Sharing responsibility of disciplining children

What is discipline?

During their growing up, all children occasionally test parental and adult expectations and authority. In order to grow up to be civilized and polite people, all children have to learn essential lessons from adults to acquire vital behaviors so they will function well in society and mature into responsible adults. It is the hope and desire of all parents that their children will learn to act responsibly, to think for themselves, accept responsibility for their actions, and to show respect for themselves and for other people.

What Do We Mean by Responsibility?

Teaching children is a shared responsibility. Parents, family members, and teachers all contribute in some way to help develop the character of the children in their care. Hopefully, these people have the same objectives in mind when they are teaching and disciplining a child. The old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” is absolutely true. Everyone has to be on the same page so that the child does not receive conflicting messages. Nothing is so undermining as when one parent disagrees with the parenting of the other. Neither is it helpful for parents to take the side of the child when a teacher or a person in authority attempts discipline. Of course, no one should jump to conclusions that the discipline was unjust until they have all the facts. Arguments about fairness should never be discussed in front of the child. Take the child’s side when you are sure of the facts. If you always take the side of the child, whether you are the other parent or an outsider, the child will think they can get away with anything and not have to own up to the consequences of his or her actions.

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