This Boy Totally Derails Our Ideas of 'Discipline'

I remember seeing 'boot camp' episodes of daytime talk shows back in the day. I always hated them. But I love this 38 seconds, even if it makes my eyes fill with tears...

I love it because with a few just a few words, this boy derails the entire discipline complex! This boy doesn't need to be yelled at, march and do push-ups. Listen to the boy; he wants a Daddy! This doesn't point to a problem of single-parent households, this points to the need to be loved and feel a sense of self-worth. To matter to somebody! The hardcore drill sergeant, who genuinely wants the best for these kids, can't scream and shout and holler orders at a boy who just wants a Daddy... the whole thing gets derailed... and replaced by a hug!

So many people still tend to think that with a strong sense of 'discipline' kids who are going down the 'wrong path' can somehow get 'straightened out'. I see a meme popping up semi-regularly on Facebook that reads, "My parents spanked me as a child. As a result I now suffer from a psychological condition known as "respect for others". It would be hard for me to explain to you how much I loathe this ridiculous meme. How about, "as a result I learned that you should hit people who don't follow your rules!" or "as a result I learned that if I'm bigger and stronger than you I can make you do what I want you to do!"

We need to stop believing the notion that children who are 'out of control' or 'hard to handle' are that way because they are 'bad kids'. This reminds me of our prison system where if you step out of line, you are punished by being locked away. You don't get taught how to live in good community, you just get punished. But how many people in prison are actually psycho or socio-paths who can't gain the capacity for healthy relationships? Very, very few.  Instead we hit kids (spank) who are being violent and surround 'criminals' with other 'criminals' in a violent environment... this is supposed to heal us?

I think somehow it's more manageable for us to blame people who step outside the rules, to think of them as deviant. It takes all of the onus off of us needing to be part of some type of real solution.

Where's the meme about, "My parents hugged me as a child and as a result..." or "Every day my Dad told me that he loved me and as a result..." You can do the research if you want, but I'll save you some time. A lot of love works better than a lot of rules. Hugs work better than hits. Thanks (living a life of gratitude) work better than spanks.

I was dropping my son off at a hockey camp yesterday and as I was leaving I heard two parents talking about how much work it was to tote their kids all over the place and, to make matters worse, their kids were so ungrateful about it all... those two things are not unrelated. If you think of doing things for others as a 'chore' or 'taking away from your freedom' you think people are going to be grateful?? Do things with joy and you will find that joy multiplies. Do things with sourness and it leaves a bitter taste in everyone's mouth, including yours. I'm far from perfect, but I've never even stopped to consider whether or not my son was grateful that I drove him there, or took the time to put on his goalie equipment. That's probably because I love doing it!

People don't exist so that they can fit into little compartments of rules and make life easier for us. Our journey is more about learning to live well together in love, even when things get messy or tough or don't fit nicely, or we get tired, or someone broke the rules...

The most amazing thing of all in this video is that the boy gives to the boot camp instructor what the boy wants himself. When he says that he wants him to be his Dad, he extends the invitation of real community and family to the boot camp instructor. It is the defences of the boot camp guy that crumble and fall. It's not the boy who is changed in this moment, but the man. The boy says, "I want to love you and have you love me!" That's what community and family is all about! That's what all of us need! A commitment to love one another, as best we can.

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