What kind of parenting and discipline did you experience growing up? How did it feel to live as part of your family? What was the emotional set-point of your house?
Do you automatically conjure images of belts and wire hangers? Or punishment, blame, shame or guilt?
Did you feel loved, noticed, important or were you subjected to a constant stream of raised eyebrows and threats to your teen freedom? Or maybe, when you think back on your childhood, you remember a bit of both. Have you ever wondered about the intentions of traditional parenting discipline?
Merriam-Webster's dictionary lists the definition of discipline as:
2. obsolete: instruction
3. a field of study
4. training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
Why is punishment listed as the first definition and the Latin root meaning to teach has become obsolete?
I suspect that this description perfectly mirrors the current mainstream thinking surrounding parenting and discipline. In an attempt to modify behavior and instill sound morals, generation after generation has passed down discipline advice embedded in a dominant parenting style.
A short-sighted cycle of punishments and rewards, dangling carrots and taking away privileges, love, attention or cherished belongings has left long-term implications.
This philosophy of discipline has not taken us very far.
We are only a shift in perspective away from the kind of results we want - IF parents, teachers and caregivers could begin to re-associate the word discipline with its root: instruction, to teach.
We need to re-imagine our relationships with our children and infuse our parenting and discipline strategies with empathy, tolerance, and with a focus on teaching skills - not stomping out behaviors we don't like.
Ultimately, we want to teach our children how to live in the world and how to relate authentically - explore with caution but without fear, be creative, compassionate, learn appropriate expressions of emotion and how to think for themselves. It is time we accept that we cannot achieve this by ordering our children into compliance or forcing our will.
It is only through understanding and strengthening the relationship that change will come.
So, why do we continually reduce our parenting to discipline techniques that control and manipulate unnecessarily?
Why do we feel we need to constantly evaluate children's behavior as good or bad?
I know you want to give your child the best opportunity to grow into a self-reliant, happy adult!
HOW? REMOVE your obstacles - they are named - blame, shame, judgment and guilt!
The child, especially, learns to become the kind of
human being that he or she has experienced.
- Ashley Montagu
There are core differences between the way the Old Parenting Paradigm (Traditional) views parenting discipline and the way the New Parenting Paradigm (Conscious) views it. It is necessary to explore these concepts in order to shift your thinking about child rearing. Read more >>
The brain science surrounding child development has exploded in the last 15 years. It is almost impossible to continue perpetuating the negative cycles of the traditional paradigm once you understand how and why your child acts the way s/he does. Read more >>
The first question most parents ask after learning about Conscious Parenting is "Okay I get it, I'm on board, I want to be conscious - but HOW? What do I do now?" Read more >>
Forcing children to obey our wishes or else face an unimaginable array of consequences or uncontrollable emotions WON'T work! Put cooperation ahead of control. Read more >>
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