The Wellness Factor in Child Discipline
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The Wellness Factor in Child Discipline

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes wellness or health as a state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being. It is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. This is the right of every child and is expected to be respected by all other individuals or activities. Efficient child discipline does not neglect the physical or psychological wellbeing of the child.

It is pleasing to see present-day social reformers in multiple campaigns that are giving rise to the gradual change of heart in this generation. These campaigns are causing us to accept the safety and sensibility in abandoning that model of punishing minors that seems almost like torture. Today’s parents and guardians are aware of better ways of discipline. It has to be performed in a manner that does not leave irremovable physical or psychological damage. For instance, those who stand against flagellation cannot be more correct.

The efficient discipline of a child involves setting the tone for a good quality of life by instilling orientation and manners in them, in their upbringing. It simply involves moulding the mind of a child in the desired way. Hence, it should engage the mind rather than the body, and not in any way that undermines wellness.

Since discipline is essentially a mental attribute, it is only mentally absorbed. It is best administered through the use of only moderate force. Other ways are by verbal correction and of course by examples. Rather than the use of torture, discipline has been proven time and time again to be most effective when it is done by relating the expected conduct to the child until he or she is able to find his or her interest in the conduct codes. That way, such a youngster can imbibe the codes of conduct into his or her psyche. Herein lies the crux of lasting discipline, and it is often demanding to achieve.

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This makes it baffling what torture has got to do with discipline. Torture only shows that someone else’s rash temper is out of control.

Flagellation, by the way, is the second most common type of child punishment in this part of the world. Next only to the more impulsive, direct hand-impact beating, which is also very dangerous. Hilarious as it may sound, a few parents who beat or flog their children mercilessly later go apologetic and try to seek the affection of the child. But this is usually only when the parent has recovered from their emotional rashness. The safer thing would have been to control themselves from the onset of their anger.

Worse still, with parents who never apologise, the infliction of torturous reprimand often leaves more than physical damage on a child. After such a rejective gesture as disciplining a child, there is psychological damage in the feeling of neglect that needs some pampering and show of care to heal. For this reason, the carrot and stick method seems the way to go in any kind of discipline, and not sticks only. Disciplinarian parents don’t realise this. By way of discouraging torture, it is safe here to mention that one other bane of the disciplinary perspective often overlooked by disciplinarians is noticed when they are overly preventive against errors. They neglect the fact that morality sometimes demands that children should be allowed to make mistakes and be corrected first, educating them after first errors for effective learning, and allowing rectitude to take its course. The fear of torturous punishments in the child can sure prevent mistakes, but can also delay the realisation of what is actually wrong, rather than for the early correction of mistakes. Creativity is also limited by the presence of fear.

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Other proven safer methods of disciplining include decent restrictions, denials, time-outs, compulsory sitting and line writing. All these should be accompanied by constructive verbal rationalisation of the reason for the punishment to the child, preventing the child from imbibing the highly communicable culture of maliciousness as a way of reacting to emotions. This is a tale most people who did grow up with temperamental parents can relate with. Please leave a comment if you did.

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