All about the right discipline in adult relationships

When we are young and in the care of adults, sooner or later we do something that displeases them and we are bound to get disciplined one way or another.

Published: 19th August 2019 10:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2019 10:44 AM   |  A+A-

For Representational Purposes

For Representational Purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: When we are young and in the care of adults, sooner or later we do something that displeases them and we are bound to get disciplined one way or another.

When we are babies who haven’t yet even learned to crawl and explore the world, perhaps there was very little need to discipline, but from the moment crawling happens and curiosity starts, we hear “NO!” in two dozen ways, have our hands smacked away if we reach for those power points or knives, and we are disciplined in half a dozen ways.

Hopefully, the ways one was disciplined was more a matter of reward for good and expected behaviour and not being the object of emotional or physical violence, but given how we are still raised in this country, the occasional slap or a smack is not even considered physically violent.

It would, even in 2019, be the rare person over 20 years old who can say that they were never beaten or smacked ever in their life by a parent, an uncle, or a school teacher.

Even then, where there has been some degree of permission for some physically violent acts as a way of disciplining an errant child, at most places it stops as a child gets into adolescence. There is a popular saying that once a child grows taller than one’s shoulders, beatings have to stop. 

Discipline then becomes strictly a matter of negotiation and bargaining, with rewards for good behaviour, or by trying to show up better behaved people and praising them, hoping that they will take the hint and that the desire to be praised and adored will outweigh any instincts to indulge in mischief.

In adult relationships, we still carry so much of the ways of relating as parent and child into our relationships. Often we believe we know what needs to be the way to live, talk and behave, and when others in the relationship do not do what we believe is right, we try to think of ways to discipline them.

Think of all the times you might have thought about your loved one and said to yourself, “I have to make them change.” 

Even when we were children, despite all kinds of social and legal permission to use pretty much any kind of disciplining, there was little that anybody could do to make us change if we were very decided to not change. So, why would an adult subject themselves to any kind of disciplining efforts from another adult, unless they really buy into it? 

If you are in an adult loving relationship, and you feel your loved one needs to change, there is little else to do that showing clearly one’s disappointment, making sure there are consequences that affect the relationship and hoping that there is enough love to trigger an empathetic reaction to these feelings that the bad behaviour stops.

Anything else is just going to make life miserable.

The author is a counsellor with InnerSight.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)
TAGS
Bengaluru

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp