Thursday, July 3, 2008

Frustration over Discipline

After reading these two articles: Court overturns father's grounding of 12-year-old and Canadian Psychic Accuses Mother of Child Molestation, I wonder how many times that we don’t give parents enough credit for handling their own children. After a day of frustration, I have heard many teachers complain that the parents have no control over their children. Then I see articles like the ones above and it makes me rethink this opinion. If the court system is going to undermine the parents about discipline, what is a parent to do?

As a parent I have grounded my children many times for inappropriate things they had done. I admit to spanking my children when they were young also. Now spanking could be considered abuse to some but I feel that is a matter of opinion. Of course my wonderful husband tells me to calm down because both of these stories only tell one side of the story and we don’t know all the facts. That may be true, then the media needs to be more responsible when reporting this information. When students see things like this in the news, many may see it as a way to manipulate their parents. This can cause many parents to feel helpless in situations when they need to be strong and firm. I understand in the second story that the teacher was forced to report this but stories like this make me glad I’m not raising young children today.

A few months ago on our local news, a man was arrested for child neglect. Apparently his 13 year old son backtalked to the dad and the dad put the teen out of the car about 1 mile from his house and told him to walk home. Keep in mind that this young man has walked this route and area many times on his own. Instead he chose to go to the police department and whine about how he was an abused child and the dad gets arrested. And as teachers we wonder why this teen talks disrespectfully to his teachers. If this teen goes into school and talks disrespectfully to the teachers, hopefully the school will take action. How can the parents support the school? Apparently they can’t ground the child because the court won’t let them. What will happen when the courts start saying that schools can’t discipline students for inappropriate behavior? Who will teach these students that there are consequences for their actions if there are no consequences for their actions? How do we help these students be successful in the real world? I don’t have the answers but the questions have me pretty frustrated.

Photo credit: Why or why? by cayusa

9 comments:

Transcendental Success said...

I do find the story of the Quebec courts over-ruling a parent's discipline to be way overstepping the bounds. I too agree with you that kids, and adults, need all kinds of discipline that they aren't getting.

Might be an example of a slippery-slope. Each generation of rules extends the last by a little bit and before too long we have a terrible mess.

HappyChyck said...

I am not sure if situations like these are common or uncommon, but these stories breed fear in parents and teachers--and they certainly give young people some bad ideas.

loonyhiker said...

transcendental success: I think society operates on a sine curve and hopefully will come back around. I can't stop hoping at least.

loonyhiker said...

happychyck: Young people get enough bad ideas as it is from movies and TV. We sure don't need to encourage them from news stories.

roberto matosas said...

Pat:
I need your help. What books do you recommend me about teaching? I am living in Veracruz, México, and I am a teacher. Three or four books that you think is important to read.

Thank you so much!

Roberto

roberto matosas said...

Pat:
I need your help. What books do you recommend me about teaching? I am living in Veracruz, México, and I am a teacher. Three or four books that you think is important to read.

Thank you so much!

Roberto

Sbrown said...

When my children were teens, they once came home and told me that the local sheriff had spoken that day to the entire school, explaining how and when to "report" child abuse or neglect to the authorities. Then the sheriff began to describe all of the various examples that were described as abuse.
After telling me all of what they'd heard at school, one of my children then replied, with a little slyness in her grin, "Well, if I don't like something you tell me to do, or I think you are being too mean to me if you ground me, then I can just call the authorities on you." Without changing the tone of my voice, or expressing any emotion, I replied, "Well, you do have the power to do that, but if you DO that, the authorities will probably come and take you away from Mommy and put you in a foster home with strangers you don't even KNOW, and then you won't know HOW you might be treated." Her eyes got a little wide and scared as she realized what the potential consequences of a decision like that would mean to her... I never heard another comment on that topic ever again throughout all their teen years, even when they were lectured to or grounded.
The authorities may of necessity tell all children what to do in case of abuse, and that is important. But parents need not allow their children to manipulate them with that threat. Try calmly but firmly explaining the long-range consequences to them. It is the REAL world.

I also confessed to spanking my children a few times when they were very young. There is a huge difference between "abuse", such as being beaten, and a spanking. A couple of swats on a diapered 2 year-old's behind can stress the absolute importance of being told, "You CAN NOT go out to play in the street!" (It's also rather neglectful to let a child get run over in the street, isn't it?)SBrown

loonyhiker said...

Roberto: Let me think about my favorite books and I'll get back to you on this. There are so many out there but I'll let you know.

loonyhiker said...

sbrown: Great story! I remember my mom telling me that if I wanted to go that route, she would give them something to take me away for and she never said anything she didn't mean. Being the youngest and most spoiled, I was not spanked much and that scared the crud out of me! I never threatened that again.