Discipline and abuse do not go together. An abused child will never be a disciplined child. A disciplined child will never be an abused child. An abused child is a child deliberately or otherwise denied by omission or commission of his inalienable rights, granted by God. Abuse dehumanizes a child. Discipline is the opposite.
The unfortunate thing is that many children are today subjected to unbearable abuse. What is discipline? The term “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplinare,” which means “to teach.” Many people, however, associate the word with punishment, which falls short of the full meaning of the word. Discipline, properly practiced, uses a multifaceted approach, including models, rewards, and punishments that teach and reinforce desired behaviour. Through discipline, children are able to learn self-control, self-direction, competence, and a sense of caring.
The truth of the matter is that this definition has become a necessity because parents and stakeholders in the life of the child do not discipline anymore as we have lost the meaning. I must begin today by sharing with you that the operating principle of all discipline is the best interest of the child. I have also found that it is impossible for us to do anything in the best interest of the child except we love the child.
Love must be the foundation of discipline for it to be in the best interest of the child. What is this love? Love is summed up in selfless service to fellow man, including the children under our care. The Holy Writ says, ‘the son, who the father loves, he chastises.’ Discipline therefore must be motivated by the love of the custodian of the child and nothing more. It means the custodians are seeking the good of the child.
In the light of the foregoing, discipline will mean to Determine to Intentionally and Skilfully Create in the child, a sense of Individuality, dignity of human person and Persuasions (values) through Love, Inner strength (character) Nimbleness and Encouragement.
In the final analysis, it is important to note that discipline is designed to bring out the best in the child and preserve his dignity of human person. If that is the case, it therefore means parents and custodians must avoid abuse in the course of discipline. I mean discipline becomes impossible if the dignity of the human person of the child is trampled upon in the process.
Abuse will not produce a disciplined child but an intimidated child. For anyone to live a disciplined life he or she must have a healthy self image of himself or herself. Discipline or chastisement is the process through which the self worth of the child is sharpened and built.
Take it from me the gospel according to child protection, Discipline will never be an excuse for abusing a child.
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