Don't Discipline them, Train them.

An all too common phrase is child discipline. And it's mostly used the wrong way. Here I'd like to make two points. First that the definition primarily has to do with training, and in part to train a disciple. Unfortunately, when used with the term child, it brings forth all sorts of negative images. And these notions become subject to much debate. What do you do with an unruly child? Argghhhh!

So let's have a look at the definition. Now we can better see how that the term, in the most part, refers to a result, and not solely the delivery of punishment. It's the collective knowledge and control imparted by a training regimen of some sort. More on punishment later.

Just keep the easy part in mind... that a child has a built-in thirst for knowledge. Keep that in your bag of tricks to avoid the next bad mood.

thirsty boy at water fountain

For example, you can treat the writing tips for short stories as a roadmap to begin that training. And, in turn, the training will have the child focus on the end result... writing a good story, leaving lots of bad behaviour behind.

Try to remember those of your peers who may have been involved with piano lessons, gymnastics, swimming or some other rigorous training activity. Some may have had their moments, but overall, weren't they well behaved and generally likable? Essentially, training of any sort leaves little time for bad behaviour. Check out the Better Behaviour Wheel.

My second issue with this is as it relates to corporal punishment... spanking in this case. I find it unfortunate that western governments deem it necessary to attempt to legislate against matters like corporal punishment & discipline in the home. Big Brother gets in your face because child abusers cannot be easily identified and punished themselves.

In my opinion if spanking is administered in the absence of anger, with planning or staging and directed to the behind, it can be effective. I would never condone striking a child at the moment of the offense, in public, with terror in the eyes, or anywhere but the butt. And never would I feel the need to use anything other than my hand.

In light of these colliding issues, and for interest's sake, I urge you to take my Angry Parent Survey.

The random pulling, swatting, threats and the like often seen in grocery stores is appalling and is obviously not an appropriate time or place to 'discipline' one's child.

As a parent, if you find yourself uttering the excuse that you can't spank your child. Don't consider it the end of the world. Don't throw up your hands in dismay and let the little dears run amok. Find other methods. Train them to achieve a discipline, a routine way of working, thinking, creating... and you will replace the bad with the good.

Return from Discipline to Short Stories Help Children

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