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Murphy: On discipline

Murphy: On discipline

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Discipline is not something only children need. Maybe we all could use a little discipline at times.

One definition of discipline is “using punishment to correct disobedience.” When we think of discipline, “using punishment” feels like a harsh conclusion to correcting a problem, but there is more than one way to utilize discipline.

For some of us parents, the word “discipline” is one that we seldom mention while raising our children. Some of us feel that if we extend love to our children, keep food on the table and a roof over their head, we should be considered great parents. In reality, raising our children is incomplete if our children are not aware of the process of discipline at a very early age, like when they first open their eyes and see us smiling during our initial family meeting.

Just what is a newborn baby thinking when they first see us? None of us really knows, but God does! The unknown is what leads us to react to their every whim or cry when they first come into this world. Soon our baby will have a good idea of what it takes to get our attention.

When discipline is used in our homes, our children will have a good idea of what is acceptable and what is not, without facing some type of discipline. When we see children at the mall, in church or in a school setting, it doesn’t take long to see how well disciplined they are.

In today’s world, there are laws in place that are set up to help control how we treat our children. Don’t underestimate the knowledge some of our children have. Some of our children who are able to read and understand what’s broadcast over our televisions and radios have some knowledge of these modern day stipulations; and they are smart enough to drive some of us to the brink of committing a crime.

The disciplinary tactics we used in the past that involved grabbing and shaking hard, the use of switch from a tree, a smack on the head and a plain old good whoopin’ could get us parents, guardians and teachers a trip to the slammer. We must keep in mind the fact that 911 is an easy number for them to remember and dial!

One of the best ways to eliminate using discipline too much, is to teach our children how to respect others, have good manners, use good language, especially toward adults, and have pleasant attitudes. The earlier we teach good things to them, the better; and since we don’t know what’s on their minds at birth, it won’t hurt to start at the very beginning.

Thomas Vincent Murphy is co-founder (family) of TVM Radio 1 streaming live worldwide, and is syndicated worldwide on Life Talk Radio Network. He is a writer, arranger and producer of music, and the author of the book “Wake up Crazy World.” He can be reached at


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