When I was a young boy, I was constantly faced with repetitive instruction from my parents. They would tell me over and over to do the exact same things; do this, don’t do that. I’m sure most people would agree that they were faced with the same dilemma during their childhood.
Now, as parents, we follow the same repetitive pattern passed down from our parents and do the same things to our children. Why would we repeat the same behavior as our parents and expect our children to do what we could not do ourselves?
Why didn’t I submit to my parents’ constant requests and demands? Because they FAILED TO MAKE ME THINK.
Our behavior comes from what is in our mind or what we think. If we do not allow the thought process to occur within a child’s mind, that thought remains ours and not theirs; therefore, they cannot do it.
Throughout my childhood, my parents could not monitor me 24/7 to assure that I was following their instructions. I only had the capacity to do what was in my mind. When the time came for me to do what they wanted and I could not do it. Therefore, when I realized that I didn’t do it, I had to make one of five choices:
- deny my actions
- tell them that I didn’t know (which was the truth)
- make up an excuse
- place the blame elsewhere, or
- make up a story (tell a lie)
I repeated this cycle several times. When my parents finally had enough, they punished me with whippings. During the punishment, I realized that in order to keep from being punished again that I would have to make up a better lie. Needless to say, I became an excellent storyteller.
If you are seeing the 5 above behaviors from your child, welcome to the real world!
So, what is the solution?
In order to change these repetitious patterns and help our children learn how to think, we must first ask ourselves three questions:
- What is thinking?
- How do we think?
- How do we teach our children to think?
If we do not know the answers to these questions, we cannot accurately and effectively discipline our children.