Discipline helps a child grow into a mature responsible adult. Punishment does not.
More than once in my life the disturbing sound of a screaming child took me out of my sleep or away from what I was doing…only to find the mother had locked the child out of the house intentionally.
I am talking very young children who were so terrified they were sobbing with their bodies, needing to pause to take deep breaths.
What does a small child learn from such treatment? What could possibly provoke such a reaction in an adult?
Punishment only leads to fear of the parent, not respect or honoring. Often that child becomes the “perfect” child around the parent simply to stay “safe.”
In the teen years such children frequently sneak around acting in ways they know their parents do not condone.
Rules provide safety and order in the world.
As a parent, what kind of rules do you set for your household?
Do your kids know the rules exist? Do you realize how often children get punished for breaking rules they never knew about?
Do the rules in your family continue to serve the purposes for which you originally made them?
Are some of them out-dated and maybe even limiting to your child’s growth?
Small children learn not to use sharp knives. An older child can safely learn to use a knife–the sharper the safer. How about climbing trees or rocks, petting strange dogs or cats? Take a minute to think–how often do you tell your child, “It’s too risky. Don’t take chances.”
Do you think such rules might continue to impact you in your adult years?
The same holds true for your young person.
Make time to get some outdated rules off the books. Be mindful and fair in all you do. Show your kids the same respect you desire from them.
Honor them just because they exist. They will respond in kind and you will never know “difficult teen years.”