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The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes wellness or health as a state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being and 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. Therefore, an efficient child discipline is one which does not compromise the physical or psychological wellbeing of the child.

It is pleasing to see present-day social reformers in relentless campaigns that are giving rise to the gradual change of heart in this generation, causing us to accept the safety and sensibility in eschewing the near torturous chiding of minors. Today’s parents and guardians are aware of better ways of disciplining in a manner that does not leave indelible physical or psychological damage. For instance, proponents of the school of thought which champions the fact that not all offenses would warrant the flagellation type of reprimand cannot be more correct, in my opinion.

Efficient disciplining of a child involves setting the tone for the choicest quality of life through the inculcation of life spanning orientation and manners in them, in their upbringing. In fewer words, it 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, optimally administered through the use of only a moderate force, sufficient verbal reprehension and ultimately by examples. As against torture, discipline has been proven time and time again to be most effective when it is done by first relating the expected conduct to the child until he or she is able to find his or her interest in the conduct codes when they are being related to him or her. That way, such 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. This makes it baffling what torture has got to do with discipline since it only contains and communicates the acerbity of someone else’s rash temper

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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 I think is highly hazardous for its uncoordinated application – perhaps it would have been safer if the punisher kits up his child (the object in this case) with preventive buffers against injuries to delicate body parts. Of course, this is never the case. Hilarious as it may sound, a few conscientious among these kinds of parents go apologetic in trying to curry back lost affection from the child only when they have recovered from their acute emotional rashness which consequences are severe injuries to the child, when the safer thing would have been control from the onset of their anger.

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Worse still, with parents who never apologise, the infliction of torturous reprimand often leaves more than a physical damage with a child. After such a rejective gesture as disciplining a child, there is a psychological damage in the feeling of neglect that needs some pampering and show of care to heal. For this reason carrot and stick method seems the way to go in any kind of disciplining, 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 to allow 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 with the presence of fear.

Other proven safer methods of disciplining include decent restrictions, denials, time-outs, compulsory sitting and lines writing. All these should be accompanied with 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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