Fresh Eyes on the Discipline of the Child

the preparation of the teacher (12)


One of the main reasons why it is important in our settings to prepare as an adult to parent or educate a child is because of the issue of discipline.

What is discipline?

The dictionary defines discipline as:- The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

Here are some synonyms :-

control, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand

training, teaching, instruction, drill, drilling, exercise

use of punishment

self-control, self-discipline, self-government, control, controlled behavior, self-restraint

good behavior, orderliness, obedience

One Aha moment I had when I was training to be an educator was when I realized the relationship between Freedom, the Free Will and obedience.

It is important to know that when we try to control the actions of the other person, be they a child or adult, it is a negative action, depending on the person’s character they may obey or rebel.

On the other hand if you tell a person what to do and why it should be done, you also spend time explaining the consequences of not doing it right, most of the time after lots of opportunities to you get self-discipline especially when the consequences you spoke of are now staring them in the face.

Use of punishment seems to be our favorite use of discipline, but does it work?

As you can see it is the only synonym with no extension. It’s a stand alone!

I have said this over and over again, and so have many others as well. If all this strict use of authority, firm hand in regulating our behavior, the drills and exercises were so effective why is Nigeria the way it is today? Why is such a mega religious society so devoid of heart and ethics?

Sometimes I think about our country, it’s riches and resources, then look at how most of our people are suffering and I am so sad. Yet we believe that we turned out right!

Even though we may think we are doing fine, it does not really mean we are. Sometimes the rebellion comes to the most unexpected ones as we struggle to have our voices heard.

If this is where we are then we need to take a step backwards, and examine ourselves.

We must realize that the best way to change our world and prepare our children for their future is to believe in their ability to make the right choices. Discipline includes teaching, training, instruction and self-discipline.

Self-discipline is the most positive way to help another person reach their fullest potential. When we are no longer there a child who has learnt to discipline themselves will do far better than a child who always needs external control and a firm hand to obey the rules.

Discipline requires our trust to allow the child freedom to choose, from this freedom will develop the ability to grow the will to obey, which will lead us up the hill to the disciplined child.

So with  let us start looking at how we can help our children get to the place of a disciplined mind and spirit without control. We will not always be there, remember that. We need them to be disciplined even when you wont be there to see what choices they are making.


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