Child’s Rights and Discipline: The UNCOMMON Theory (24)

Hello fellow custodians, please join me as I share with you the 19th core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian:  Do not be a judge in your own cause

Sincerity demands that we accept that every human being has a cause for which his/she is ready to sacrifice everything. Please note that I did not say everyone has a noble cause. A cause does not have to be noble to be a cause. A cause is a cause and every cause has its own rewards, joy or misery. The challenge is that only few ever identify the cause that is dear to them so they are not able to relate to it intentionally. The rest of the people on the face of the earth live for their cause by default. (Opening Charge)

I guess that is why the Yoruba Philosophy concludes, ‘it it what you live for that dominates your treasures.’ It therefore means that for us to identify our cause, we should look at what dominates our treasures. Please note that the word, ‘treasures’ here is used subjectively. It means what I call treasures may be different from what the other person sees as treasures. Our treasures are determined by our values and our values are determined by our experiences.

I will do us a lot of good to know and accept that each man has a cause. This will help us to take a critical look at our lives and determine our cause by taking inventory of our treasures. If we find them noble, we embark on a journey of reinforcement and if find them ignoble, we embark on a journey of repentance and bearing the fruits of repentance. How do we know whether a cause is noble or otherwise? Well, it is by aggregating our cause with universal principle of common good.

This is the kind of person or mindset we need to have in matters of child discipline and development. My admonition today is that as we make attempt to discipline our children, we must pause and sincerely ask the question, whose cause do I represent here. The truth is that you must not discipline for your cause. You can only discipline for the cause of the child. What is the cause of the child? The best interest of the child is the cause. The only time you can discipline according to your own cause is when there is a marriage between your well articulated cause and the cause of the child.

If you find your through soul searching that your cause is at variance with the cause of the child, you must be very careful not be a judge in your own cause. You must therefore ask for help from other custodians. Please note that only few people can be a judge in their own cause. When I say few, I mean very very few. I guess that is why the highest law of our land, the constitution of Nigeria provides that a man or woman must not be a judge in his/her own cause.

Anyone, who does not see discipline as something you do for the child instead of something you do against the child already has a cause which is at variance with the cause of the child and the real purpose of discipline. He/she will not be a just judge. Custodians in the foregoing categories are easily offended and once you are offended, the next thing you want to too is to assuage the pain of offence. And how do you assuage the pain of offence? We simply seek revenge. Revenge comes with anger and bitterness. That is why we have custodians (parents, teachers and others), who hold the children under their care in ‘unforgiveness.’ What a fallacy? I mean a grand fallacy, to hold in offence and seek revenge a child, you are called by God to give a future and a hope.

In my working with custodians in the last 15 years, I have met many angry and bitter custodians, who seek nothing but revenge. The unfortunate thing is that either through ignorance or self-deception or both, the custodians in this category still claim to discipline the child. They pride themselves in being disciplinarians. Unfortunately, in some cases, the children under their abuse are also brainwashed to believe that their custodians are disciplinarians.

I conclude today that to be a judge in your own cause is not easy and above all is wrong. It is not a risk you should take often. Once you know you have a cause at variance with the best interest of the child, reach out the deepest sense of sincerity in you and seek the help of another. If you not see discipline as a process designed to promote the best interest of the child, you will not be in a position to rise above your causes and preferences. Does that mean the custodians have no benefits from disciplining the child? The custodians have bountiful rewards. The reward of the custodians is in how the child turns out and the benefits thereof. No child rewards his/her custodians with peace of mind and every good thing of life like the child, who is well disciplined. The custodians therefore must learn to discipline and endure the cross for the joy that is set before him/her: the joy of the glorious future of the child. Do have an INSPIRED Weekend. See you on Monday.

Think the child…Think Today…Think Tomorrow…


‘The custodians therefore must learn to discipline and endure the cross for the joy that is set before him/her: the joy of the glorious future of the child.


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