It’s sad that many parents are too afraid to properly discipline their children these days. Fear of social services being called due to well deserved slapped bottom doesn’t exactly help some parents’ sense of power.
When I was young I was fearful of stepping out of line, I respected my parents, and I had very clear boundaries. Even though as a teenager I sometimes felt my parents were at times overly strict, I now understand why and, more importantly, am very grateful for the way they raised me. It is largely because of them that I have always had a healthy relationship with myself and with others. Without their expectancies and firm but fair rearing, I could have trodden a different path in life.
When children are reared ineffectively, they are the ones that suffer. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and this is something that many parents seem to struggle with. Telling your child you want them home by a certain time may not feel fair to them, but as the adult, the parent knows that this is fair to the child. When we are young we don’t have the life experience that helps us to understand why our parents are insisting that we don’t stay out too late, that we study before we go out to play, that we must not talk to strangers, and so on. As adults we cannot expect the child to fully comprehend our viewpoint as some of this knowledge only comes with age. It is, therefore, up to the parent to let the child know what is and is not acceptable. It is up to the parent to safeguard his child, not only in the here and now, but in anticipation of the child’s future too.
Fairly and lovingly disciplining your children from the moment they are born is one of the greatest signs of love and one of the biggest gifts you will ever give them. I know many people who still believe in spanking their child on the nappy, not to hurt (of course), just to startle them to let them know that something was not acceptable. If your children are reared in a firm way from young, it will make your job easier as a parent in the forthcoming years and it will help them to successfully socialise with others.