In light of the High Court judgment on the "reasonable chastisement" of a child by a parent, there have been many conversations around whether this spanking judgment and what it means for parents.
It seems there are many differing views on the subject of discipline and what the effects punishing one's children may have on them at a later stage in their life. The fact that we are having this conversation at all means that South Africa is moving towards the right direction and that this is a significant step forward for child protection in South Africa.
I decided to share some discipline dos and don'ts that were first published in the April 2013 Parent Magazine Issue. Parenting is a journey and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to it. And it's always great to learn from those who have done this before about how to navigate this discipline thing.
10 Discipline Dos and Don'ts... by David Sparrow
Your screaming has zero effect on behaviour (other than to teach your child that it's okay for him to lose it too).
2. Offer Empty Threats
If your child knows you won't follow through, she won't take you seriously.
3. Undermine Your Partner
Openly disagreeing about discipline will confuse your kid and erode your authority.
4. Fail To Set Rules
It's not fair to punish a child for playing ball in the house if you didn't tell him it was verboten beforehand.
Yeah, it works the first time, but eventually, your child will expect a reward every single time you request her cooperation.
6. Argue About Consequences
Your discipline methods are not up for discussion or negotiation... period.
When you say, "Why can't you be more like your sister?" the implication is that your child isn't fine the way she is.
Research shows that striking a child makes him more aggressive, not better-behaved.
9. Cave Into Whining
Standing firm now will make it less likely you'll hear that annoying voice the next time she wants something.
10. Set A Bad Example
Need to scold your child fibbing? Fine. But don't let him catch you cancelling plans due to your own phantom illness.