Child’s Rights and Discipline: The UNCOMMON Theory (17)

Opening Charge

‘When genuine relationship does not exist between the custodians and their children, the best of value-oriented rules will look to the children like a chanting of demons, designed by sadistic custodians to make life difficult. If this becomes the perspective of the children, we will never get their cooperation. If we do not get the cooperation of our children in the business of child discipline and development, we are heading speedily to frustration.’

Dear friends please join me as I share with you the 11th core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian: Follow Prescribed Disciplinary Measures to the Letter

Rules are not to be irrationally or emotionally made when it comes to child development. Rules must not also be made for the sake of making rules. They must not also be made to please friends and observers. It must not also be an effort to flow with popular trend. Rules must be well considered before it is settled for and communicated to the children. By well-considered, I mean the merits and demerits to the child, the family and community. It is important to note that we can only proceed to establish rules in the family or institution of learning if they agree with the best interest of the child.

Rules must also promote values which are demonstratably dear to the family and agree with universal principles in child development. I have endeavoured to share some of them in the course of this discussion. Our values and rules must agree with universal principles. The truth is that we are never in charge. Universal principle, I mean the principle, which God created to govern the order of this world are in charge. If we are ever going to be in charge, we are going to be in charge through conscious engagement of God-ordained universal principles. If we are not aware of the principles, we are definitely going to be at the mercy of them. This only makes life miserable. Yes it does.

Therefore when we make our rules, we must be persuaded about them, be grounded in them and be in a position to explain it to ourselves and our children.

I must hasten to add here that the blood of rules is relationship. For our children to be at home with our rules they must first be at home with the goodness of our intention and for they to be at home with the goodness of our intention, they must have a good relationship with us as the custodians. A good relationship is a function of time and wisdom. We must not only have time, we must know what to do. When genuine relationship does not exist between the custodians and their children, the best of value-oriented rules will look to the children like a chanting of demons, designed by sadistic custodians to make life difficult. If this becomes the perspective of the children, we will never get their cooperation. If we do not get the cooperation of our children in the business of child discipline and development, we are heading speedily to frustration

Having laid the foregoing foundation, I must say that it will be easy to us to follow whatever rules we have made. Why is it necessary for us to follow the rules? I will adduce four reasons.

The first is that no matter how wonderful our relationship with our children is, they will not always understand our position. If we wait for them to understand our position in the name of protecting the relationship we have with them, we may never take the right steps at the right time in certain areas of their development, which may be very crucial to their present and future peace and stability. It is important for us to also understand that child discipline and development is a time conscious exercise. Our children are in a state of development, which require a particular kind of attention per time. All we need to do is to ensure that we explain our position and insist on same, according to the principles we have laid down.

The second reason is that we lose edge of authority when children break laid down rules and have their way. They must be disciplined. Whatever rule we have laid down, must be followed to the letter.

The third reason is that we rubbish the process of discipline. One of the fundamental ways by which discipline can be effective is where it is consistent both in application and impartiality. Application refers to consistent meting out of the prescribed discipline to erring child while impartiality refers to the fact that we must not have favourite in our dealing with our children. We must make it a point of duty to treat our children equally when it comes to meting out prescribed disciplinary measures.

The fourth is that when we do not follow through to prescribed disciplinary measures, we are teaching the children to be without integrity. It simply means, we are not people of our word.

At this point I will take a bow and join you again tomorrow as we continue this Journey. Stay INSPIRED.

On the final note, I invite you all to join us as we pray for the peace of our children on the Day of the African Child, June 16, 2012 at Chrisland School, Ladipo Oluwole, off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos from 9.30 AM.

POINT 2 PONDER:

‘The first is that no matter how wonderful our relationship with our children is, they will not always understand our position.’

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