‘While my father’s diaries were not mainly designed to keep the offence of the children, it created a picture in my mind of how many custodians keep mental diaries of the wrongs of the children under their custody for the purpose of continuous anger and chastisement.’
Please join me today as I share with you the 23rd core habit of a purposeful, disciplined and effective disciplinarian: Do not keep record of wrong
While growing up, my father kept diaries. They were diaries of offence where he religiously kept records of my mother’s wrongs and possibly that of the children. He kept the diaries to his very chest to ensure that the secrets therein and the deepest of his opinions were not revealed. I guess anytime he wanted to get angry, he would visit his diaries and pronto he would be inspired to get angry
While my father’s diaries were not mainly designed to keep the offence of the children, it created a picture in my mind of how many custodians keep mental diaries of the wrongs of the children under their custody for the purpose of continuous chastisement. I have worked with custodians of differing influence in the last 15 years and I can say only few are free from keeping the records of wrongs of the child for further chastisement.
In respect of an institution of learning, should the school keep the record of a child’s wrong? I believe an institution of learning should keep the records of the child’s development, containing his/her challenges and strengths. The purpose must be to monitor improvement or otherwise. If improvement is noticed the child is encouraged. And if deterioration is noticed, the school keeps finding the best way to help the child until the child gives up on discipline. The purpose of keeping the records of the child’s behaviour must not be to rob it in each time he/she does anything wrong in the school. The behaviour of the child, no matter how notorious it may be must not warrant double jeopardy, which is how I see keeping records for the purpose of torturing the child.
It is my charge that once a matter is dealt with in respect of disciplining a child, it should be considered dealt with. Even when the child displays a related attitude, we must do our best to treat it as an independent matter that it is. We may take note of the trend to help us in the treatment of the matter, but not by necessarily mentioning to the child. And if we are going to mention it at all, it must be in the process of reasoning with child to find a solution to an attitude, which is becoming an unproductive habit. In situation like this, we are approaching the child from a position of concern and using the tone of care. The goal here is to analyse the trend of behaviour to the child, perhaps he/she has not been able to trace it that way and the impact therefore.
When the foregoing exercise is skilfully and carefully done, it helps the child to make necessary adjustment. The foregoing exercise must take into consideration the age and development of the child as this may only apply to grown-up children, particularly of teenage age.
I may not spend too much time here today. I feel I have been able to drive my point home. All I am saying is that we must not keep record of wrongs of the children under our custody. It will only lead to anger and double jeopardy, which in turn will create nothing but anger and bitterness in our children. Stay INSPIRED.
Think the child…Think Today…Think Tomorrow…
POINT 2 PONDER:
‘It is my charge that once a matter is dealt with in respect of disciplining a child, it should be considered dealt with. Even when the child displays a related attitude, we must do our best to treat it as an independent matter that it is.’
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