Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Discipline and Respect

We watched a programme discussing the latest idea - to fine parents if their child bunks off school, and a general discussion along the lines of 'where has all the discipline gone'.

I do get fed up with all the excuses:
- it's because mothers go out to work
- the schools should teach them better
- too many single parent families

- it's the fault of the Police
- the Police should do more
- the legal system needs to change
- it's the Government's problem to solve
, etc.

Get real and wake up ! Discipline starts at home at a very early age. Respect for others follows on. Other than the first few months - they are never too young to learn.

Parents have to set out boundaries for children. Yes they will challenge them, push against them and sometimes break them - but children have to know what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. Parents have to be prepared to stick to their guns and not put up with bad behaviour. They must tell the children the consequences if they persist - and carry out the repercussions as threatened, if necessary.

By the time they go to school, it is too late to start - expecting the school to deal with delinquency that they get away with at home, is not on. Children go to school to learn, and the teachers are there to teach. Not to start instilling discipline into children who have never heard the word NO.

We listened to a news story about a man who was attacked late evening by a crowd of young people and subsequently died. The attackers were aged between 10 and 15. Where were their parents?! You should KNOW where your child is at that age and what they are doing if they are not at home!

***

We have always been lucky enough to be able to provide the children with a bedroom of their own, which is their sanctuary, somewhere to be quiet and maybe to read/draw etc.

When LeeLee was at a certain age, temper tantrums erupted regularly and stomping off to her room and slamming the door became her favourite occupation.

First time - warning not to do this.
Second time - told if she did it again, her door would be taken off its hinges.
Third time - off came the door and it was not put back until a couple of months later.

Move on a few years and Nic reached the age of temper tantrums. When warned what would happen if she slammed her door again - LeeLee took her aside and told her that 'Mum & Dad will do what they threaten! Believe me!!'

Of course, Nic did not believe it but guess what? By then we were good at taking doors off their hinges!

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