Apply your heart to instruction, And your ears to words of knowledge. Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.
A Current Affair tonight is running a story about "Out of Control" children and their tearful parents. I've just heard a sample from the story on the radio in the car and found myself utterly shocked.
Have you tried smacking your son?
Oh I can't do that, he might not respect me.
Might not respect you? Hello tearful father, you don't have to worry that your son "might not" respect you when the case is that he "does not respect you, NOW". This is what I find almost amazing about modern humanism, this is the thought that whatever I feel like I'll do and you can't do anything about it. This philosophy when applied to one's own children produces a state where if they want to do something, then they're allowed to; this is blatantly stupid.
I'm going to make a statement here which isn't popular. ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) does not exist. I'll say this again in case you missed it: ADHD does not exist.
The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) states that ADHD is a developmental disorder that presents during childhood, with at least some symptoms causing impairment before the age of seven. It is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention and/or hyperactive-impulsive behavior, with significant impairment occurring in at least two settings. Adults with ADHD are diagnosed under the same criteria, including the stipulation that their symptoms must have been present prior to the age of seven.
If this was indeed a neurological problem or some form of chemical hormonal thing, the there should be some form of cure. DSM suggests that ADHD is currently considered to be a chronic syndrome for which no medical cure is available.
Ok then, if it's something which can't be cured by medicine, and is purely a developmental disorder then whose fault is it? Dear old Mum & Dad? I put it to you that the vast majority of ADHD children either come from single parent families, or ones in which a divorce has occured. Or to put this another way, poor parenting produces poor children.
Children up to a certain age, lack the developmental abilities to be reasoned with as adults. They live in a very simple world and from a psycological standpoint, they are the most important thing in it. The question then is how does discipline fit into this?
By definition discipline is any training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour, especially training that produces moral, physical, or mental development in a particular direction. Discipline, while often thought to be a coercive mechanism, can be a collaborative process of building consensus regarding accepted behavior within institutions and society.
Hang on? Mental development? Isn't ADHD a developmental disorder? Was Solomon actually right?
People opposed to smacking and the cane often cite child abuse as the defence. I ask these people if they drive a motor car - if you have a car that can do 100, would you willfully do this in a 50 zone? Discipline and correction are for precisely that. Basing a defence around an extreme isn't proper.
I remember in 2nd Grade in primary school, 3 mates and I climbed up a tree and accidentally broke it. We were marched to the Principal's Office and all four of us were given the cane. Did we ever climb trees at school again? No. Did we die? No.
Dear Parents with children out of control... Take responsibility for your own children! No-one else will!