Child’s Rights and Discipline: The UNCOMMON Theory (20)

Opening Charge

‘‘I will begin with a personal story. I wet my bed at night till an advanced age in childhood. I cannot remember vividly my age when I stopped wetting bed. One thing I remember however was that I suffered in the hand of my mum in no small way for this occurrence, which I consider to be the call of nature. When I wet my bed, my mum would cane me and sang for me to the hearing of our neighbours in our face-me-I-face-you apartment. She would cane me and take me around the house and instructed me to chorus the song she sang. It was a torturous experience, I would be crying as a result of the canning and humiliation and I was expected to sing at the same time…I wasn’t only being caned for wetting my bed…The canning was intensified if I was not singing and dancing… Can you picture that’

Hello fellow custodians, please join me as I share with you the 15th core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian: Consider the age of the child before engaging in the discipline process.

I think there are two issues here. The first is what a child should be disciplined for considering his/her age. The second is the type of disciplinary measure that should be applied considering their age.

I will begin with a personal story. I wet my bed at night till an advanced age in childhood. I cannot remember vividly my age when I stopped wetting bed. One thing I remember however was that I suffered in the hand of my mum in no small way for this occurrence, which I consider to be the call of nature. When I wet my bed, my mum would cane me and sang for me to the hearing of our neighbours in our face-me-I-face-you apartment. She would cane me and take me around the house and instructed me to chorus the song she sang. It was a torturous experience, I would be crying as a result of the canning and humiliation and I was expected to sing at the same time…I wasn’t only being caned for wetting my bed…The canning was intensified if I was not singing and dancing… Can you picture that

In retrospect, I do not understand why a child should be disciplined for wetting his/her bed. If a child wets bed till an advanced age, it will require the support of the parents to stop if that becomes a major desire for the custodians. I think the bulk of the work is with the custodians, you may want to watch the eating habit of the child. You may want to determine the time he/she must stop drinking water at night or want to make it a point of duty to discover the time of the night a child wets his/her bed and you wake him/her up at that time to enable him/her use the toilet.

I say if it becomes the desire of the custodians because this is not supposed to be a problem. Wetting of bed by a child no matter how long it took the child to stop is a matter of child development and it is normal. It will surely stop at its own time. I am yet to meet an adult, who is not a retard or have a bladder issue and still wetting his or her bed.

I think the same principle go for potty training. It has become the culture of most custodians to abuse the children under their care in the name of potty training. While potty training is good, but I think it is important we take it easy with children in matters that have to do with basic child development. Many are children, who suffer abuse as result of the foregoing. This is not right as it is nothing but denial of the child of his/her childhood.

I think it is also important that we never discipline a child for display of human frailty. The child must be disciplined to remove foolishness from his/her heart. But we must never attempt to remove mistake from the heart of the child. Mistake and foolishness are not the same. Foolishness is a habit of errors while mistake is a function of human frailties. That is why you will never hear someone referred to a ‘mistake man or woman,’ but you hear ‘foolish man or woman.’ The truth is, foolishness is who a person is, and mistake is what a person makes. It is important to note that another name for mistake is ‘error of judgment.’ This is the lot of every living soul. It simply means a man, woman or child, who made a mistake had subjected his/her thoughts to reasoning and concluded that he/she was taking the right decision.

In child development foolishness may be synonymous with rebellion, which a child must be discipline for the good of the child. According to Dr. James Dobson, when a child is deliberately disobedient and rebellious, its results in an important contest the parents cannot afford to lose in the best interest of the child. Mistake is when a child is involved in an accident like spilling water or milk or dropping something on the floor or breaking the plates or related matters. No child should be subjected to any disciplinary measures for the foregoing.  My parents did not understand this as I was canned for breaking plates. It made it difficult for me to live up to my mistakes, which are the implication of disciplining a child for his/her, mistakes. By this you rob a child of his/her humanity.  Such was the story of Michael Jackson, who was robbed of his childhood by her custodians. He said in his later years, ‘before you judge me, try hard to love me, look within your heart then ask, have you seen my childhood?’

Now, the other side of the coin is that when we decide to apply disciplinary measures. We must take into consideration the age of the child before we apply disciplinary measures lest we end up abusing the child. Abuse here is when you claim to discipline a child and the child does not understand the what he or she has done and the process of discipline not to talk of picking or learning any lesson thereof.  James Dobson opined, ‘there is no excuse for spanking babies or children younger than 15 to 18 months of age. But midway through the second year (18 months) boys and girls become capable of knowing what you are telling them to do or not do.

I think I should rest my discussion here today. I hope you found you visit here today worth the time. I will surely be here with you again tomorrow by the grace of God, without Whom we can do nothing. Stay INSPIRED.

POINT 2 PONDER:

‘According to Dr. James Dobson, when a child is deliberately disobedient and rebellious, its results in an important contest the parents cannot afford to lose in the best interest of the child.’

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