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Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Discipline Problems in Our Schools from the 1940's to Now.

Why the change in students behavior over the last 70 years? By looking at history we can tell something has gone wrong with the way our children are being raised. A study performed by the Dallas Baptist University gave some of the top offences made in school in the 1940’s. These major offences included, running in the hallway, chewing gum, not putting paper in waste basket and making noise. However, these did not seem like big offences when I graduated in the late 80's. I remember fighting and alcohol being among the top offence at that time. Years later, I started teaching collision repair to high school students in 2004. This was my first teaching job and my first time to be back in a high school since I graduated. This opened my eyes to a whole new generation of kids. Top offences in schools now include every felony possible from running in the hall way to murder. In fact, here is a link to an article and video, where 9 third graders brought a knife, duct tape, handcuffs, and other items to school with the intentions to harm their teacher. This is quite alarming to me and reinforces us that we are dealing with a different group of students these days. Many people believe problems increased when most schools stopped spanking students at school. Others believe that spanking only lowers a students self esteem and produces violence. I believe both sides holds truth, but discipline must start at the home. Therefore, the same issue of spanking children exist in the home today. Does spanking teach our children discipline or not?

I know there are a lot of good books, theories and resources offering solution to resolve this issue. I know that spanking our children and Bible study have been taken out of schools, but I would like to point out what the Bible says about raising children. Here are a few verses on the matter: Proverbs 22:15 "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." Proverbs 23:13 "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die." Proverbs 29:15 "The rod of correction impairs wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother."

By reading these verses it seems apparent to me that the Bible teaches us that we should discipline our children by spanking them. The Bible also teaches us love. If we are going to spank our children I think we need to demonstrate we love them too. If we spank our child out of anger, we teach them violence. If we spank them out of love we teach them respect. If we only threaten to spank, we teach them how to lie. However, if we follow through with what we say, we teach them honesty. Sometimes it is easier to threaten or overlook things, but if we want our children to respect and obey us, we need to be consistent with what we do and say. We can't do one without the other. For example, if we love them dearly, but never discipline them, we will spoil them. If you always give to them without asking for a small sacrifice or something in return, they will become un-thankful. However, I believe the other side is the bigger problem we face. Which is, if you discipline, insult, spank, or beat a child out of anger just to punish them, they may not understand why. Therefore, we teach them to react in anger and become out of control. I believe the schools are being populated with these three types of kids: the spoiled, the un-thankful, and the ones that feel unloved and out of control. Of course, there are a lot of outstanding students as well. However, I sincerely believe you could trace many of the problems students have to one of the above three reasons. So, I believe that spanking is effective if done correctly for the right reasons.

What else can we do to help raise our children right? I don’t think discipline and love alone is enough to assure our children will go the way we want them to. Proverbs 22:6 says "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." How do we do this? I think to "train "we need to demonstrate how by leading by example. Who are you going to trust more on your next flight; a pilot that has been flying for years and has took off and landed time after time safely, or someone that has been reading about flying and knows everything there is to know about flying, but has never actually flown? My point is, that just because you know the truth and speak it does not mean they will hear what you are saying? For instance, if you smoke and tell your child of all the hazards of smoking; are they going to hear "causes cancer" or "Mom and/or Dad does it, so it’s not that bad?" If we don’t want child to be involved with drugs and alcohol then we need to stand up and be the first to say "no" to drugs and alcohol or whatever it is we don’t want our child doing.

I know everyone does not have the same religion preferences that I do. However, I believe this method will work with or without Christan principles. If we let out children know we care for them, we love them, but we correct them when they're outside of their boundaries; while leading by example, will produce respectful kids with high self esteem. If we (the parents) can help develop our children with these core ethic skills, our schools will be filled with higher quality students making it easier for the teachers to provide them with an education.

What suggestions or comment do you have about our childerns ethics today?

Here is a video about the attack.

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