MISCELLANEOUS PRINCIPLES OF DISCIPLINE

Summary

Some of the principles of discipline are capable of being grouped into categories such as "Force" and "Punishment," but there are a number of others that are best classified as "Miscellaneous" and presented in this section.

Principles

1. In judging behavior the teacher [or student care-providers] should remember that he does not know the motives that prompt the action.

Remember that you cannot read hearts. You do not know the motives which prompted the actions that to you look wrong. There are many who have not received a right education; their characters are warped, and they are hard and gnarled, and seem to be crooked in every way. SSW 100

2. Great care and much patience are necessary in dealing with characters which have been wrongly formed through such mismanagement as too strict discipline or not enough, for both classes are likely to despise or resent restraint.

Hundreds of youth of various dispositions and of different education are associated in the school, and great care as well as much patience is required to balance in the right direction minds that have been warped by bad management. Some have never been disciplined, an other have been governed too much, and have felt, when away from the vigilant hands that held the reins of control, perhaps too tightly, that they were free to do as they pleased. They despise the very thought of restraint. CT 331

3. After having done the best he can in matter of discipline, the teacher will find some students who will not respond favorably to his efforts and may develop progressively worse characters.

"After all these efforts, teachers may find that some under their charge will develop unprincipled characters." FE 117

4. Try to help the pupil to avoid laboring under a prolonged sense of guilt by pointing him to God as the source of pardon.

The true object of reproof is gained only when the wrong-doer himself is led to see his fault, and his will is enlisted for its correction. When this is accomplished point him to the Source of pardon an power. Seek to preserve his self-respect, and to inspire him with courage an hope. Ed. 291, 292

5. As there is power in silence, let the disciplinarian remain silent rather than speak when angry, vexed, or resentful, lest he speak unwisely.

When a parent or teacher becomes impatient, and is in danger of speaking unwisely, let him remain silent. There is wonderful power in silence. Ed. 292

6. The child should not be taunted with his bad traits of character.

They are not authorized to fret and scold and ridicule. They should never taunt their children with perverse traits of character, which they them selves have transmitted to them. This mode of discipline will never cure the evil. FE 67

7. Dealing passionately with a child causes him to be resentful.

"To deal passionately with a child or youth will only arouse his resentment." Ed. 292

8. Enforcing strict discipline is good, as a rule, but may be a mistake with some individuals because temperaments vary.

Teachers have their own natural weaknesses of character to contend with, and they are capable of moving unwisely under the stress of temptation. They may think they are doing right when they are enforcing strict discipline, and yet they may be making mistakes in the case with which they are dealing FE 249

9. Some students who appear beyond hope (such as delinquents) may be reclaimed by employing wise discipline tempered with kindness, an seeking to develop their strong points of character without calling attention to their faults.

Many youth who are thought incorrigible are not at heart so hard as they appear. Many who are regarded as hopeless may be reclaimed by wise discipline. These are often the ones who most readily melt under kindness. Let the teacher gain the confidence of the tempted one, and by recognizing and developing the good in his character, he can, in many cases, correct the evil without calling attention to it. Ed. 294

10. "an atmosphere of unsympathetic criticism is fatal to effort."

With many minds, and often those of the finest susceptibility, an atmosphere of unsympathetic criticism is fatal to effort. Flowers do not unfold under the breath of a blighting wind. Ed. 291

11. Those who have misbehaved expect the teacher to show indignation, reproach, or contempt; meeting them with kind forbearance takes them by surprise and may awaken better motives.

When we meet with ingratitude an betrayal of sacred trusts, we are roused to show our contempt or indignation. This the guilty expect, they are prepared for it. But kind forbearance takes them by surprise, and often awakens their better impulses, and arouses a longing for a nobler life. SSW 101

12. In discipline the immediate end may please the teacher but be harmful to the child's future adjustment.

Could the instructors of children and youth have the future result of their mistaken discipline mapped out before them, they would change their plan of education. That class of teachers who are gratified that they have almost complete control of the wills of their scholars, are not the most successful teachers, although the appearance for the time being may be flattering. 3T 134

13. Teachers should not seek to control the wills of the children.

Could the instructors of children and youth have the future result of their mistaken discipline mapped out before them, they would change their plan of education. That class of teachers who are gratified that they have almost complete control of the wills of their scholars, are not the most successful teachers, although the appearance for the time being may be flattering. 3T 134

14. The appearance of order and good discipline resulting from unthinking obedience in a domineering situation may be flattering to the teacher, but is really evidence of the teacher's misunderstanding of the principles of character and personality growth.

Could the instructors of children and youth have the future result of their mistaken discipline mapped out before them, they would change their plan of education. That class of teachers who are gratified that they have almost complete control of the wills of their scholars, are not the most successful teachers, although the appearance for the time being may be flattering. 3T 134

15. Older students may be given some privileges which cannot be accorded to younger ones.

We cannot treat the young and old just alike. There are circumstances under which men and women of sound experience and good standing may be granted some privileges not given to younger students. CT 101

16. "Children and youth are benefitted by being trusted." Ed. 289

17. To gain the object of reproof, the child must recognize an acknowledge of his mistake or misdemeanor and want to correct it.

The true object of reproof is gained only when the wrongdoer himself is led to see his fault, and his will is enlisted for its correction. When this is accomplished point him to the Source of pardon an power. Seek to preserve his self-respect, and to inspire him with courage and hope. Ed. 291, 292

18. The various dispositions and different amounts and quality of education evident in a large student body make discipline difficult as well as a great responsibility.

19. The problem should be dealt with upon the first manifestation of undesirable behavior or deportment.

The first appearance of irregularity in conduct should be repressed, and the young should be taught to be frank, yet modest and dignified in all their associations. They should be taught to respect just rules of authority. MM 76, 77

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