By Uvoh Onoriobe
Charlotte, North Carolina
June 24, 2009
Today I remembered an incident that happened while I was in Junior Secondary 3.
I provoked our math teacher so bad that she felt like tearing me apart. She gave me 24 strokes of the cane. I got up from the table she had laid me with a smile on my face. Alas the smile was short lived. By the time I got to my seat, tears flowed freely from my eyes.
I made efforts to dry my eyes. I can't remember which was more painful- the hurt from my behind or the fact that some of my classmates where rolling on the floor laughing.
I had been disciplined for what she kept repeating- What effrontery!!!
I was used to strokes of the cane from home when ever I behaved badly. I always managed to utter to my “punishers” that it did not hurt. That provoked them to give me more until I pleaded for mercy. Many times I felt they were just been wicked.
Now I have children. I tell them what to do and they look at me and say “Daddy but I don’t want to” I look at them and by reflex I do not spare the rod and spoil the child.
Sometimes I feel bad. They are just kids I reason within me. But they have to be trained to be of good behavior I hear inner me say.
Today I heard Him say “Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.]”Colossians 3:21
I still believe in the ministry of the rod but I am looking for accompanying therapy.
I stumbled across the following techniques prescribed by pediatricians. I am looking into them. So help me God.
* Use distraction to get your child's attention away from inappropriate behaviors.
* Stop inappropriate behaviors with a firm ‘no' while looking your child in the eyes.
* Physically move your child when he is misbehaving, especially if he didn't respond to your firm ‘no.'
* Use extinction to remove attention from undesirable actions. As long as your child can't hurt himself, you can walk away and not give him attention or an audience for acting inappropriately, especially if he is having a temper tantrum. Giving too much attention to your child when he misbehaves can reinforce bad behaviors.
* Use natural consequences (rewards) to let your child learn the results or consequences of his actions. For example, if he throws a toy out the window, then he can't play with it anymore.
* Use logical consequences (rewards), for example, if he doesn't put away his bike, then you will do it, but he won't be able to ride it for the rest of the day.
* Use time-out to remove positive reinforcement or attention when he misbehaves.
* Withholding privileges is a very effective discipline technique, especially for older children. Find things that he likes or especially enjoys (playing video games, renting movies, going to the mall, talking on the phone), and then take it away as a consequence for misbehaving.