Child’s Rights and Discipline: The UNCOMMON Theory (21)

Hello fellow custodians, please join me as I share with you the 16th core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian:  Comfort after discipline

If it must be called discipline, it must have two sides: chastisement and comfort. Discipline without comfort is like boasting to be in possession of one-sided coin. It is either you do not know the features of a coin or you do not have any coin at all. If anyone insists that he/she is in possession of one-sided coin, he/she may not be able to insist for too long if he/she does not want to end up in the psychiatrist case. I have had to dwell on this parable of the coin to enable me drive home my point on the real definition of discipline. (Opening Charge)

The goal of discipline is to break a child and not to destroy a child. If a child must be broken, we must be committed to both showing the hard and the soft sides. Discipline is not always pleasant, even to adults. Comfort creates soft landing for the child. The hard of discipline side, when it is not mixed with comfort has the tendency to brew rebellion in children. The saying is ever true, ‘nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’ To discipline to make sense to our children, it must come from a caring heart. To prove to the child that the discipline is from a caring heart, we must show that we care. Comforting words is a major language of care.

I was recently in a school and I asked the teachers if they were ready for the true opinion of their pupils concerning them. They responded by saying that the students have mistaken their strictness for being wicked. I found that as the common responses of the custodians of the child whenever the foregoing question is asked. As a matter of fact, many custodians, (who claim to be disciplinarians without caring to understand the true character of one) have accepted it as an irredeemable norm. They believe that the perception of the children about them is their (children) normal response to discipline and there is nothing they can do about it.

I beg to differ with this popular position. Without prejudice to strange exceptions, if we handle the process of applying discipline very well (with patience and without anger), the child will see through the pain or discomfort of discipline and establish our good intention. He/she may not have the right adjective to express it; he/she will never go to the extreme of concluding that the custodian is wicked. Let’s face it, if a child truly believes that you are wicked, he/she also believe that you are self-centred, his/her natural tendencies is not to corporate with you and your desires. The Yoruba adage is very apt when it says, ‘with the right hand, you chastise a child; with the left you comfort him.’

I will like to round up my discussion today by culling in part a piece written by Zig Ziglar, ‘I was switched (spanked) several times as a child, but each switching was the direct result of my refusal to the instructions my mother had carefully laid out for me. After each switching came the hugging. That’s the procedure we used in raising our children…When my son was about eleven years old, he was sullen, lackadaisical and rebellious in nature…Finally, he crossed the line and I pulled him over my knee swatted him a couple of times with my belt  hard enough to be felt but  not hard  enough to leave any mark.  Then I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him .Then both of us cried .For the rest of the day I had a happy, loving and child. It’s important to understand that we discipline a child for his or her own good.

Ziglar continues you punish someone out anger or out of control. Discipline is good; punishment is bad. And in a fascinating new study just published in academic journal, American Sociological Review, Brad Wilcox of Princeton University found that parents with orthodox religious beliefs are ‘characterized both by strict discipline and an unusually warm and expressive style of parent-child interaction.’ According to Wilcox, these parents employ a ‘neotraditional parenting style that spares neither rod nor the hug.’ Ziglar concluded, ‘discipline is something   you do for the child-punishment is something you do to a child.’

Thank you for joining me today. I will be here again tomorrow, still advocating empowering the custodians and protecting the child. Stay INSPIRED.

Think the child…Think Today…Think Tomorrow…


‘To prove to the child that the discipline is from a caring heart, we must show that we care. Comforting words is a major language of care.’


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