Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child. Discipline is guidance. If there is love, there is no such thing as being too tough with a child.-Bette Davis
You may or may not have seen the video that has since gone viral on YouTube of the father who reads a letter that his daughter had placed on Facebook to him and her mother writhe with disrespect and profanity. She had really no intention of having her parents read the letter, but having placed it on Facebook for all of her friends to see, come on, we all know that sooner or latter it will get around. After reading her letter on the video, a form of discipline that he chose was to shoot a round of bullets into her computer and letting her know that she will have to get her own computer and pay a dollar for every bullet he had shot. (see YouTube video)
Needless to say, this has caused a great deal of controversy and went on to occupy a spot on HLN, not to mention a visit by the Child Protection Agency, and the police. When asked what he might have done differently on his public disciplinary act he simply stated that he would have most likely not have been holding a cigarette and may have dressed better! Interestingly enough the number of “likes” of his disciplinary action way out number the “dislikes”.
I wanted to weigh in here from my perspective having raised 6 children of my own, I am a believer in discipline as long as, as Bette Davis is quoted as saying, “if there is love”. In today’s society, mom and dad are for the most part pretty tied up at work to be able to stay a float as a family. Some struggle to make ends meet, but then there are also those who are out to be “well off” and place an emphasis on having material goods and the way that they show their “love” is by buying a lot of “things” for their children. While I believe it is nice to provide children with, not only their needs but some of their wants as well, I believe that this can never be replaced with the time that you spend with your child.
I have, and have always had, a wonderful rapport with all of my children. We made it a point to spend days out together, do fun and exciting things together, even if it were simply a day at a park without having to shell out a wad of money, but the point was to be together. Having been blessed with a good line of communication, when it came time (And it ALWAYS does!) to have to discipline them for something that they may have said or done that needed to be addressed, for the most part it was received with respect. (Not always immediately). The point here being, IF you love your child, and reassure this through genuine actions of being there when it counts, your discipline will bring about positive fruit. If not, you can expect further rebellion.
Now, all this said, I don’t know the gentlemen in this video personally. I can’t say that he has had a great rapport with his daughter. I am not sure if this will bring about the fruit that he is hoping, but I do believe that, despite the way his discipline was delivered, he needed to step in to discipline her and that is why he has received more “likes” than “dislikes”. Unfortunately, we have lost a good balance to discipline, much thanks to those who have abused the practice by being too harsh and even cruel towards their children. But as is the case in practically everything in life, a proper balance will most likely bring about the desired results.
What are your thoughts?