Opportunities for examining our relationship with ourselves are seemingly endless. I believe that delving in deeply to dissect the way we interact with our world is part of the grand reason we are alive in this physical realm.
I wish to open dialogue about raising children, and specifically now about discipline/punishment. I don’t really want to necessarily delve into the intricacies/similarities/differences between discipline and punishment, but care more about the effectiveness of it, the perceived need for it, and any other alternatives that might exist to it.
When I grew up it was very common for children to be spanked, not only at home, but also at school, often hearing from the spanker: "This hurts me more than it hurts you, believe me!" When the spanker chooses to believe spanking is actually helping the child, it sends the message that this is what love is.
In being involved in the raising of children, being an advocate for children, and in sharing perspectives on parenting for several decades, it is very apparent that many people who got heavily disciplined as children, especially spanked, believe they deserved it. They believe they were unruly, out of line, or just plain bad. As my brother once told me “I got spanked, I deserved it, and I am better for it. My kids are now good kids and they also got what they deserved.” Often children who were disciplined by corporal punishment grew up and now also spank their children, using the same reasons/excuses their parents did to exert control over them.
The pattern of disciplining children in our society is still "normal". It is said, and commonly accepted, that disciplining children teaches them to make good choices, to manage their emotions, teaches them skills to become responsible adults, helps them manage anxiety, and to become honest, kind and sharing people.
We are generating the next generation of human beings.
How they turn out, depends on what we do today.
We must seriously consider our intentions, our actions,
and how they will affect our children for their entire lifetime,
and most likely, generations to come.
What forms of discipline did you experience as a child?
Do you discipline your children?
If so, do you discipline them using the same/similar methods used on you?
Do you consider a disciplined existence to be fear based or love based?
Do you have any insight on a better way?