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Weak parenting is a modern day problem

A misguided concept too often is that children can only be corrected with a beating or a tongue lashing leaving them feeling unwanted and resentful toward any type of authority whether it is a parent, guardian, teacher, or a neighbour. Many of us who came through that period when the word was clear: “If you don't listen you will feel.”

It those days there was little confusion over the fact that life had consequences for anyone who chose to disobey standard rules of expected behaviour in or out of the home. There has always been a thin line between using physical force and child abuse, when attempting to correct a child who has fallen terribly short in codes of basic conduct.

However it cannot be ignored that many people who were whipped back into the line of proper conduct early in life, attributed later success to understanding that life itself, can issue out punishment for doing the wrong thing with no regard for others. A vital factor though, is that a child should be corrected along the way by teaching good values in the home.

No amount of beatings will replace making a child feel loved and wanted. Children, at least most of them, have a natural instinct to challenge parents at almost every turn, with reasons why they want this or that.

In the old days, a no meant just that, no. In fact a wise crack back answer, could result in a very unpleasant experience involving the lips. It was a time when no, had real meaning. In the modern world today, no in many cases means the child has, not tried hard enough, and it is just a delay in getting the parent to submit.

That is sad, because when the parent says “Okay, its all right” to kept the peace, discipline begins to crumble.

Parenting these days has to be extremely challenging, because many children of all ages are exposed to so much, that traditional values are not easily taught against a rushing tide of new lifestyles that include yes illegal drinking, and drug use, and hostile music designed to demean the human experience. There are numerous video games that promote killing as fun, and in some cases in the US, these games are thought to have contributed to some of their recent gun tragedies.

These are challenging times for parents around the world, and also for children who in many cases are left to the mercy of the world. There are no easy answers to the many problems in this area, because almost everyone has a different solution. If a generation fails to pass on proper values than the next generation will be deprived, and such a trend could only lead to even more chaotic and broken societies. The move to halt corporal punishment in our schools has a positive ring to it, especially in a world where violence of all types has taken such a fearful toll. When a child is taught very early that there are consequences for disrespect and rude behaviour, it is not likely that the child will be a candidate for punishment later, even from our judiciary system.

The bottom line is that children need to be corrected early, and if need be, punished in a way that makes it clear that certain types of conduct will not be tolerated. However it should also be clear that there are many rewards for doing good things. This is why it is important to encourage and praise children when they endeavour to move in the right direction. Warm words of encouragement very early, help to diminish any potential resentment when the time arrives for teaching right from wrong.

Sparing the rod and spoiling the child must not be taken too lightly. There are people in institutions around the world who might not be there had they had a taste of discipline early, and were taught good values. A story I once heard in a barber shop about old fashion Bermuda discipline never left me.

The gentleman told how his father came home from work and his sons were not present for the evening meal. The mother explained that the boys were sent to bed without supper for not doing their chores. The father calmly told his wife, “my boys must eat, Have them come down for supper, and afterwards see me”.

The gentleman telling the story, said it was one night he would have been happy to go without supper. The old man did not say much, but after the punishment, he forgot he even had supper. Incidentally the storyteller became a very successful businessman.

Children today need discipline and trying to be whammy and soft is a mistake. In life there are basic rules such as driving on the right side of the road. Few are willing to ignore that warning knowing the possible consequences. Weak parenting is not to suggest they don't care. It simply means letting children off the hook, when they step out of line could open the door to further problems later.

Lets not be too quick to frown on discipline tactics of the past, and we should be mindful that while removing one form of punishment in the schools or the home careful thought should be given about what to replace it with. Without discipline a sense of order is seldom present. end. Hope all is well.

School Corporal Punishment. (Photo by Akil Simmons)

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Published October 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 25, 2013 at 7:34 pm)

Weak parenting is a modern day problem

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