When our parents and grandparents were raising us or our parents, they kept a pretty good eye on us and what we were up to. Sometimes, they even knew what type of mischief we were in before we got home. The type of mischief determined the type of punishment that went with it.
Today, it seems at least to me, that a lot of parents no longer discipline their children. They say things like it is against the law to smack their butt or to even punish them at all. I say, not true. Child abuse is against the law. Popping a child on the butt when they need it is not. Once we got old enough, we might be grounded instead of getting that pop on the butt. Sometimes, we might have chores added to us as punishment. Perhaps, even just a time out was in order to give us a few minutes to reflect on what we had done. Often, a talk came with the punishment, explaining to us why we were in fact being punished and how to avoid it in the future.
So what happened to us as parents? Why do we not know where our children are, who their friends are, who their parents are, and where they live? Are we so inadequate at raising our children that we just let them run loose and not care when they get into things that they shouldn't? Are we too busy to teach our children right from wrong, or to teach them what morals are, or how to treat each other? Why do we choose to ignore them when they make fun of another person? Shouldn't we take the time to explain these things to them?
Create a parent network. Being responsible doesn't mean you cannot network from the office. Case in point, one very concerned mom discovered that her daughter got off the school bus at a stop prior to reaching school. Through the use of the "Mom cell phone network" the daughter was discovered at a nearby home with a 20-yr old hoodlum. She was picked up and returned to school pronto.
In this day and age and the kids have cell phones and computers. This has actually increased ability to get into trouble outside the realm of the neighborhood, and the demands of parenting are even more difficult. Thankfully, kids still like to brag via facebook, text, and word of mouth. These are also very good alternatives to physical discipline. For the text obsessed teen, taking away all electronic devices can be like solitary confinement. Imagine my delight when I once removed all electronic devices from a young mans room and left him only a deck of cards!
I am no expert on children or psychology, yet it seems that maybe we should work a little less, spend a little less if necessary to save money, so that we can be home more and available more for our children. Children are a true blessing and they need our love, guidance, and attention more than they need the latest gadget on the market. Discipline teaches each of us, young and old, what is acceptable and what is not. It teaches us to respect those in authority.
When you discipline your child, you are teaching them that are consequences to their actions and the choices that they make. It will help them to make better choices in the future. It also teaches them they are responsible for their actions.
While it takes a village to raise a child, the village is not responsible for disciplining in the child. We need to be accountable for our own children and to other parents when we see issues arising with children that come into our homes or in the lives of our children.
Just to be clear, I am 100% against child abuse, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. Discipline should never cause physical or emtional harm. Perhaps, their ego will be bruised, but that will recover and they will love you for caring enough to teach them the difference between right and wrong.