Help For ‘Discipline Deficit Disorder’
By David Reynolds
“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; I Timothy 3:4
Do your kids suffer from `discipline deficit disorder’? (Hint: Symptoms include ‘the gimme’s and the ‘me first’ attitude) “If you can’t say “No” and stick to your guns, chances are they do,” says psychologist David Walsh.
The above quote caught my eye in an article in the September 17, 2007 U.S. News and World Report by Sarah Baldauf. It was in a book review on a new book by David Walsh entitled: “NO: Why Kids – Of All Ages – Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It”.
I ran out and bought the book -and I highly recommend that you do the same. Christmas is coming and you need it!
The first lesson a baby learns is the lesson of ‘instant gratification’. When a baby cries, we naturally want them to feel comfortable so we check their diapers, warm up their bottle and cuddle them. What could be more comforting? They soon learn that every time they desire something they only have to cry. If that does not work, turning up the volume does work. He has a need—he demands—we respond.
This is as it should be for the first year, but soon he must learn that in life he cannot always get what he wants—when he wants it. As parents, we must teach them the meaning of “NO”. This brings on a battle between the baby’s “NO” and the parental “NO”. (Who is winning in your house?) This battle is known as the `Terrible Twos’.
There are things that are good for our child. These need to be given, if possible and if affordable. There are other things that are not good for them. These need to be denied. (“NO” means “NO”!) Receiving everything he desires, when he desires them is not good for him, for it does not reflect life as we face it. There are many desires that need to be delayed because they cannot be afforded, or else is not `age appropriate’.
`Delayed gratification’ is a lesson that we in America have never learned. The Advertisement Industry is built around ‘instant gratification’. “More is better.” If you want it, you buy it, because you deserve it. If it feels good—do it, no matter what the later cost. If you don’t have the cash, charge it on your credit card. T. Boone Pickens said, “Our job is to make people unhappy with what they have”.
Television shows’ `beautiful people’ in ‘beautiful homes’ with expensive cars and clothes getting what they want NOW. No pregnancies and unwanted children as the result of pre-marital sex. No destroyed lives and families as a result of drug abuse and debauched lifestyles. When it is shown, it is glamorized. It teaches us a desire for ‘instant gratification’.
Advertisements are successful because our parents never taught us the meaning of “NO”. Our parents wanted us to have everything along with all the advantages they were denied.
Parents today are also afraid to say “NO” to their children for they want to also be good parents—not realizing that they are hurting rather than helping. Parents try to say “NO”, but they do not really mean “NO”. Our children are learning to get what they want by using the same tactics used as a baby. We have taught them, by default, that by kicking, screaming and begging, they can get what they desire If this is not stopped in the first four years, the temper tantrums will continue. As `tweens’ and ‘teens’ it turns into wearing us down by constant negotiation, pestering and whining, until the parents give in—all because children have never learned the meaning of “NO”.
Unless a child learns the great lesson of “NO” in the first four years of their life, they never learn to manage their desires. Self-discipline is learned first by external parental discipline. Saying “NO” in a “YES” culture is not easy. But, parents, it MUST BE DONE! Let your “Yea” be “Yea” and your “Nay” be “Nay”.
Our children are learning to get, what they want by using the same tactics used as a baby. We have taught them, by default, that by kicking, screaming and begging, they can get what they desire.
From, “Apostolic Accent-Pentecostal Seminars”/ Page 10, by David Reynolds
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