We are all well vast with the popular proverb; “Spare the rod, and spoil the child.” It‘s an admonition to parents and guardians never to over look the place of discipline in their children or wards upbringing, especially when they err. But please, Mama and Papa, before you discipline or punish that child over that act of wrong doing, have you corrected or taught that child about that offence or attitude before that incidence occurred? This question demands some minutes of serious reflection before you continue reading.
Wisdom is profitable to direct, my Bible tells me so. If no wisdom has been instilled before the mistake or offence was made, what then do you expect to direct the child? Parents are quick to get angry at their child‘s bad attitude but most times overlook the point of correction. Growing up, my parent expected my siblings and I to know and do things right, probably by instincts, not that they never corrected us, but it was more of using the punishment as a form of correction. After receiving several painful strokes of the cane, amidst your tears and nursing the bruise, you will hear “It is wrong to lie, a lier is a thief!“
That correction is “medicine after death,” oftentimes it never stuck or stopped us from doing it again. But if they had taught us, consciously, the need to always tell the truth at all times, and why it is wrong to lie, when we defaulted, we will know, we deserved what we got. The same goes to every other life building skill you want to imbibe in your child.
The other day, my little nephew collected a gift from me, and forgot to say “Thank you” after receiving the gift, he rushed to show his mother, and she asked;
“Did you tell Aunty Ogeyi thank you?“
“No mummy, I’m sorry” he replied, and immediately came back to appreciate me for the gift. There was no need to discipline him for his former act of ingratitude. He realised his mistake and corrected himself.
So, Dear Parent, as much as you don’t want your children to grow to become rebellious and act in an unruly manner, take out quality time to teach and correct that child before punishing. Especially if it was never done before the offence.
Again I repeat, wisdom is profitable to direct, but let me further emphasise, only wisdom taught and imbibed will direct, especially in parenting and child upbringing.Let’s mould the children of our desire, through intentional teaching and correction, there after, you are permitted to enforce the “rod”.
Written By: Odey Goodness Ogeyi
Bio: Odey Goodness Ogeyi is a creative writer, a poet, a content creator, a health promoter, as she is currently studying Public Health technology at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River state, Nigeria. She is also an adolescents and youth advocate based on her passion for positive behaviour change in adolescents and youths, helping them make informed decision and getting access to all the needed information and intervention. This I do by volunteering for an NGO.
She is also a contributor at Home Talks.