To what extent should a child be disciplined? Is our traditional way of disciplining children still relevant? This father and church elder, gives his views on these and more.
“I am Thomas Ojo, a Christian and an elder in my church. I have one child for now. We are still on the ‘business’, and God is at work.
The saying – “Spare the rod and spoil the child” simply means that a child needs to be disciplined. The moment you refuse to discipline your child, it means you are sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
I believe in the saying because it has biblical support. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Even God chastises us, how much more us? Discipline is important for the growth of a child. So, I believe so much in it.
How do I discipline my child? Well, everything is not beating. Sometimes, I ask her to lie on the floor. Children like freedom, and when that freedom is taken away, it is very painful for her. In less than three minutes, she’s already apologizing for her actions. Everything does not require beating.
Using a cane to discipline a child is not an abuse, but there must be a limit.
When you discipline, it is for the purpose of correction, but when you abuse it is very wide. Some parents have sexual relations with their children, some beat their children to the extent of using razor blade. Those are abuse; They are evil and out of place.
Anything you do that will make the child have inferiority complex or lose self-esteem or confidence, is no longer discipline. There is a way you discipline a child and be friendly with the child.
Discipline affects the child positively in the future. When we were growing up, my mother was a disciplinarian. She beat us and pinched us. Today, I have never regretted it. She caned us and showed us love at the same time. My mother gave us what she felt would make us happy. She made sure that we were not put to shame in the midst of our friends. We knew where to draw the line. Discipline is good. When I was in primary school, she asked me to write 14 and I wrote 41…I believe I was not paying attention. She used the cane on me that and my brain opened. The demon left. I usually got confused then. For instance, when I was told to write 18, I would write 81. Instead of 10, I would write 01. Since then, I have been better.
Discipline is key. The bible says, here is something in the mind of children and the only way to remove it is by chastising them. It can be in any form: Kneel down and raise your hand, face the wall…but there are things a child would do that require caning. A brilliant child will surely play rough or be stuborn. The mind of a child is like tabular rasa; a table on which nothing is ever written. If you don’t guide that thing, the child will be a bad child.
If I lived abroad, where their method is different from that in Nigeria, I will still be able to train my child. I will make her understand early that we are Yorubas, Nigerians. I have seen people who have disciplined their children even though they are abroad. I will not overindulge my child because I am in a foreign land. It doesn’t work that way. We would make them know where we are from, our culture…it would be the same.
Parents disciplining their children using physical punishment is no longer as prevalent as it was in the past. Times are changing, and children of nowadays and the things they are exposed to are different from the way things were in the past. A lot of parents have devised another means of disciplining their children. It seems to be working out well for some. I cannot say for everybody.
There isn’t any much difference between how my parents disciplined me and how I discipline my child. They disciplined me with love, and I do the same thing with my daughter.
The way my parents disciplined me made me who I am today. I believe I have manners, which I pass on to my child. I am confident, well-behaved, and bold. I do not take nonsense from people, just the way my mother never took nonsense from anyone. I believe it has impacted me positively.
Mr Thomas ended by mentioning that aside discipline, ensuring that a child is properly raised and well-behaved takes prayer, mentorship, and God’s grace.