DICIPLINE is a word, which evokes a range of emotions. Many people assume, discipline means to punish, an act which means we're going to go and hurt someone when they misbehave.
Most people associate the word discipline, with either corporal punishment or harsh words inflicted on a child. Discipline for me though, is what schools and teachers should and must be doing at all times.
Discipline is a way to positively guide behaviour. If you look up the ‘etymology’ of the word, where it came from, it comes from the word 'disciple', which means to teach, or to guide, or to instruct.
Children growing up in their “wonder years”, those in the pre-teen years, are the ones require the most guidance as they are at the most impressionable stage in their life.
So how do you discipline your child without hitting them? For starters, one should raise their children with kindness and empathy, considering what they are going through, rather than focusing on performance and outcomes.
Secondly, consider the concept of restorative discipline where the traditional destructive focus on fear, exclusion and control is shifted to a positive culture of belonging, connectedness and the wilingness to change because people matter to each other.
So the next time your child makes a mistake, instead of punishment and sanctions, consider the questions “what is my child going through?”, ”How can this be a learning opportunity?” and “How can my child regain his dignity in his community?”.
A happy child with proper guidance will help make their “wonder years” a memorable and disciplined one.