Parenting Priciples

As I was reading the chapter on “Disorders of Childhood” in our textbook and other magazines and books, I have been more and more convinced that most of the disorders that are mentioned are a result of the environment in which children grow up. There are a few disorders that result from chemical imbalances. And there are at least a couple disorders -enuresis(bed-wetting) and sleep-walking-mentioned that I would not classify as disorders but, rather as part of growing up. When I was very young I had both of these “disorders” at the same time.

I would often get up in the night and wander about looking for somewhere to relieve myself. Sometimes I would even wake up in the morning to find myself on the couch or on the floor of the living room. On one memorable(? ) occasion, my dad tells me that he suddenly woke up one night with me standing over him getting ready to heed nature’s call. Needless to say, he instantly became alert, grabbed a cup to deflect anything coming and shouted my name. I woke up and the disaster was narrowly averted.

This probably inspired him to get a liquid activated bell which soon cured my bed-wetting(A few years later, he cured my youngest brother by positive thinking and suggestion techniques). My sleep-walking, though, disappeared quite naturally in my early teen years(I somewhat regretted this because it had provided many laughs and comical stories). These to me do not seem to be disorders and the last one is not even a problem unless you get in a car and start driving1 or something else dangerous like that. It seems to disappear naturally. I also disagree with the textbooks’ notion that these are related to stress, hostility, anxiety, etc.

There may be a few cases with these causes, but, I think it’s a much more natural thing than the researchers want to admit. As I stated, I think that the biggest cause of childhood disorders is their environment. There are quite a few obvious environmental detriments: parents who are absent or who don’t spend any time with the children(quality time is a mistaken notion-quantity is the thing that really counts), parents who are substance abusers of alcohol or other drugs, parents who are psychologically unstable, parents who abuse their children, etc.

The environment a child is raised in often affects how mentally stable the child is or becomes. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, there are three adverse experiences during childhood that are particularly likely to lead to bouts of major depression in adulthood. At the top of the list is growing up in a violent home. Parental mental illness and divorce are close behind2. The text book speaks about MPD usually happening as a result of abuse that a child’s mind can’t handle in any other way.

Violence can be related to drug/alcohol abuse, temperament or other things in some cases, but, I think that most of the problems in raising children come because the parents have very poor parenting skills, especially with reference to discipline. This problem can be solved if parents can learn the most effective methods of parenting.. In this short essay, I’d like to focus on the easiest and most effective ways of discipline.

One of my teachers(he taught “Marriage and Family Life”) used to say to me, “When I was first married, I had two theories on raising children and no children. Now, I have two children and no theories. ” I realize that this has a lot of truth in it because kids are individuals and theories often don’t do very well when they are applied to individuals. But, at the same time I think there are some basic principles that can help parents know what to do. These principles have been tested and used in real life as you will see and so they can be trusted.