The Discipline Controversy

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?






4 Replies to “The Discipline Controversy”

  1. I don’t see why nanny states tell us how to raise our kids. We know them better than anyone else does. Of course, I’m firmly and powerfully against abuse and beating, but kids need to be disciplined with love. Parents who aren’t firm can’t make their kids behave in the way they should. I think discipline is a part of good parenting and raising our kids.

    1. Hi Anne! I believe that if you don’t set boundaries and stay consistent with discipline that some people run the risk of losing patience to the point of spanking out of frustration. On the other hand, if it is clear to a chlid what you expect as far as behavior is concerned, and have made it clear through consistently sticking to a certain standard, just one look is sufficient without having to raise your voice or raise an arm. I found as I have shared in the article that it is important to spend quality time with kids. Misbehavior can often come when a child is simply trying to get our attention. What is nanny states? I am not familiar with it, do you meant those reality shows that have a nanny who moves in to try to train parents how to discipline their kids? Thanks for sharing your points!

  2. I …a…am not sure about all this..but undoubtedly discipline is very important. I’m just a 5 yr old mum, so I have much more to learn than comment on such topics and I myself also find this difficult..handling these sharp minds who want logical reasons but many a times just no reason is good enough to convince them, she has an answer to every statement and that scares me..she’s just 5!!Then I peep into my childhood to be able to differentiate that as a child what would I have expected of my parents and try to figure out how to enact. But so many times..all that happens is so quick in a sequence that the Peeping in past session happens when all is over 🙁
    I agree with can just anybody at all..specially strangers come and decide for your child..these small and big screen personalities who come up…read letters or answer to queries based on personal relations. I feel nothing can be kept clearly in just a few lines, there’s always an other side. So, I try to pick gentle advices and pray to God to give me brains enough to be able to judge what to bring into practise. I’d look for more of your comments on this. This is a delicate yet very impt topic indeed 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you Supriya for your visit and comments! I believe that your approach is the right one, and I am responding to both of your comments from the mistakes article and this one. As parents, you have to agree together what your personal moral conviction is in regards to educating your children, you cannot and in my opinion, should not have others from outside move in and make these important decisions for you regarding your children. Children can sense your love for them both when you are being “sweet” with them and also when you have to be stern. No discipline is “fun” for anyone, child or adult alike, but it becomes necessary under certain circumstances. Once the initial embarrassment is past when being corrected, if the the discipline was not done out of a harsh and cruel fashion, 9 times out of ten a person, be they young or even teenager will end up thanking you for the “tough love” that you shared with them. It is simply NOT an easy job to be a parent, and in today’s “muli-medial-fast-pace” internet age, it is even tougher still!

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