Sometimes, it seems as though nothing is right in today’s world, even bad behavior. But while some parents allow their children to do as they please, regardless of the effect they may have on the child and others, some go too far in the opposite direction. What do Mormons believe? Punishment should never be the main point in raising a child. Each child will do things that parents do not like and do not approve. And very young children (or in their early teens) can do these things often. Parents can not – and should not – slap each time there is bad behavior. There are ways of disciplining that do not imply infusing fear into the little heart of the “spoiled” son.
Research has presented us with three styles for disciplining children. The first has to do with what some people immediately think about when referring to discipline. Blows, shouts, immediate (or later) and often severe punishments for everything a child does wrong. Although this method might work in the short term, the child will often stop whatever he is doing out of sheer fear, which is indeed detrimental in the long run. Disciplined children in this way often grow fearful of being spontaneous, withdrawn, and unable to socialize. In fact, they are often also aggressive and have less awareness rather than more. This type of discipline, used in general, generates fear and discomfort, instead of communication and love, and children suffer with it. In the end, they do not even learn the lessons they should.
The second type is withdrawing love or attention when a child is not known to behave. While with the first style you could hit a child every time you refuse to do household chores, a parent using the second style could completely ignore the child until the chores are done. The conclusion of the research on this style is mixed, but, justifiably, a disciplined son in this way can end up with more blame than he can handle, which could be paralyzing.
The third style uses a lot of communication and a lot of friendliness. This style is to explain to the children why they should not act in a certain way and act another. It also includes explaining the consequences of actions to children and letting them experience those consequences. It is believed that this form gives the children more developed and reasonable consciences, what Mormons believe are quite important and makes them more competent and responsible. They understand why good and bad deeds. Instead of being beaten when they do something they should not, they should simply assume the consequences of their actions. If a child breaks a window, it should help to place another. Or, if punishments are established, they are punishments consistent and according to bad behavior. If a child stays late one night with friends, the following night they are forbidden to go out with them.
Consequences should always be assigned with love and never with anger. If something that a son has truly annoyed a father, the father needs, more than anything, to calm down until he can think clearly and kindly things. They should also strive to understand why the child did something like what he did, sometimes there may be a good reason or an external one. If a child is unhappy at school or feels unattended or has some emotional problems, all of this must be taken into account.
Several prophets and presidents of the Mormon Church have spoken about it. Former President Joseph F. Smith emphasized the power of love over the power of punishment, “Do not use whips or violence, but approach them with reason, persuasion, and sincere love. The man who is angry with his son and try to correct it while you are upset, is the biggest mistake … can only correct your child with kindness, love, but a sincere love. “And President Gordon B. Hinckley quoted Doctrine And Covenants, one of the Mormon books of Scripture, when he counseled, “at the right time severely rebuking, when the Holy Ghost induces him; and then showing greater love which thou hast reproved, lest you be his enemy “( D & C 121: 43 )
Always, love is the principle that we should always use with our children.