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"Discipline for life" is a book that the editors of sosrodzice.pl received for review from Mateusz's publishing house. On over 300 pages, Raymond N Guarendi, a practicing clinical psychologist, specializing in family issues and raising children and adolescents, author of many books and articles, in plain language and many examples, explains to parents how to deal with: a child's lie, attacks of aggression, moaning, whining, quarrels with siblings, making a mess, poor grades, swearing, etc. He answers questions, giving clear directions on what to do in certain situations. Sometimes it even presents a list of necessary actions, dispels doubts and anticipates possible questions.
In fact, all responses are consistent in one. He firmly claims that words alone in disciplining are not enough. Those repeated several times become inaudible over time.
He argues that words must be followed by deeds, that is: a moment in seclusion for the child, forced sitting on a chair at the table, or writing an essay for a specific number of words. Over time, when a child gains the certainty that a certain offense will be punished, a parent, according to Dr. Ray, may be content to discipline himself with a word or look.
The more consistent a parent is in their actions, the less often they must discipline. This rule seems simple, reasonable and hopeful.
The idea of disciplining children after reading this book generally seemed remarkable to me. I also found the arguments reasonable. However, I was not completely convinced by the methods recommended by Dr. Ray, including the possibility of earning money by children for performing household duties and on the other hand - their loss in a certain amount for a specific offense. At many times, Dr. Ray's methods seemed exaggerated and quite old-fashioned (if that is a good word). For example, where Dr. Ray gives tips on dating teenagers and combines going on a date at the age of 14 with quick intercourse. The combination of these two facts and the fear of teenage effects of interest in the other sex seemed to me greatly exaggerated. Just like the connection between teenagers owning their own TV in a room with evil itself ...
Interestingly, Dr. Ray indicates how to discipline both teenagers and toddlers (several years old). He refutes the myth of the two-year-old rebellion, making it clear that in his opinion it is not unusual in confronting the problems that follow.
It also gives interesting suggestions to solve the problem of bad behavior in the car or away from home, when parents often feel helpless. He notes that for some children (about four years old and older) it makes sense to incur consequences for the offense when it is possible to impose a penalty. He does not agree with the statement that discipline makes sense if it follows immediately after misconduct. He clearly argues that this is simply not always the case and the child must face punishment when it can be enforced.
Finally, it is worth introducing Dr. Ray's short credo:
- Discipline is love expressed in action. By the people closest to and best wishes to the child. Parental discipline avoids bitter world discipline.
- Discipline is based on action, not on words. You need to discipline consistently, and you will be able to discipline less and less often.
- New and fashionable ways of parenting are no better than common sense. It is worth trusting your instincts and what we feel that it is worth doing in a given situation.
- Disciplining parents should be sure of what they are doing. Everyone makes mistakes, but too much focus on the possibility of making them, undermines self-confidence and makes parents erratic.
- Discipline is simple. Just learn a few rules. However, it is also difficult - you have to work hard to act in a predetermined way.
- Children have bad behavior in their blood. Every parent must prepare for bad behavior that lasts not only several months but years. The efforts are always rewarded over time.
- Discipline gives rise to resistance - more or less. The parent's role is to resist their children.
- Each child needs a different frequency of discipline. A wise parent also works with the child in this respect.
- If the parent is good, he is misunderstood. Not only by children, but by adults - their own parents, siblings, friends. He must count on opposition, trying to raise a child to be a good man.
A few words of summary
Dr. Ray has created a book that may be surprising, it may seem strange, old-fashioned and does not fit the modern world. In my opinion, however, it is noteworthy. Not because I like people who can go against the tide and write something that may not be popular, but which is definitely needed, but because I am in doubt in the face of new trends in parenthood in which direction it all goes . "Discipline for life", although it is exaggerated at times, can become a recipe for an increasingly frequent problem of children who completely do not listen to their parents, worse - they do not listen and do not count on anyone's opinion.