If you were born during a time when you were physically beaten as a child…you’re my people!
I wasn’t raised in a culture of time-outs, taking electronics away, or writing essays on why I could make better choices.
When I screwed up…I was lovingly (most of the time) physically corrected in a manner that I wouldn’t soon forget.
The boomers didn’t always get everything right, but I appreciated the love my parents put into make sure that I WAS actually disciplined in a way that I was able to connect the dots between my bad choices (behavior/attitude) and the consequences of those choices – discipline.
Now, I don’t disagree that we are living in a different time. Taking a kid’s tablet/ipod/phone away has POWERFUL emotional ties to their behavior and produces a much better result than if you were to take my etch-a-scetch away (or my Rubix cube).
No matter how you choose to discipline, there are a few things that have to happen for it to be REAL discipline.
1. Clear Understanding.
When a child doesn’t know why they are being disciplined, there’s already a problem. They have to have a clear understanding of what behavior/attitude/choice they are being disciplined for and why. Even when I had to wait ALL DAY LONG for my dad to come home and reign the fire of discipline over me (just kidding, my Dad was awesome), I knew what I had done, and why I was going to be disciplined. Even when I entered my tweenager years and my biggest issue was my sarcastic smart mouth, my mother was extraordinarily quick to administer a sharp correction (usually a hand to the back of my head) so that I understood IN THAT MOMENT why I was in trouble. When kids don’t have a clear understanding, your discipline is not doing what you hope it’s doing.