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Parenting, Punishment And Discipline.
Hello you guys and welcome back to my blog. My name is Laraddiji. If you’re here for the first time, you’re very welcome to this family. Did you get a chance to see the last video I did on sexual assault? I applaud you if you did but if you haven’t, you may want to check it out. Don’t forget to like this post and subscribe if you’ve been inspired by what you’ll read. Today, it’s all about Living In Peace. I’ll be talking about some different styles of parenting, the art of punishment and discipline. Well, let’s get to it.
Have you ever thought about this… How can some parents communicate with their children without actually opening their mouth? (and not in an abusive kind of way) especially in African homes. I’m sure you’ve had an instance where this was an issue. What went through your mind? Let’s imagine this … Your parents are in the bedroom and you are called upon or summoned as I called it back then, and that faithful day was the end of your academic school year. “Jordin, come in the room, we want to talk to you.” What goes through your mind as you go see your parents?
Before we get to the juicy stories, let’s first define discipline, it is ‘the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience’ while punishment is ‘the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense.’ We need to understand the meaning of abuse as well to understand the spectrum of training kids. Abuse is the ‘cruel and violent treatment of a person or animal’ Ok, we got that out-of-the-way.
So I lived in Nigeria for the first yrs of my life before moving here to the States and I love reminiscing about my childhood especially the discipline and punishment aspects of both when I was in Nigeria and the discipline change I experienced when I started living here. If you’ve ever lived in an African home, Nigerian one to be exact or maybe you visited your friend at the wrong time, as in when the friend you came to visit is being punished, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
It could be any one of these types. i) Stoop down ii) kneel down and close your eyes iii) good old spanking with a ruler, a special cane iii) pull your ear and bend down like a monkey iv) straight up tree branch as a switch, that’s what they call it here and fortunately we had lots of trees in our house then. Those were my parents’ favorite. Over here though, the types of punishment I was given was modified when I started living here because here spanking a child is often associated with Child abuse but we called it good old discipline back home.
There were times I would be called into ‘the room’ and it felt like a LIFE sentence, it was like all the old punishments combined. I would’ve asked myself a gazillion questions before I finished taking the required couple of steps it would’ve taken me to walk from the living room to my parents’ room. I passed out once when I got into the room, I was so stressed out from being scared of the situation I had put myself in due to my lying.
The fear of the punishment I received back home was still manifesting here even though the style had been modified due to the country we were in. I remember vividly when I was still in middle school, in Nigeria, we called it elementary school, I got spanked for spending the money someone gave me, instead of waiting to tell my parents about it. These are some of the questions I asked myself after remembering those youthful times of my life and some punishments I have had and I hope I can get some insight from you guys as well.
I Is this fear factor, you know you’ve made bad decisions already before it’s pointed out? Like that time I lied I was in the school library when I was really at the movies with a guy and my parents wanted to pick me up at the school library. I mean I was already caught, so the realization of being caught in that lie already has punished me, should I really be punished some more?
II Why should I be scared in my own house? Well, when you’ve done something wrong, you should expect consequences, they’re usually not good, that’s why they’re called consequences, they’re not fun.
III What have I done? or What have I not done? The dilemma of every child that is called upon. Usually if you have a clean bill of heart, then you shouldn’t question yourself, but most of the times, we do the opposite of what our parents say, so keep asking yourself what you’ve done or not done. If you’ve taken out that garbage you were re told to take out, you’ll be confident they’re calling you for your reward.
IV Were we talking too loud? Did I forget to do something? You question your actions And it gives you a kind of intuition to so some things before you’re even told so that you can enjoy yourself at the end of the day
V What types of punishment have you been dished and which ones have you dished out? I’ve actually tried not to dish out punishment to my kids but trust me, they need discipline and guided punishment, they need to understand there are consequences for their actions whether good or bad. So I do use time out, and occasional taps and then follow-up with a rationale and a hug. Now they tell mummy, oh, he’s misbehaving, kids know trust me, once you’ve laid down the foundation, they will follow it.
VI Time out anyone? Does it really work? Well, Americans will say 3 mins time out for 3 year olds, I’m still learning this concept but back home will that work? We believe as christians and as the bible says, spare the rod and spoil the child, We believe, when done correctly, that you need to beat that disobedient spirit out of that child.
VII Take away all the things that give me pleasure for an amount of time? I can only speak for myself, but most of the time, we didn’t have toys or games or things of that nature growing up, we had books we would’ve been reading so they wouldn’t take that away. The only thing would probably be watching TV.
VIII What are the long-term consequences of some punishments? Anxiety, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, lack of trust, but I will tell you honestly, if you left your children to do what they wanted to do most of the time, then this list will be the least of their worries. I’m sure people in jail now would wish someone spoke some truths in their lives when they were younger or maybe they did but didn’t listen.
XI What type of discipline/punishment really gets you to behave when you were a kid? Punishment when done without wisdom and understanding makes you afraid of the world. I remember when I attended Primary school back home, If we get to school after a certain time, there would be a teacher or even the principal herself at the gate, as you enter, you would get 6-12 strokes of the cane. I felt so bad for my little brother at the time, because we would’ve walked a long way just to get to the school and then on top of that get punished before the start of the school day. There would’ve been a different understanding and outcome if they had asked where we lived and how they could’ve possibly helped us get to school on time and safely. What happened was, we ended up using our school `pocket-money meant for food for transportation instead since there was no way we would get to school earlier unless we left home earlier which would’ve been in the dark because we lived very far. To “behave”, we just found other solutions or alternatives to not be punished even if it meant sacrificing something.
X What are you thinking of when you have been punished or disciplined for doing something wrong? It took me a while to understand this one, for instance, let’s say I got punished for not doing what I was told to do, for a second, I would be angry with my mom or my dad or my teacher because they punished me but then I thought about it, I was actually getting mad at myself for putting myself in that situation. So in the end, I put myself in that position, not anybody else. If I had done what I was told to do, i could’ve avoided the consequences. One thing I sometimes don’t like hearing, especially from watching American life here is that they’ll tell kids it’s not their fault about something that they did caused. Or go to your room and think about what you’ve done.
I was rarely punished when I moved here many years ago but I wont lie, during my college years, I started misbehaving, you know staying out late, hanging out with my school friends, well basically trying to find myself and find my way in this life. But since you know a lie is a lie whether big or small, I was caught in one day. All I heard was “Lara, come here.” my dad had called me into his room, my mum was there too and oh my goodness, I almost peed my pants that day.
It’s not like he was going to spank me, I was a grown lady by then but it was just the fear of what was + the fear of what I had done that overwhelmed me. You know that fear that Adam had in the bible in the beginning when he ate the forbidden fruit with Eve, and forgot how to answer a simple geographical question, when they knew they had done something wrong and weren’t worthy to be in God’s presence, that’s kind of how I felt. Adam where are you, but instead he said I am naked. He could have said, I’m hiding, or I’m in the bush but instead the lie clouded his judgement.
So I got to researching, I’m sure you’ve come across or heard of these types of parenting styles before, they are from verywell.com and are authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved parenting. My parents were definitely authoritative and authoritarian parents, my dad mostly, I think my mom is more of a permissive parent, but there’s a balance. My dad believes strongly in the fact that discipline is very important in a child’s life and more-so when kids are very young and are starting to know what’s right and wrong so that when they’re older, they’ll make better choices in life.
The advantages of having an authoritative parent is that the children will be more independent, will have a high self-esteem, low likelihood to be physically aggressive, and will have an overall good mental health. As I got older, I had a better understanding of why my parents were very strict back home, the discipline I was exposed to helped shaped me into who I am today as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, in-law, aunt, and the woman I am today. America will say don’t abuse your children, there’s discipline and then there’s abuse. What happened in California with the couple who had 13 children is flat-out child abuse, being chained to beds, being fed little to no food and you can just imagine the consequences of what they experienced will be for the rest of their lives.
I have three children now but when it was just the twins, it was challenging, talk less of having thirteen, I think having more than 4-5 children is child abuse in and of itself unless there’s documented and constant assistance, trust me, raising kids can change you mentally if I’m not being a bit overtly dramatic.
Recently, I have questioned and talked to my parents about their choice of discipline when my siblings and I were growing up, and how it has affected me over time. I realized as I got older that the physical disciple I got when I was younger made me less open, an introvert to an extent, I had low self-esteem, and I lacked self-confidence to a point, (I believe my moderate acne also had a role to play in my confidence). However I overcompensated for a lot of my weaknesses. Now that I have kids, I am very conscious on how I discipline my kids because they will tell me about it in the future in how it has shaped them just like I did to my parents, hopefully they’ll have positive comments. yea right. Nobody likes to be disciplined or punished.
Let us remember that at the end of the day, discipline and listening to our children is very important to our kids mentally well-being. How we dish out discipline requires a lot of wisdom. We also need to understand that imposing the old ways of living in this new era we are living in will not work, “Ko le werk”. The times have changed and what we were exposed to when we were growing up is totally different from today so let us educate ourselves and discipline our children accordingly.
Please, let us respect ourselves as parents so that we don’t lose our rights over our children. Let’s stop giving ourselves high blood pressure for no reason. God willing, we are on this earth for an average of 75-80yrs, let’s not waste any of that precious time on things that don’t help our children grow positively in some way. You have a decision to make, if not now, maybe later, but the ball is in your court.
Thank you very much for staying with me till the end, I hope you’ve learnt a lot today. And that’s all for now you guys, ask questions if you have any, leave a comment as well. Also, like this blog post by rating it 5 star. To get notified of new posts, why wait? Subscribe now. I’m hoping to read from you beautiful people very soon. Don’t forget to love your neighbors as yourself. Remember, to RestInPeace, we all need to be LivingInPeace, Stay blessed.