‘The family cannot survive on only one equation when it comes to child discipline. There must be a balance of carrot and stick… Offering the carrot also appeals to the dignity of the child more than the stick. Since the number one goal of discipline is to get the child to be conscious of his/her dignity of human person, the carrot achieves that better than the stick. I make bold to say that there is no better way to teach and entrench values and life skills in our children than offering them the carrot. Offering the carrot also sells the idea of reward for responsibility. I daresay that is how life deals with us.’
My dear friends, sure you are doing well today. I am doing great. I am here again today to unburden. I want to share with you the burden of raising a generation of children, who are complete spirit, soul and body. My joy will be complete when you come here, read, meditate on my writings, receive instructions and proceed to impact the children under your custody. Therefore I am not particular about how many people, who come, I am particular about many people, who come and thereafter became better custodian of the child. It is in this spirit that I invite you to join me today as we consider the 5th tested habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian
5. Try encouragement: Carrot and stick
It is our practice in this part of the world to always reprimand and apply the stick both in harsh words and canning in the process of child discipline. A lot of times we are quick to use negative reinforcement. We believe that until the child feels pain, he/she can never learn. So we introduce the child to pain very early in life in the name discipline. Please note that blind and purposeless inflicting of pain on children does not raise a disciplined child. It only raises angry, bitter, fearful and indiscipline children.
I advise that after we have identified the mission for discipline, which as I have earlier discussed is to raise a complete child and we have communicated to the child his/her best interest as the main goal, we may go ahead and promise the carrot. By carrot I mean the reward for obedience and compliance with stated rules. Now it is impossible to promise the carrot until we first establish the rules, the values, which the rules seek to inculcate in the child and the express benefits for the child, immediate family and the society at large.
The idea of carrot creates in the child expectation of reward for obedience. This expectation also gives a clear picture to the child the expectation of the parents or custodians. This is an exchange of expectations. The custodians exchange the desire for obedience for the promise of carrot. The child exchanges his/her desire for carrot for obedience to value-oriented rules.
Offering the carrot also appeals to the dignity of the child more than the stick. Since the number one goal of discipline is to get the child to be conscious of his/her dignity of human person, the carrot achieves that better than the stick. I make bold to say that there is no better way to teach and entrench values and life skills in our children than offering them the carrot. Offering the carrot also sells the idea of reward for responsibility. I daresay that is how life deals with us. Life has prepared rewards for our obedience to life principles and discomfort for our disrespect for universal principles of human existence.
Please note that children cannot be trained with carrot alone. I have dwelt this much on carrot because, it is a very efficacious but yet neglected tool in child discipline.
Please note that for the school system, I am not talking about yearly prize giving day in school. I am talking about a system of rewards that takes into cognisance good behaviour and an effective plan to reward same. Same way as the stick, when purposefully applied serves as deterrence to others, so is the use of the carrot serves as an encouragement for obedience.
Thus in developed countries, citizens are rewarded for good and noble efforts. There are all kinds of award for everyday citizens, who engage in noble activities. This serves as encouragement for citizens to be alive and well to their civic responsibilities, knowing that there is a system of encouragement. Please note that it is not about the nature of the award, it is about the dignity and recognition it confers on the recipients.
The family cannot survive on only one equation when it comes to discipline. There must be a balance of carrot and stick.
While the stick, I mean chastisement is not evil, I believe it should be applied with caution.
I beg to take a bow at this juncture. I hope you found your time here useful. Do stay INSPIRED.
Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…
POINT 2 PONDER:
‘Please note that blind and purposeless inflicting of pain on children does not raise a disciplined child. It only raises angry, bitter, fearful and indiscipline children.’
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