Recently a parent I work closely with mentioned:
“It would be interesting to hear some data/facts on how harmful NOT disciplining your kids can be.
So many times we focus on the negative effects of discipline – spanking, timeouts, etc., but what’s easy to forget is just how dangerous it is to take a backseat to parenting your children.”
(NPC members: click here for the video training module I just posted in our community, in direct answer to this member’s comments and questions. If you are not a Ninja Parenting Community member but would like to become one, click here.)
The short answer is, NOT disciplining your kids is every bit as harmful as using negative discipline (spanking, verbal threats of aggression, etc.)
Both are forms of neglect.
Not disciplining – failing to establish any boundaries or communicating any behavioral expectations – is neglectful because the parent fails to share a clear understanding of what behavior is okay, and what is not. This is frightening and makes the child feel unsafe.
Negatively disciplining – implementing the rule of law, without taking into account any of the child’s thoughts, abilities, or preferences – is neglectful because it contains no warmth or loving kindness.
There are three styles of discipline:
- Passive, in which there are no boundaries and no expectations
- Authoritarian, in which all is cold control, with no sense of loving or acceptance, and in which the child has no say in their own decisions
- Authoritative, also called Wise, which sits somewhere between the poles above, bringing in loving/acceptance, and firm limits/behavioral expectations
Which was used most by the family into which you were born?
To me, this is the absolute bedrock basis of whether a child wins “the parent lottery,” or loses in that lottery. Continue reading “The parent lottery”