Saturday, March 7, 2015

Why A Child Needs Love (And Discipline)

Well, first and foremost, let me say Happy New Year. I know it’s been almost 4 months since I’ve written a blog (and this is my first blog in 2015). I was listening to a program and it was talking about “correcting a child.” I know there are many views about what it means to correct a child, but during the course of the program, it was saying that correction has many definitions: spanking, instructing, guidance, and a few others. I can’t speak for others, but I’m going to put my personal life (and part of my family) on Front Street for this blogpost, but there is a message here.

Many times, when I talk about family, I end up talking about abuse. I will not be discussing abuse in this blog as it relates to discipline. There is a big difference between discipline and abuse. I just want to focus on the discipline aspect and why a child needs love AND discipline.

I know my parents love me (I know, that sounds like the theme to “A Different World” – my favorite TV show by the way), but they were good at disciplining me when I needed it. Do I hate my parents for it? No! They nurtured my love for music and reading. When I was 4, I would be singing with my father, and when I would be in my bedroom, I would be listening to book & tapes. One of them was Noah and the Ark (and I believed that would shape my faith in God as a result, which I’m very thankful for). In my immediate family, I’m the oldest child. Now, I can’t speak for other members in my immediate or extended family, but I know for two of my extended family members, one was never really disciplined and the other was disciplined to the point it became abuse. I know this affected their way of coping with life in many ways (and it would not turn out positive). One thing I can truly say, there were probably some things that I was disciplined for that was a bit excessive, but the point is I was disciplined. And I can pretty much name everything I was disciplined for:
1.     A poor progress report (kindergarten – that one haunts me till today: not so much the spanking, but having to hear the tape constantly of my behavior in class)
2.     Calling out a great deal in school (2nd grade)
3.     Now this is embarrassing: drinking toilet water (going into 3rd grade). Now this one I deserved – even though I didn’t know what I was doing was wrong.
4.     Shoplifting (8th grade – this was instilled me in my the one extended family member mentioned above who was never disciplined).
5.     Of course, we have the lies and small things (most brought on by the undisciplined family member).

I didn’t bring all of that up to glorify the wrongs I did or to call my family out; but I wanted to say that I did receive love and discipline as a child, and it made me the man I am today. If I didn’t get the discipline, I would be a hot mess as an adult.

Oh, I will mention this since I’m an advocate for abuse survivors: both of the family members mentioned above were involved in my abuse. Now that I’m older, I’m able to understand and to pray for them (as well as forgive them).

So, this blogpost is important to me because if a child is not given love and discipline, we’re going to have adults who feel they’re entitled and just downright spoiled brats!