Unfortunately, there has been a time in everyone’s life where a situation has gotten out of control; whether it’s a conflict with adults or with disobedient youth. As adults, freedom can be pursued and thus obedience is not necessary. However, as youth, food and shelter must be provided by the parent; thus discipline must be learned and practiced.
The most influential point to learn is from birth to about age ten. Of course, if obedience is not learned in this stage, it is still possible to be taught. But the word “possible” must be emphasized, for the reason that results cannot be guaranteed. If certain strategies and behaviors are taken however, chances to create change will be increased ten fold.
Obedience and Discipline rubs off
The key to teaching obedience is for the teacher to also be obedient. This doesn’t mean following the youth’s orders but rather to follow one’s own orders. If a parent asks a youth to keep his elbows off the table, the parent must also keep their elbows off the table. And if a youth is asked to help with yard work, the parent must be willing to help others with similar tasks. One must also remember to admit to wrongdoings and not attempt to alter rules once a fault is made.
Children and young teens admire responsible adults/parents, but if they see that rules are being broken by the “responsible adults”, their perception will change. Laws will not longer be seen as a guide. They will cease to respect any and all authority, and will soon lack reverence for even their own role model.
Acting as an Adult would
When a youth sees another youth, they do not see an authority figure, but rather a friend and solely a friend. But upon seeing an elder, the youth automatically associates power and knowledge with him/her. That can change with time nevertheless.
Since responsible and hardworking adults are portrayed to be successful in the media, youth grow up believing those are the only individuals that should be followed. This pertains to many characteristics; self-control being the key factor when it comes to self-indulgence.
Any type of excessiveness is ill for the body: alcoholism and drug abuse being by far the worst. In schools, drug prevention has been taught as curriculum for many years, causing the youth to relate the word “harmful” with “drugs.” If a guardian becomes indulgent in this type of activity, the youth will recognize that the guardian makes poor decisions and is irresponsible. And given that no person desires to be led by a poor decision-maker, respect for the elder will gradually decrease.
The Authoritative Tone of Voice
The manner in which words are spoken greatly affects the chances of cooperation. If the tone is extremely passive, then youth will see the adult as weak and will ignore commands. In contrast, if the voice is strong and authoritative, then the parent is viewed to be more worthy of command. This is supported in many media films in which an older male may have a high-pitched voice. Instead of taking the male seriously, the youth laugh and nonchalantly walk the opposite direction.
Continuing, the voice should not sound meager as a whiner’s would. The speaker should not be begging, but rather stating the objective directly without hesitation. This will allow for better understanding and less confusion. It also convinces the youth that the parent is leading in a steadfast direction. There is no misperception and thus the leader is elucidated as being competent as an adviser.
Consistent Activity as the Judge of Justice
Whenever an act of disobedience is displayed, the parent or guardian must always be present to address the situation. Reason being is that one deed of defiance can lead to a domino effect, given that the youth believes he will go unpunished. By halting the misbehavior immediately, such an effect can not occur. The youth are stopped in the beginning just as a freight train is stopped before accelerating.
If a youth has already begun a cycle of rebellion, then immediate action must take foothold. Consider the guardian as a 300-foot thick brick wall and the disobedient youth as a runaway train. When the train comes crashing into the wall, it will definitely break some of it. However, it will be shut down before it gets a quarter of the way through. The pieces breaking away would represent our patience and competence but the remainder of the wall would symbolize our persistence.
The Proper use of Fear
When punishing a youth, physical pain does need to take place. In very rare cases is it the only choice. Rather a simple scolding and assessment of the situation is usually all a youth needs. And if the next level must be taken, the youth can be sent to sit in the corner of his/her room to do nothing. The guardian must be assured that an appropriate amount of time is set for the severity of the misbehavior.
Also, extra chores can be added for punishment, such as mowing the lawn or raking leaves. Given that a youth would rather be at friend’s house playing video games or socializing, the aspiration to continue on the wrong-path will vanish. And if a smirk or smile is illustrated on the youth’s face following a punishment, add more household tasks until it disappears. By doing this, the youth will correlate mockery with negative consequences.