Authentic REAL discipline is a very personal and internal process, arguably in tune with the path of dissolution, culminating in enlightenment. The development of self-control in human beings happens in childhood through the kid’s independent interaction with the world around them. When people talk about “disciplining” kids it’s as an outsider coming in and hurting another person to punish them into doing something. This is so profoundly damaging, and most of all it is damaging to the kid’s inner sense of self-control and discipline.
They become more dependent on extrinsic motivators and less autonomous, less empowered to make their own choices. They devalue themselves, become ashamed when making mistakes, and sabotage their own potential. External discipline is toxic, evil, and tragic, nothing but a word to cover up abuse.
The way punishment such as spanking can damage a person can be hard to recognize in your personal life, especially if you’re older looking back on your younger self.
There are many parts of reality that are harder to deal with if you have been routinely punished and abused, and it changes your whole framework for how you react and interact with yourself. This isn’t just getting the fish to see the fishbowl, it’s asking the fish to build a fishbowl.
There’s two options here. You can observe your own reactions and pay attention to what happens. Do you make independent choices or are you dependent on bullying and forcing yourself into “making the right choice” ? Do you rely on extrinsic motivators and cheap rewards or are you seeking more longterm pursuits, intrinsically motivated? Do you go to work, or do you go to play? These are some of the comparisons.
But the other option is to look at the research and look at how people are affected by punishment such as spanking. It’s universally damaging and unnecessary. There’s an astounding magnitude of research and historical discovery over thousands of years on childhood trauma and how that impacts our relationships with kids as adults. It’s one of the hardest things to really understand.
Stop Spanking – Research
Dr. Peter Gray – The Importance of Free Play (Interview with Reason)
Dr. Peter Gray – Trustful Parents Lead to Healthier Kids
Dr. Shefali Tsabary – Becoming A Conscious Awakened Parent
Alfie Kohn – Traditional Reward & Punishment Doesn’t Work
Alfie Kohn on Oprah – Rewards & Punishment