In the past few years, there has been much concern about what constitutes discipline and what many people fear is abuse. This past week, there was an interview on NBC-5 Chicago in the morning with Zachary Quinto who plays the controversial Harry on the remake of The Slap. This is a mini-series which depicts Harry at a party slapping another partygoer’s child for his misbehavior. Of course the parents want to sue.
In addition, many viewers were most likely up-in-arms about this. The actor was even asked during his interview if it was difficult to play this particular role. He was actually enamored by the prospect and depth of the character he is playing, but knows it is not ‘cool’ to slap someone else’s child.
What many people do not understand is that discipline is not a form of punishment if administered correctly. Was this a correct form depicted on the show? I think not, but understanding that true disciplinary action is simply a learning tool, a correction of behavior, will help many parents to be better leaders in their child’s life.
According to Parents Daily, the online version of Parents Magazine, there is certain types of tactics to employ for every age when it comes to discipline. Most experts would agree.
One thing is for certain, everything works better with a positive edge to it. As an example, when you discipline, NEVER ever tell the child that they are bad. Instead, tell them that their action is not acceptable. When you do this, the child still feels loved and will learn better from the teaching tool employed. Explaining why the action is not acceptable also goes a long way in helping the child understand your train of thought! If you begin your child’s early training days in this respect, and continue with it on through their teens, you will most likely see the results you seek.
While the first thing many parents holler out to their child is the word, “NO!”, this in itself can be a detriment. In fact, many a parent has claimed that their baby’s first word has been, “NO!” If only those parents had learned to create a diversion instead, perhaps their baby would not begin their vocabulary with a negative connotation, but one that depicts positivity and love.
Another thing that has always seemed crazy is when parents don’t set a schedule – or don’t stick to the schedule and then get angry at a small child for throwing a tantrum. If the baby needs a nap, is hungry, or needs to be changed, it is just silly to think that just because you are at the zoo, the child will realize this and ‘behave.’ Parents that really get the award are those that forget the stroller and wonder why their hungry, wet and tired child is misbehaving on their dime. To make matters worse, many parents do not realize how much their lack of realization is hurting their child.
Over the next few days, we will continue the journey of looking into positive discipline versus abuse. While certain criteria should be evident, people (especially new parents or busy parents) don’t always take the time to consider the positive, just the norm. Perhaps outsiders wouldn’t fuss as much if things were just changed up a bit.