The word “discipline” as stated in The World Book Dictionary means training, especially training of the mind or character; the training effect of experience; a trained condition of order and obedience; a particular system of rules for conduct; punishment; chastisement. Disciplining children at an early age plays an important part in their personal growth and maturity. Although there have been some cases where discipline has been taken to the extreme and filtered over into areas of physical and verbal abuse, when properly administered with patience, love and understanding, the results from disciplining children at an early age can be very rewarding.
Disciplining children at an early age in love gives them a sense of security. When children can see that their well being is taken into consideration, this helps them feel that they are loved and that they belong. When this is absent in their life, they will look elsewhere to fill that void. In some cases, this may include prostitution, gang involvement, and unhealthy relationships.
Disciplining children at an early age also teaches them to recognize authority and to respect it. When there is no respect for authority in the home, children may also find it hard to give respect to others in society who have been given a position of authority, such as teachers, policemen, and even supervisors. Children are known by their deeds, whether good or bad. Disciplining children will also teach them the consequences of not obeying those in authority. By helping them to learn this at an early age, they will better understand the structure of society. In other words, how we relate to others will have a ripple effect on society, whether positive or negative.
Disciplining children at an early age also equips them to take the discipline they were taught in their childhood to the next generation. In other words, what you know — you teach. Because children are influenced at an early age by what they see and hear, it is important to be mindful of the impact you have on their lives. In some cases, where positive discipline is not found in the home, it will be better to have an outside positive role model, such as a pastor, close friend, or another family member to be a mentor to the children.
Disciplining children at an early age has its rewards. Even though at times there may be tears and discomfort involved in the disciplining process, it is well worth the time, effort, and labor of love you give to see them mature.