Child’s Rights and Discipline: The Lost Theory (14)

Opening Charge

‘In most cases, adult instructors (parents, guardian, caregivers, teachers or other stake holders) negatively compare one child to the other. Negative comparison is to tell a child his or her weaknesses in the face of the strengths of the other child, without any effort to encourage the ‘weak’ child and teach him or her principles that will help him or her achieve the result the other child is achieving. This, I must tell you can be very hopeless and damaging’

Good morning dear custodians, I salute you for coming here today. I pray that God will grant us wisdom in the uneasy task of giving our children a future and a hope. My number one encouragement is that God is committed to helping us as we do our best in this noblest assignment on the earth.

Please join me as I share with you the 8th core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian: Avoid comparison

In my audio book, Stories, Senses and Stones: Abused Childhood, Transformed Adulthood, I made copious assertions on the issue of comparison, particularly as it relates  generally to dealing with children and I think it applies to the issue of child discipline and development. I submitted as follows: ‘In most cases, adult instructors (parents, guardian, caregivers, teachers or other stake holders) negatively compare one child to the other. Negative comparison is to tell a child his or her weaknesses in the face of the strengths of the other child, without any effort to encourage the ‘weak’ child and teach him or her principles that will help him or her achieve the result the other child is achieving. This, I must tell you can be very hopeless and damaging.

We forget that it is not about the other child, who is doing well, it is about showing the child, who appears to be doing less the principles that will help him or her to be better. The negative comparison game first starts in the mind of the teacher, parent or guardian at the point of frustration. It does not start with a quest to find solutions or to eagerly help the child learn. This often results in a biased treatment of the child considered to be better.’

I concluded thus, ‘children are more observant than we think and the comparisons, no matter how subtle, are not lost on them. Besides, some adults even compare to the face, of the child considered slow in learning to the other child, who is considered better. The foregoing exercise does not help children. It makes one become swollen-headed and the other defeated and jealous. He or she is defeated because he or she is been shown how well the other child is doing, without being told how he or she can do the same. The feedback he or she gets is that the status of the other child is an exclusive endowment, which other children are not empowered by nature to achieve. Jealousy sets in because the child at the receiving end does not have hope to become better. That is the beginning of rivalry between children in a home and in school.’

When we discipline our children, we must have a goal created from our mission to raise disciplined children. Our goal becomes a standard and not another child, whose history of obedience we may not know. The truth is, even if we know a child’s history of obedience, it will still be wrong to pick his/her obedience as an independent variable. Many factors contribute to a child’s response to discipline ranging from the skill or expertise of the instructor, environment, the method adopted and many sundry issues. In most cases, the custodians of the life of the child are interested in the results the other person ‘appears’ to be getting. They are not interested in his/her method or sacrifices involved.

We cannot even compare children from the same home and parents. When custodians from same home are wondering, why one of their children ‘appears’ discipline and the other appear not to be, I think apart from focusing on the intentions and methods being applied by the custodians, we must take time to interview the child in question. How a child perceives discipline is very important to his acceptance or rejection of same.

For example, a lot of custodians are not too good in winning the confidence of their children or pupils as to their neutrality. Therefore, a child, who believes that he/she may not be the favourite, may not have confidence in the custodian’s commitment to discipline, particularly when the issue involves a sibling or mate he/she believes to be the custodian’s favourite. Once a child query’s the nobility of the intention of the custodian, he/she develops a very wrong paradigm about the whole process and may not wholly submit himself to the process.

Now even when the custodians have the best intention and apply the best method, the individuality of the child must be taken into cognisance. Every child has his/her individuality, which must be considered in auditing the results of discipline.

Please note that I put the word, ‘appear’ in inverted coma because, the real impact of the right upbringing may not be known immediately. It is important to note that the child is not being prepared for only today but also to be in a position to handle things properly tomorrow, particularly when the custodians, will not be on around to evaluate it. Instead, our concern must be the efficacy of our process of discipline and not necessarily the immediate results.

I am sure I am out of time and space. I hope you found your visit today worth your precious time. Do stay INSPIRED

Think the Child…Think Today…Think the Future…

POINT 2 PONDER:

When we discipline our children, we must have a goal created from our mission to raise disciplined children. Our goal becomes a standard and not another child, whose history of obedience we may not know.

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