Liza Welsh

RSA need Discipline

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2010 at 21:13

Ek het onlangs by ‘n Facebook Groep aangesluit wat die belangrikheid van disipliene bespreek. Hier onder is die kommentaar wat ek op die gelewer het, laat my bietjie weet wat dink jy en wat het God al met jou gedeel oor disipliene.

Discipline

I agree that discipline is the conditioning or the training of a person to follow a set of rules. The problem with the majority of individuals in South Africa is not that they are not following a set rules, but rather that they are conditioned to followed the wrong set of rules. In this context I will therefore like to conclude that we can attribute the majority of the problems in South Africa to ill discipline rather than a lack of discipline.

Should we look at the history of our country, it is very safe to say that we have a violent history, we have a heritage that is made up out of a series protests and mass actions that brought about change. At no point do I disagree with the fact that change was needed. I do however disagree with the legacy that we have left our school going children with.

  • We have left our children with a legacy that states that they are entitled to almost anything they desire.
  • We have left our children with a legacy that teaches them about their rights, without placing the proper emphasis on their responsibilities associated with those rights.
  • We have left our children with a legacy that teaches them that violence as a means to the end is acceptable.
  • We have taught our children that we can punish our fellow men when they do not submit to our desires.
  • We have taught our children that we need not work sparingly with our resources.

 

Our eldest son, now 10, first attended a public school here in Pretoria. Although the teachers try their best, they are saddled with ill disciplined children from  grade 1, add to that the large number of pupils in a class room and then you can hardly be surprised at the poor pass rate that we see by the time these children write their final grade 12 exams.

Later, he attended a private school in the east of Pretoria as well, and although the classes were smaller, and although the ideals of the school and the idea behind the operation of the school were brilliant, it all went out of the window since the correct form of discipline was not properly installed in the children who attended the school.

I have to admit that at this time, we too were guilty of not sending a properly disciplined child to school, and thus we were not victims of this systems, but we too contributed to the vicious cycle.

Discipline is a very complex concept to explain. I do not think I fully comprehended what discipline was or what it meant to teach your children discipline until I eventually started homeschooling our two boys in the third term of last year. (At present I am still not too sure who is learning and benefiting more from this extraordinary experience… albeit the or myself, us as parents or all of us collectively, this has been a learning curve that I will cherish for the rest of my life.)

The first lesson I had to learn as a full time, homeschooling mom, was that I had to get to know myself. The reason for this is that we as parents have been placed on this earth, in a position of authority, over our children, so that we can teach them the skills they need to accomplish the dream that God dreamt for them long before He even created the earth.

In Ephesians 1 the scripture talks about the gifts we were given by God, through Christ Jesus, long before God even created the earth. It is these gifts that we need to assist our children in finding. This is an impossible task if you have not yet gone on that journey yourself.

After finding myself and learning to get to know myself and after being blessed with the knowledge of my purpose here on earth, I could start the rest of my family on the same journey.

I am really grateful that I have a third chance with our youngest addition to the family, a little 9 week old baby daughter. I am acutely aware of the mistakes I made previously and I am grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to fix our mistakes with the other two and to practice our new perspective on discipline with the little one, from the start.

During the pregnancy God spent time with me and showed me that you become a parent the day your child is conceived:

  • As a good parent you need to condition yourself to act responsibly and look after your own health since your health influences the health of your children.  
  • As a good parent you need to put thought into the name you will be giving your child. Every name has a meaning and the child’s name will either serve as a blessing or a curse every time you call them by their name.
  • As a parents who have a lively relationship with the Almighty God, it was also important for us to consult God regarding the name of our daughter, since your name very often provides a clue as to your purpose on this earth.

 

All of this seems rather daunting to do in your own strength and therefore as a good parent I also had to learn that the ultimate form of good discipline is to subject ourselves, our entire beings and our whole lives to the will of our Lord God. This is a principal that I was taught by my parents, I principal that I am very thankful for.

The reason that this principal forms the FIRST OF THE TWO PILLARS of proper discipline  is because this prevents us from training our children to adhere to the wrong set of rules, and in this manner killing their spirit and rather hampering their journey to reaching their purpose.

Lets face it, we all want A grade students, who play for the first sports team, who always look and act flawlessly and who never make the wrong decisions. We want our children to reach heights we never reached, we want them to earn more money, have a better house, a better vehicle, a better job, a better everything. We never want our children to get hurt or to be disappointed or to disappoint us, yet with all these expectations that we have of our children, we often burden them with baggage that prevents their true calling from becoming a reality.

  • It is therefore important that we firstly consult God as to what His general plan for our children’s live are. From here we will be able to decide what aspects of good discipline we need to teach our children. We then also need to get to know our children, their personalities, their identities and then we need to identify the weaknesses and strengths of their nature. We can call it a type of a SWOT analysis that you can do with each child. This SWOT analysis will allow you to teach each child a set of rules that will evolve into skills that will enable them to reach their own full potential. If we can define self discipline as the training or conditioning of an individual to adhere to a set of rules that will enable that individual to reach their full potential then we can say that you will in this manner teach your children the ultimate form of self discipline

 

For example our children are headstrong and they are no strangers to perseverance, therefore it wil not pay off for us to attempt to teach them these skills, we should rather refine these skills so that they do go from acting with determination and perseverance to being unteachable and stubborn. It is therefore important that we recognized that the general skills that all three our children will need in order to excel, will be unfailing integrity and unconditional respect and compassion. Therefore these are the two skills that we focus on when disciplining our children.

We should be teaching them to have enough respect for their fellow man so that they will not step on their peers in order to fulfill their persevering and determined spirits. We should be teaching them to act with unfailing integrity, especially when no one is watching, so that they will not fall into the trap that says the end justifies then need. We should be teaching them that there is enough space in this world for all the different people God made. If we look at a 3000 piece puzzle, there are not two identical pieces, yet each of the pieces fits in with its neighboring pieces perfectly, each pieces has it space and we must have enough compassion and respect for others so that we will not try and change who God made them to be, we must have enough respect and compassion to accept each and every person we meet exactly as they are.

Using this approach to discipline our children will also prevents us from constantly moaning at our kids for everything and in this manner breaking their spirits and forcing them to block out our voice safter a while. Once your child has blocked out your voice, you will no longer be able to guide them and you will no longer be the primary influence around which they will build their frame of reference.

The second of the two pillars is the principal that I need to act in such a manner that I influence the lives of every single person I deal with in a positive manner, every single day. This is a principal I learnt from my late brother Izan. After reading the messages that his friends still leave for him on his Facebook page and after taking to people who knew him, I realized that that was the one thing that everybody said about him, he always, but always left you feeling better about yourself, and this too is a principal that I am wishing to install into all three our children and to practice this principal myself.

Can you imagine living in a world where everybody applies this principal. Combine that with people who know themselves inside and out, people who confront their weaknesses rather than feeling insecure about them and people who know their strengths and live accordingly and we will have a world that functions the way it was designed to function since before God even created it.

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