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Scoot Blog: Disciplining a young child in an unusual setting!

I witnessed an extraordinary example of parents disciplining a young child over the weekend and in a very unlikely place.

I was with a band in their bus before a show.  The band was doing their make-up and getting ready for the show.  The bus was crowded with wives, girlfriends, family and a few kids.  It was a typical scene backstage in a band’s bus – shots were poured, band members made fun of each other and it was the atmosphere you’d expect to experience in that setting right before a show.

But in all of the pre-show loudness and chaos, there was one moment that reminded me that there are some parents who are doing the right thing.  I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me mentioning their names or the band, but I choose not to mention the name of the band or the band member involved.  My date was sitting at the table in the bus where the band was doing make-up and that attracted the attention of a few of the kids.  The young daughter of one of the guys in the band was sitting next to my friend and the young girl was lying on the bench seat.  Upon seeing this, the father, the 30-year-old singer in the band, asked his daughter to be respectful and not lie down so the person next to her would have more room.  She did not respond to her dad’s request.  

The young father then said, with a polite and definite tone, “Honey, it’s time to go talk to your mommie.”  He was still getting ready for the show.  The mother escorted the young girl, who was about 2-years-old, to a room in the back of the band’s bus.  They were gone about 5 minutes.  I heard no yelling and no spanking.  When the young mother and the young child returned to the general area of the bus, she returned to her spot at the table, but was sitting, not lying, on the seat.  And there was not another moment of behavior worthy of discipline again.

I’m not sure if anyone else noticed this excellent example of parenting, but I did and I complimented the singer and the young girl’s mother.  He told me that they want their daughter to learn to respect others when she is in those situations with adults.  He told me he spanked his daughter once and HE started to cry! When his daughter saw him crying she said, “Daddy, don’t cry – it doesn’t hurt anymore!”

Whatever the young mother said to that young child in the band’s bus was effective and demonstrated that this young couple is making a commitment to raise a child who respects others and they are teaching their child the very important lesson that there are consequences for negative behavior.

With all the examples there are of parents not making the effort to discipline their children, the episode I witnessed over the weekend was a refreshing reminder that some parents do care about doing the right thing.  

It would have been easy to let that moment go and not say anything to the child in the middle of the loud activity of a rock band’s bus before a show – no one would have noticed if nothing had been said by the parents.  But I noticed that something was done and I applaud that young couple and every couple that understands their responsibility to teach their children respect and that there are consequences for negative behavior.

For the record – you can spank your children.  You can’t beat young children, but you can spank your children.  But you don’t have to always use spanking as the only form of discipline.  ‘Time-out’ works.  The parents who say it doesn’t work are the parents who don’t understand it or do not take the time and effort to establish it as a consequence.

Talk radio is easily driven by the negatives in our society and as humans we show more emotion and passion over life’s negative episodes than the positive ones.  But just like with child-rearing, positive reinforcement is also important and it’s important to use a medium, like talk radio, to give society some positive reinforcement – when it’s deserving!

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06/03/2013 12:38PM
Scoot Blog: Disciplining a young child is an unusual setting!
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