Oct 12, 2008

Strong Willed Child 2

The second chapter talks about Shaping the will. It touches about to spank or not to spank J It began with the six broad guidelines which are as below:

First: Define the Boundaries Before They are Enforced
- Establish reasonable expectation and boundaries in advance.
- Child should know what is and what is not acceptable behavior before held responsible for those rules
- This will eliminate overwhelming sense of injustice that a youngster feels when he is slapped or punished for his accidents, mistakes and blunder
- IF you haven’t DEFINE it – Don’t ENFORCE it!

Second: When Defiantly Challenged, Respond with Confident Decisiveness
- Once a child know what to be expected, they are held accountable for behaving accordingly
- Most children will assault the authority of their elders and challenges their right to lead.
- Little child will consider his parents’ wishes and defiantly choose to disobey
- When nose-to-nose confrontation occurs between generations, it is extremely important for the adult to win decisively and confidently
- Child make it clear that he is looking for a fight, his parents should not disappoint him
- When parents consistently loses those battles, resorting to tears and screaming and other evidence of frustration, some dramatic changes take place in the way they are “seen” by their children.
- Instead of being secure and confident leaders, they become spineless jellyfish who are unworthy of respect or allegiance

Third: Distinguish between Willful Defiance and Childish Irresponsibility
- A child should not be spanked for behavior that is not willful defiant.
- Behavior such as forget to feed the dog, lost their bicycle and etc are most common among the childhood. Those are a type of mechanism that immature mind have to protect from anxieties and pressure in adult life.
- We must be gentle to the children as they go through these. Should teach them to do better.
- IF they failed to respond to our patient instruction, then appropriate defined consequences being administer to the children. Example: using their allowance to pay for the things they lost it.
- Childish irresponsibility is different from willful defiance, and should be handled more patiently.

Fourth: Reassure and Teach After the Confrontation is Over
- After a time of conflict during which parent has demonstrated his right to lead, especially those result in tears for the child, the youngster (2-7 or older) may want to be loved and reassured.
- REMEMBER to always accept them and hold them close. Tell them how much you love them. Explain to them why he was punished and how he can avoid punishment the next time.
- Communication at this moment builds love, fidelity and family unity.
- Pray with the Child at that time, admitting to God that we have all sinned and no one is perfect. Divine forgiveness is a marvelous experience, even for a very young child.

Fifth: Avoid Impossible Demands
- Be absolutely sure that your child is capable of delivering what you require.
- Know your child capability through understanding their strength and weakness.
- These impossible demand will put the child in an un resolved conflict which lead to no way out for them.
- It also bring inevitable damage to human emotional apparatus.

Sixth: Let Love be Your Guide!
- A relationship that is characterized by genuine love and affection is likely to be a healthy one, even though some parental and errors are inevitable

With the six guideline above as our background, we turn our attention to the specific tools and techniques for shaping the will. The author did discuss on the different views of the other research on violence.

Dr Dobson did talk about corporal punishment view of Dr. Valusek on spanking teach children to hit and hurt others. And it also depicts corporal punishment as a hostile physical attack by an angry parent whose purpose is to damage or inflict harm on his little victim. (That is called child abuse, not teaching)

However, corporal punishment in the hand of a loving parent is altogether different in purpose and practice. It is a teaching tool by which harmful behavior is inhubited, rather than a wrathful attempt by one person to damage another. One is an act of love; the other is an act of the hostility, and they are as different as night and day.

Spanking is not teaching your child to hit other. Try think of your child put his hand onto the hot stove, you will bet he will never put his hand on the stove again. He does not become violent person because of the stove, but he learned a valuable lesson from the pain. Similarly, when he falls out of his high chair, or smash his finger in the door or being bitten by a grumpy dog, he learns about the physical danger in his world. Those bumps and bruise throughout the childhood are nature’s way of teaching him what to treat with respect. They don’t damage his self-esteem. They do not make him vicious. They merely acquaint him with reality. As a result, appropriate spanking from a loving parent provides the same result. It tells him there are not only physical dangers to be avoided, but he must steer clear of some social traps as well (such as selfishness, defiance, dishonesty, unprovoked aggression, and etc)

Spanking is to be reserved for use in response to willful defiance, whenever it occurs! Not as last resort as Dr Valusek said. It is much more effective to apply it early in the conflict, while the parent’s emotional apparatus is still under control, than after ninety minutes of scratching and clawing. In fact, child abuse is more likely to occur when a little youngster is permitted to irritate and agitate and sass and disobey and pout for hours until finally the parent’s anger reaches a point of explosion where anything can happen.

Human beings are not mice, and it is naïve to equate them simplistically. Obviously, a child is capable of rebellious and defiant attitudes which have no relevance to a puzzled mouse sitting at the crossroads in a maze. Dr Dobson agree that it would not help a child to learn by shocking them for each mispronounced word. On the other hand, deliberate disobedience involves the child’s perception of parental authority and his obligations to accept it.

If punishment doesn’t influence human behavior, then the rules in this world are not efficient. Jails as well as police are not required. Suffice it to say at this point that a child is fully capable of discerning whether his parent is conveying love or hatred. This is why youngster who knows he deserve a spanking appears almost relieved when it finally comes. Rather than being insulted by the discipline, he understands its purpose and appreciates the control it gives him over his own impulses.

Dr Dobson shares this story illustrated below:
A five year old son was disobeying in a restaurant. This lad was sassing his mother, flipping water on his younger brother, and deliberately making a nuisance of himself. After four warnings which went unheeded, the father took his son by the arm and marched him to the parking lot where he proceeded to administer a spanking. Watching this episode was a meddling woman who had followed them out of the restaurant and into the parking lot. When the punishment began, she shook her finger at the father and screamed, “leave that boy alone! Turn him loose! If you don’t stop I’m going to call the police!” The five-year-old, who had been crying and jumping, immediately stopped yelling and said to his father in surprise, “what’s wrong with that woman, Dad?” He understood the purpose for the discipline, even if the “rescuer” didn’t.

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