Thursday, July 7, 2011

Right Idea, Wrong Question

In the grocery store one morning, I overheard a youngster continually droning, nagging, and complaining. Finally, his exasperated mom asked, "Do you want to be disciplined?"

What kid in his right mind would sit up and say, "Yes, please, put limits on me"? And why is the parent asking permission to do her job? She had the right idea - teaching her son socially controlled behavior - but asked the wrong question.

When you must adjust your child's behavior, just do it! There should be no warning, pleading, or asking, immediately confront and correct. Then move on.

How many times do we have the right idea, but sabotage or infuriate ourselves by asking the wrong question? Listen to yourself today; are you asking permission to discipline or do you just do it. What's your comment?
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Anonymous said...

I think this Mom not only asked the wrong question, she's a little confused about what discipline is. Discipline isn't punishment. Discipline is training a child in mind and character to enable him to become a self-controlled, constructive member of society. Punishment or giving consequences for inappropriate behavior is only a small part of disciplining a child.
Parents that give their kids a track to run on, with guidelines and boundaries are giving their kids a sense of security, protection, and a feeling of accomplishment.
I recently posted an article on The Importance of Love And Discipline at that explains how important discipline is when we're raising our kids.
Thanks for this post!

Parenting Expert Brenda Nixon said...

You're right Laurie; discipline is teaching, mentoring, showing the way, it isn't just reacting to inappropriate or bothersome behavior.
Thanks for reading and leaving your insightful comment :)

Sandy Fowler said...

Love this post Brenda! I find that when we start asking questions like that it's really ourselves we are talking to. It's the mom asking herself if she wants to discipline the child.

Of course the answer is still 'no' but, as the adult, we're supposed to be able to see past the moment and do it because it's best in the long run.

When I find myself asking or cajoling it's a big neon sign telling me to stop talking and act.