Saturday, June 24, 2017

Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Creating Bullies and Low Self-Esteem

     I know that many believe positive discipline in the classroom is a wonderful thing. We should never use negative discipline such as writing names on the board or taking away recess. That harms kids. Hmm well I beg to differ and have a different view of some of the positive discipline ideals. Now don’t get me wrong, it is good to be positive and the ideals of positive discipline in many aspects are great however for the most part if you want kids to behave then sometimes the negative promotes positive behavior. A child will not die if he misses a recess and if he is misbehaving getting his name on the board is not going to hurt him as long as the rules are clear. This blog is not about that though it is about how positive discipline can promote bullying and low self-esteem in my opinion.
     One example of positive discipline that I was introduced to was that the teacher is to praise the children who are obeying the rules and ignore those who are misbehaving. The idea behind this is that the ones who are misbehaving will want the praise the children who behave are getting. This sounds great in theory and might work great with younger students such as K-1 but as kids grow older this type of discipline bothers me and I believe is not just ineffective but detrimental to the mental health and well being of the kids.
     The scenario:
Mrs. Jones has a class with 25 students. Many of her kids are acting up in class. They have a habit of not doing their work, just not doing what they are supposed to do. But then there is Billy who always does what he should, he always sits quietly waiting for directions, never causes any problems. So instead of reprimanding those who are acting up and not doing what they are supposed to do Mrs. Jones praises Billy saying “I love how Billy is sitting still in his chair.”  She also constantly says “Billy always has his work done on time and he is always ready to listen. “
     It would be great if this worked and the other kids began doing what they should but this will most likely get Billy beat up during recess. The other kids are just going to think he is the teacher’s pet and they will not like him. They will mistreat him and be cruel. In turn this results in low self-esteem for Billy. This kind of discipline has created bullies out of kids who most likely would have started behaving once they realized they would lose recess or something else they loved if they did not obey the rules.

     We are such a society of “everyone wins” and “don’t say anything negative to the kids” that we are creating bullies and low self esteem.  Sometimes negative does equal positive and positive equals negative. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

In this "Me" Society: Unhealthy Relationships Should Not Include the Kids

Living in such a "me" world I notice so many people put themselves before their children on a regular basis. They go from relationship to relationship never providing stability or a healthy environment for their children. They never stop to think about their kids and how their relationship choices are doing to them. Or maybe they think of it but since the "I" in their life is most important they don't care about their kids. Many of them find people who seem to think they are the new "boss" and let that person take over, even with the raising and well being of their kids. NEWS FLASH, they are not someone else's kids and how a person raises their kids is none of the new persons business. There is yet another unhealthy relationship and this is when one parent, usually a female, enters into a relationship with an abusive person.

I watch so many people who have kids get into these relationships that last maybe a month, two months and sometimes even a little bit more. They bring families into the kids lives and try to intertwine the two. The kids become attached to the extended family and then poof, the relationship ends and so do all of the connections with the extended family. This leaves the kids sad and hurt. Before bringing people into your children's life, make sure they are going to be there a while.

For adults bringing people into and out of their own life is hard enough, doing that to their kids can be heartbreaking if they learn to like the people that enter their lives and then exit just as quickly as they entered.

Adults get over things much faster than kids and really need to stop and think of the consequences once the new person becomes a distant memory, it is not always that way for the kids. They miss the extended family they learned to care about.

So before bringing the kids into things, make sure they are going to last. Parents must think of their kids first. Adults who enter relationship after relationship are unstable, it is unfair and cruel to make their kids a part of their unstable lifestyle.

Now on to how I have seen so many people enter these relationships and allow the new person to become the "boss". The parent lets the boss take over. The boss dictates every aspect of how the child is raised. This is wrong. The child does not belong to the boss and the boss has no business butting in. Yes the boss should care if the child might do something to cause harm to himself but usually the boss doesn't really care. The boss just wants to be in control and tell the parent what to do. The boss does not care about the child one bit, the boss only cares about "being the boss." If an adult wants to be in a controlling relationship that is his or her right as an adult but letting the person boss the kids is unhealthy and wrong.

The final unhealthy relationship is the abusive one. I will use the example of a man abusing a woman because that is the most common abusive relationship. This is unhealthy for the woman,, but she is an adult, it is child abuse in my mind for her to bring her kids into this relationship. If she is going to live that way then that is her right, however she should not bring her kids into it. If she truly loves her kids she will not allow them to be around the abusive man. That is one of the most unhealthy environments a person could place a child into.

First of all the child does not need to watch his or her mom being abused. This is emotionally damaging and leaves life long scars. The parent should care more for her child than to expose him or her to that type of abuse. But again in this "me" world we live in the parent does not think off the child.

Most important though is that the abuser will eventually abuse the child too. The abuser might even be doing it if the parent leaves the child in his care. It is a risk that is not worth taking.

Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about the loving relationships out there where a parent meets someone new, makes sure the relationship will last then the kids enter the life of the new person. The new person is loving, caring and nurturing to the children but also realizes that he or she is not the parent and does not become the dictator. However out of love does offer discipline that is nurturing and caring. That is healthy for the kids.

If a person just "can't live" alone then so be it, however once you have kids your life is not your own and you should never, never, never place them in an unhealthy relationship. You not only risk their emotional health but possibly physical well being and you keep the unhealthy pattern going...Wake up call parents, your life is not about "me". It is about your kids, put them first, they deserve it.