Sunday, 26 March 2017

A Terrible way to discipline a child
When I was a child, my mother strapped me on my hands and on my butt. One time she strapped me in front of a friend of mine. She also beat me with a ski pole. When I lived in a group home, I was strapped several times after the strap had been left in a sink full of water overnight so that the strap would be heavier. I was also strapped on my hands at school until I was in grade nine.
When I was a supervisor in a young offender’s facility, I was ordered to strap two of the boys on their butts. They deserved to be punished but in my opinion, not that way. For quite a few years now, in Canada, it is illegal to strap a child or even spank a child. Up until the 1960s, whippings on an adult prisoner’s backs and strappings on their butts were regularly used in adult male prisons.
My wife and I have two daughters and five grandchildren. I spanked my oldest daughter when she was four. I had caught her several times pinching her one month-old baby sister while her sister was in her crib. For four nights in a row, I spanked my oldest daughter very gently on her butt and on the fourth night, I asked her if she knew why I was spanking her. She said that she didn’t know why. I told her that her sister also didn’t know why she was being pinched. My daughter got the message right away and after that, I never spanked her again because I didn’t need to or want to. She never spanked her daughter either.  Ironically, at age 40, my daughter is a compliance officer with the Department of Corrections in Ontario and as such, she inspects prisons and interviews inmates who have complaints. They never complain about physical punishment because as I said earlier, that all ended in the 1960s.    
We have all been punished in one way or another for misbehaving but some parents go too far in punishing their children. What follows is an example of a really stupid father who simply didn’t know how to discipline his daughter without causing her harm. Here is what happened to that particular father’s daughter when he did something really stupid.
 In 2015, a 13-year-old Tacoma Washington girl whose name was Izabel Laxamana was foolishly disciplined by her father. Her father cut off her hair because of something she had done that didn’t please him. There was a 15-second video showing her father questioning his daughter after cutting off her hair as punishment. In the video, the father said for the camera as he paned from his daughter’s face to a pile of hair lying at her feet.  “Man, you lost all that beautiful hair.  Was it worth it?”
This stupid fool then continued to videotape his conversation with his very distraught daughter. While her father may have intended the video to be a personal reminder for his daughter’s eyes only, an unidentified third party uploaded the video, thinking it would help. I have to presume that the unidentified person was a member of the family. If that is so, then that person is a creep.
Obviously the girl was embarrassed being bald but if she was aware that the video had been seen by some of her schoolmates, she would have been devastated. The thought of being ridiculed at school would have been too much for her. 
Within a day or so, she was a passenger in her family’s car and when the car was being driven over an overpass, she opened the passenger door and leaped out of the car and ran to the railing of the overpass, climbed over the railing and threw herself onto Interstate 5 below. She later died in the hospital.
Her father will agonize over his guilt for the rest of his life for what he did to his child.
Children of parents who were abused often abuse their own children Adult children of abusive parents can only reference what they were taught and don’t know to think any other way.  Every way their parents treated them, they treated their children the same way and this can be a never ending cycle.  Parents who were victims of abuse suffer from a lack of a good role model, and their children have more than a 50 percent chance of suffering the same fate.  

Children follow the examples their parents have shown to them during their own childhood.  When children reach adulthood, they punish their children by the examples that were set by their parents.  Sometimes, this is a cycle of tragedy that is difficult to break.  Parents who suffer traumatic events during their childhood live with the tragedy for the rest of their lives.  The tragedy could cause them to “snap” one day, leaving their children to suffer as they did when they were children.

Unfortunately, some parents have unrealistic expectations of the responsibilities of a parent.  An abusive parent’s effect on children can lead into their children’s adulthood and cause problems within future relationships with their own children.  

Some expecting parents think parenthood is a walk in the park, and everything will be just great and they will live happily ever after.  The reality of parenthood is that it is hard work. There will be times where we just want to sit back and relax, but when we have a child that is growing up; it requires most of our attention and time. Parenting is not for everyone, but once the child is living with us, it’s not something we can back out of or give up easily.  Realistic expectations are all about what’s in our minds.  Some people have a difficult time accepting and separating their dreams from reality.  When the reality does not fit their dreams or what they want in life, the situation can take a turn for the worse for their children.

It is a sad commentary of our times that there are more teen parents in today’s society than there have ever been in the past.  The primary reason why teenage girls become parents is due to them having unprotected sex.  Babysitting a baby when the teen’s mind hasn’t yet matured; puts the baby’s life at risk. I knew a teenager who was immature and she chose to sleep with her newborn baby in the same bed. One night while asleep, she rolled over her baby and the baby suffocated to death.

There is nothing that can compare to carrying a child for nine months, enduring labor along with being responsible for another human being.  All of this in itself is overwhelming for many adults, so for a teenager, the situation is more stressful and dramatic. Teenagers are not the only people who will have a difficult time with parenting.  There are many immature adults who become parents who have no clue what lies ahead of them.

For this reason, some schools have sexual education classes that require high school girls to take a mechanical baby home.  The mechanical baby is designed to demonstrate how unpredictable a newborn baby can be and display some of the issues that may occur.  The mechanical baby cries in the middle of the night, has to be fed, changed, and needs attention.  

Lack of support is another reason parents abuse their children.  It’s a cycle that many parents endure.  First, the pregnancy is announced, and one parent has happy expectations of having a baby while the other does not. 

 One parent is dreaming of living happily ever after, and the other is thinking of the quickest way to get out of the situation.  There may be a lot of arguing back and forth on whether to keep the newborn child or get rid of it.  One parent may want to keep the child while the other wants no part of what he got himself into. The parent who doesn’t want the child will develop a hatred for the child. As the year progresses, the hatred grows. This wasn’t what happened in the case I wrote about at the beginning of this article. In that case, the girl’s father loved his daughter. He just made a bad decision on how to discipline her.  

Whatever your child's age, it's important to be consistent when it comes to discipline. If parents don't stick to the rules and consequences they set up, their kids aren't likely to do so either. 

Kids start developing their sense of self as babies when they see themselves through their parents' eyes. Our tone of voice, our body language, and our every expression are absorbed by our kids. Our words and actions as a parent affect their developing self-esteem more than anything else can.
Praising accomplishments, however small, will make them feel proud. Letting kids do things independently will make them feel capable and put them in a state of wellbeing.
By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavorably with another will make kids feel worthless. When that happens, they rebel against their parents. Then their parents in frustration, strike out at their children.
Avoid making demeaning statements or using words as weapons to get even.  Comments like "What a stupid thing to do!" or "You act more like a baby than your little brother!" will cause emotional damage to your child just as physical blows do,  And never chastise your child in the company of anyone else. It will bring shame to the child, something the child cannot live with.

Whatever your child's age, it's important to be consistent when it comes to discipline. If parents don't stick to the rules and consequences they set up, their kids aren't likely to do it either. 

When I was a senior supervisor of over three hundred boys in three Indian residential schools in three Canadian provinces back in the 1950s , I never used corporal punishment as a means of discipline nor did I chastise them in front of other boys. I would however take some of their privileges away for a short time and talk to them in the same way a father would talk to his own child. After a while, I rarely had to chastise them. That is because they knew what I expected of them. And when they did do something exceptionally good, I would complement them. But most importantly, I was their surrogate father and I tried to make them feel that they were loved. If they had a problem, they knew that they could depend on me to solve their problems.  

I hope you have found this article useful.


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