Wednesday, 17 June 2015


Within the last two months our daughter "Missy" has been increasingly resistant to any form of discipline for unwanted behaviour.  When confronted with the problem she will talk back, refuse to accept the discipline, claim that it was somebody else's fault that she behaved badly, or avoid the situation altogether by running away and shutting herself in her room.  It's clear that she has no respect for either of us.

We've had her evaluated by school officials and the evidence points to ADHD.  That give us something to educate ourselves about, so that we can learn how to better manage Missy's moods and give encouragement and correction accordingly.  But we still need to adjust our way of thinking, because the kinds of discipline or punishment that worked for us 40 years ago won't work for Missy.

But what is true discipline anyway?

Science-fiction author David Gerrold wrote: "In real life, discipline is an artificial construct; useful as a way of achieving goals, but not necessarily the goal itself.  In real life, authority is an artificial construct; useful for creating and maintaining productivity in institutions of various sizes, but not the sole channel of human interaction.  And in real life, attempting to treat others as if they are part of your self-defined authoritarian world-view is self-destructive."

My husband's view is that the family is not a democracy; what the parents say goes, end of story.  Yes, children need boundaries but when enforcement of those boundaries is too harsh or too lenient, it can create a backlash that causes resentment all around.

No comments:

Post a Comment