Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My current read

is a book called 'Discipline without Distress' by Judy Arnall. I read good things about this book and so decided to check it out. It's a bit early for discipline books considering my babe is only 9 months old or so I thought. Apparently it's never too early to start with the kind of things that she talks about. Now, I've read only about 40 pages of this book (in a book with approx 400 pages). But I do like what I've read so far...At least it all sounds good and logical. Only time will tell if it really makes sense in the context of my parenting this child.

Arnall (who is from Calgary btw) makes a case for not punishing children using the standard methods of time-out, spanking etc. In fact she advocates not punishing them at all. What? Won't the kids be spoilt rotten if we don't punish them? No, because discipline is not the same as punishment. Discipline can be gentle and it can be as simple as two way communication between a parent and child. The kind of discipline she talks about requires some rethinking about what the parent-child relationship really is.

A couple of excerpts* that I liked.

"Children are equal to parents in some ways. Their feelings, dignity and sense of self worth are equally as important to them as adults. In the workplace - just because the boss has more knowledge and experience doesn't mean she can call you names, berate you in front of the client or hit you for not getting your work out on time......Your feelings, dignity and sense of self-worth as an employee are equally as valuable as hers and must be mutually respected. Therefore children have the right to feel all their feelings, to have their bodies' dignity respected and are entitled to expect to be treated worthily."

"Controlling another human being is very much next to impossible; children have their own little minds and feet to follow. The goals, hopes and dreams we have can only be realized in our minds. They are not guaranteed for our children."

The above sentence reminds me of Khalil Gibran in the 'Prophet' when he writes about children.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
The entire section is beautiful and can be read at this link:

* I hope quoting from the book was okay and hopefully I am not violating copyright laws or something.

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