Dealing With Defiance In A Child
There is a distinction between normal childishness and willful defiance. Every growing youngster needs space in which to discover, learn, make mistakes, and experience all the other things involved in growing towards maturity.
Children naturally forget to do a household chore every now and then. They spill milk and water… and juice… and Coke… everything! These are part of being a child. They are not trying to be malicious or defiant; they're just learning the ropes. To come down hard on a little one for such actions is unfair. Discipline is inappropriate on these occasions.
Willful defiance is another matter. This refers to a child's deliberate disobedience. Teachers see it in today's classrooms. Merchants face it in their shops. Police officers encounter it on the streets. People are forced to deal with it. Why? Because parents won't.
The permissiveness found in homes today is downright disgusting. It is not uncommon to find children intimidating their parents. Afraid to be strong, hesitant to stand firm against the determined will of their youngster, parents create a domestic setting that becomes unbearable.
Discipline must start early in life. Waiting until your children are in school won't help. The longer you wait to get started, the harder it gets to enforce discipline.
Why start early? Why not wait until the teen years when you can dialogue more intelligently? Because "foolishness" is bound tightly in your child's inner being. Foolishness has disrespect for authority. Determined to go its own way, it resists all reproof. And, remember, all this is bound in the heart of every child. Starting early to shape that foolish will is wise. A child given to foolish ways only accelerates in defiance as time passes.
Thus, parents must not delay the disciplining process. Of course, they must adapt their disciplining procedure according to each child's age. Older children can (and should) be reasoned with… but if you wait to start, it will only get harder.
If discipline is administered correctly, no parent should ever fear it would result to death. It is far different when you hear of a child being abused so severely that the child dies. In this case, it is not proper discipline that was used. It was extreme, uncontrolled action of human insanity. In fact, proper discipline preserves the children from additional heartaches.
A child needs to be dealt with firmly when he has done wrong, but he always needs to know why. It is incorrect and unfair discipline when a child has no idea why he got a spanking.
It is extremely important for parents to remember that as a child grows older, there should be lesser physical punishment and more verbal correction. Once he or she reaches a level of maturity, spanking should be replaced with mere discussion. Your counsel changes from physical to verbal as your child matures.
Verbal correction is not a tongue-lashing. We convince our child verbally that what's wrong cannot be tolerated. Parents should not correct the child to the point that it is synonymous to verbal abuse. You do not discipline a child by putting him further down when he or she makes a mistake.
Perfect children do not live in your home. Neither does perfect parents. Understand that there will be times when you will break your own rules. To live under the assault of constant guilt will do neither you nor your family any good. A family must remain a team. That means you must pull together – flex, adjust, give, and take. When children grow up in a reasonable environment, they feel the freedom to fail without a ton of guilt falling all over them. They also grow up with better memories of how things were in their younger years.