Sunday, September 9, 2007

Actions Speak Louder then Words

A question was raised by one of our readers, "when does discipline become abuse?" This is no clear cut answer, as we step into that arena we view varied cultural, religious and different gauges of morality. To bring a clear vision of what is acceptable I found that we must review what our responsibilities are to raising our children.
1) Love, where love flourishes a child grows. Exactly how we show love and give love will also vary.
2) Provide, a child should be cared for with a secure home setting one that provides adequate shelter, warmth in winter, food , water, clothing , medical care and the necessities to take them from home to the outside world.Home should be the safe haven from the the outside world, a place where the feel safe.
3) Education, we should teach children responsibilities that fit their age group and provide them with the outreach to learn.
4) Survival skills, include love, comfort, understand, education, security,
safe environment.

Parents should disagree behind close doors but bring unity to discipline in front of the children. I imagined the question that was proposed was where do you draw the line with physical punishment?. Personally I don't believe in physical punishment, a child is no different then an adult. I say if you do something that someone doesn't like and your adult and they hit you it is called assault and battery charge, so why would it be right to physically hurt a child when you don't like something?Usually it is a parents lack of parenting skills, temper that has a parent striking out against a child.

So what is unacceptable discipline? Taking away the necessities of life are surely unacceptable, instead of taking away give more time, talk with children, teach by example and above all listen to a child's cry for help. A parent is the first teacher a child will encounter. You are forming a platform for the future.

Depending upon the age of the child, discipline varies in very young children and even in ages of young adults time out works, it gives them to calm down, to think of their actions and encourages a calm. Firm discipline is another way of dealing with situations that are not warranted, in this area you can take away a luxury something they enjoy that is not necessary for life. This brings awareness to an unwanted situation. Most importantly communicate, communication is necessary to perform a parenting job properly.
There is no such thing as a perfect parent and no two child rearing situations are indentical. Asks your self before you discipline, as an adult would I like that done unto me?.Simple rule" do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Children are not complicated they demand love and love is a warm and happy setting in which to grow up.
When my children of all ages sit down beside me in the evening and talk of school, their day and what is happening in their life that gives me a sense of pride for we have gained mutual respect for one another.

Child abuse and neglect are defined by Federal and State laws. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is the Federal legislation that provides minimum standards that States must incorporate in their statutory definitions of child abuse and neglect. The CAPTA definition of "child abuse and neglect" refers to:
"Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm"

We have a saying around our house that we used and awful lot when our children were growing up. " If you think it's wrong, it's wrong." That is true for parents as well as children if a situation enters your mind and you have to second guess then chances are don't do it.

Actions speak louder then words, a child will learn ten fold from what you do then what you say.


Matty said...

Good post. I like what you said about hitting an adult is 'assault' hitting a child is 'discipline'. How true!
Another form of abuse is giving your children Ritalin where it is not needed....not to calm the child but to calm the parent & schools. Usually, bad parenting is the cause.
Have a good week!

Children with out voices said...

Hi Matty,
Thank you for your response to a common problem. We live in a drug cultural world and that includes physician prescribed drugs. It is unfortunate that time has become unreachable commodity for many parents. I hear so many who say we can't make ends meet if we don't both work full time jobs. There is no treasure more valuable then reaching out and hugging a child. When my first child was born, I was employed and brought home more money then my husband. Like a game of tennis hitting back and forth I questioned what was right for me and I understand that what was right for me might not be right for other parents. But one thought and one thought only crossed my mind, if my child falls in day care, who kisses his or her boo boo? That alone made me take time off to raise my children. We struggled did without, but one thing each morning I sang my children awake and each night I read them stories to bed and when they needed someone to listen and I was so exhausted that I had to lay down, they would lay across my bed and tell me the adventures they experienced in the day. They are not perfect but they are great kids and I know that I have done everything possible to give them the necessary tools to succeed in a already difficult world. I do realize that every family situation is different and so I think each parent should ask before bringing a child into this world what is it they want for that child and what is it they expect to give. My son and his wife are having their second child they said that florida is a high cost of living and they both need to work. I said you knew that before you chose to have a second child. They are now shifting their work schedules so they can be their for the child. I think at least for the first few years that it is so important for that bonding stage. A woman need not give up a career but work into her parenting decisions. It is a difficult day and age, or is it? Not uncommon for a couple to have 3 vehicles,and several tv's in the house. I find that more means less time together. Everyone can watch a different show, travel separtely and have their own bed rooms family night is becoming a rarity.