Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Discipline--Such an Ugly Word

As I mentioned before...other than that first horrific year with The Beast, who refused to sleep through the night and demanded CONSTANT attention while awake, she has been a rather easy child. She is thoughtful and kind , lazy at school, but so smart that the teachers rarely notice... generally a very good girl with just that kooky streak which is fine since we live in this artsy-fartsy town where kookiness is strived for....

So discipline is rarely an issue in our family and the reason for this, other than The Beast’s naturally good nature, is that I have always taken my childrearing clues from Ms. Church-Lady. She was not always Ms. Church-Lady, but that is another story. Ms. Church-Lady is a disciplinarian, but you would never know it. Never a yell, never a dramatic exit with a screaming child, never a threat.

I first witness Ms. Church-Lady ‘s technique with her oldest daughter. The child was young at the time—maybe six and she was good...very good...and charming... A LOT of fun..really everything you would want in a child.

We were up late with the child and the child was getting a little...just a little...loud. Nothing that I would notice, but a certain pitch was hit and I saw Ms. Church-Lady’s index finger go up and she called to her child, gently,--”one” The child looked up, acknowledge the finger and continued to have fun, but more quietly.

A little while later the noise level was breached again and again the child was alerted with a peace sign-”two.” said Ms. Church Lady.

I turned to Ms. Church-Lady and said—”how far do you count and what happens when you stop.”

“Three is the limit—when she gets to three she loses TV for a week.”

“Seems sort of harsh” I said.

“I know,” she said, “it is very harsh FOR ME, but you have got to do what you’ve got to do—there is nothing worse than having a brat around the house—creating a spoiled brat can ruin a lifetime. Besides a week without TV is not going to kill the child—she will just read more “

I watched the child. She was happy as can be. Not threatened, not confined by some brutal force...happy and comfortable and loved. Discipline is not about force or yelling or threatening it is all about attention...it is all about giving the child attention.

I am watching you. I love you. I am watching you because I love you.

1 comment:

Proud Procrastinator said...

So true. It amazes me how those moms that need provide long explanations of why their little monster can't jump on your couch or do watercolors on your coffee table, are the same ones that think nothing of plopping in front of the television for hours. Just say no to things they can't do but can't understand, but enjoy them as much as possible is the best policy I think.