The other day I was out with my children. Now, I have 5 of them, so it isn’t always easy. The only way I keep my sanity is to keep them in line. My children are pretty well behaved because that has been expected of them ever since they could understand me, which is pretty young.
Anyway, I was having a problem with one of them, so I called him over to me. About this time, a lady walked by with her child in one of those harness things, and was shocked when she heard me say to my son, “If you can’t obey me, then you will have to hold my hand.” Well, she quickly pointed out to me that my son was not a dog, to which I replied, “Lady, I’m not the one with my kid on a leash.” She quickly turned and went her way.
If I had have told my son that he had to listen to me, that wouldn’t have even slowed her down, but because I used the word obey, she was dumbfounded. And then the light went on. People don’t use that word anymore. I think they should.
You see, I know we are all very busy trying to make everybody equal, but that just doesn’t work. Can you imagine if everyone on the Starship Enterprise was a captain? They would never get anywhere. How about if your child was equal to his or her teacher? I can say with absolute certainty that our children should be beneath us. That means that we should only be their friends afterwe become their parents.
Being a parent, like everything else, has its responsibilities, and one of the most important of these is that we ensure our children can function in society. With that task comes the responsibility that we teach our children that old archaic thing called obedience.
I sometimes laugh and sometimes almost cry when I see the parents around me hooked on ‘time outs’. Have you ever seen the child in the store that is having a tantrum? The ones who need the time out are the parents and those unfortunate enough to witness the whole episode. It amazes me when some parents tell their children to stop, but they don’t. The parent keeps telling them, and the children keep disobeying. I have often wanted to go up to them and tell them that if they disciplined their child, maybe control of the child would be possible.
For a long time, there have been so called child advocates petitioning courts to stop parents from spanking their children. I will tell you right now, they can’t possibly have the welfare of children in mind, as children need rules, and consequences, to learn how to be good citizens. It is not abuse to tell a child that if they cross ‘this’ line, then they will be punished. At that point, it is totally 100% up to the child whether the punishment is worth it. When you raise your children consistently with this principle, you will find that they obey you, and in turn you can spend more time nurturing them and having fun with them, and less time being frustrated to your end.
If a parent tells their child ‘no’, that should be the end of it. When it is not, the child’s nature is to see how far they can bend Mom or Dad. When a parent tries to refrain from disciplining their child, then frustration builds and builds, with the inevitable shouting, yelling, and perhaps physical abuse. Spanking only becomes physical abuse after you lose control and decide to use physical force. You are now striking out in anger, and that is wrong.
If you tell your children what is expected of them, and the consequences of not doing it, then the punishment is their choice, but if you want great kids, it’s worth the time and effort. If you follow this rule consistently, you will end up with great kids who obey you. And boy, won’t they stand out in the mall.