rather) She asked me immediately, “What ideal you people have in front of your kids?” Well, difficult rather ‘face-reddening’ question indeed. Her further clarification was stupendously unquestionable. She said, “You all know that child learns by imitation since he is in crib. How many of mothers today give sufficient time for their young ones so that he or she can learn by imitation? The child starts learning something when the entire chain of events breaks due to unavailability of time on part of parents.” Child lives within the four walls of the house and till he is exposed to outer world, he hasn’t learnt what he should learn within these walls.

(2) One of my favorite authors and noted cardiologist Dr H. V. Sardesai says in his book, “The 80% or more of the child’s brain is developed within first 5 to 6 years of age. How many parents take efforts to imbibe correct values and right disciplines at this age group? Most of us argue that such a young child is incapable of doing and understanding anything and we wait for the “right” time to arrive. And the time when we feel ‘now is the right time’, we have already missed the bus too badly!”

(3) About imbibing right disciplinary rules for the child, Dr Sardesai has some real tough words, which might sound little harsh for today’s so-called child-lovers. He says, “Where you have to be tough, you must be! If you keep cuddling your child irrespective of his misdeeds and give him an impression that he is loved let what happen, how will he understand the difference between right and wrong? Certainly, the way to make him understand the right thing should be gentle yet pin-pointing the mistake.” Further he ridicules the parents that consider the child shouldn’t be burdened with learning at young age. He says, if you want your child capable of comprehending minute details in his knowledge books later, start teaching him in simple language when he still cannot read or write. The parents who consider that the child should be left on his own to learn the things are the parents that are lazy to take efforts for the child. This is the excuse they give boasting their so called affection for the freedom of the child!

(4) Disciplining the children starts at home, rather along with their parents. First discipline yourself, then the child will learn automatically. Follow the manners in public yourself, so that the child will do the same. Stop comparing your child with other children and your child will respect your attitude towards his disciplining. Stop lying when one of the unwelcome guests arrives at home, and you will never have to tell your child “don’t lie!”

Well, these seem to be quite eye-openers for the parents than children. Certainly every child is different and has some innate traits. But with apt grooming of these traits, it is possible to develop our own children into responsible adults someday. Just we as parents have to make our children our priority and keep all our other duties revolving around our children’s interests. Well, remember how ecstatic we were when we first saw our newborn after birth? With little effort on our behalf, we can be more ecstatic in future to find our child happy, responsible, and a caring human being!

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