Almost every day we hear about problems with undisciplined children. We have witnessed an incident where a young man killed four of his family members, a student stabbing two teachers and the latest being an incident where a class four child attempted to kill his dad by poisoning his porridge.
The increase in murder cases within our borders perpetrated by teenagers is not only astonishing but depicts failure by the parents and guardians in child upbringing.
There is no universal way of instilling discipline in children but each parent ought to devise the best ways to raise their children to ensure they uphold the norms and values that befit the society. Parents have the role to train their offsprings on matters responsibility and decision making. However, in the current times, it is shocking to see many parents who have absconded their parental duty to teachers and other people of the society while keeping themselves busy with other matters such as jobs and wealth creation.
Abusive parenthood has yielded to criminals, depression, inappropriate sexual behaviour, low self-esteem, and many other vices.
The best time to instil discipline on children is during their early stages of life, unlike most parents who only think of discipline once negative behaviours manifest in the children in their teenage or adult life.
The mode of disciplining children also affects them as they grow. Some parents may take away privileges like watching television or denying them phones and I pads whereas, others prefer to physically spank their children.
Despite researchers recommending a non-violent approach in instilling discipline in kids, i.e., neither physical nor verbal abuse should be applied, I go by the holy books approach of sparing the rod spoils the child. Therefore, parents ought to apply the rod accompanied by love. Caution needs to be observed when using these approaches as physical and verbal abuses have turned some children into violent characters in society. For instance, some children who are constantly beaten at home tend to act out more violently towards peers because they have a feeling that since parents perform violence on them, it is no problem doing the same to others. Abusive parenthood has yielded to criminals, depression, inappropriate sexual behaviour, low self-esteem, and many other vices.
Consistency of punishment is also vital. The goal should always be for the child to know what to expect before doing something wrong.
Parents ought to be serious about bringing up their children. Child training and disciplining must be done early in a child’s life and must be done firm enough to cause proper pain without compromise for foolish parental pity or tearful appeals by the child. Parents ought not to let tears and crying move them, for children quickly learn to beg, plead, promise, cry, and scream to avoid discipline.
My advice to parents: Ignore tears now to save them and avoid much worse crying later. Let the goal of saving your children from hell in life drive them to their duty. True love for children is reflected by correction.
Although there may not be immediate solutions to the growing number of problems with discipline in children, there is enough that we can do now to minimize future problems in our society of growing kids. If Kenyans work together towards developing firm guidelines for disciplining children, then we will be able to decrease the magnitude of the disciplinary problem in our days ahead. Let every citizen remember that discipline begins at home, but it does not end there.