Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Key Issue in Discipline and Training - For All Ages

You have never realized your emotions can block you from learning.

There is a comedy routine by Kevin Hart in which his mother is shouting at him - roughly, "You cannot be this stupid, Kevin! One plus one! Tell me, what is ONE PLUS ONE!"

Although Mr. Hart is storytelling, the reason his stories have an audience is that they are credible. I don't think he realizes just how important this routine is.

In that skit, his younger self is paralyzed with fear of his mother. We can see the sweat on him as he desperately tries to please Mom with the answer to a simple problem in arithmetic.

Have you ever noticed that this level of stress can do the same thing to you today? If your spouse is screaming at you, or the truck horn is signalling your immediate and fiery death, you can't do arithmetic. Damn, you can't even text and drive, much less do that arithmetic - not even "one plus one…".

Now for the big reveal: have you ever noticed that children have no experience with training and reason? Just how are you to penetrate the consciousness of a misbehaving child other than pain?

Yes, this is the answer to the question, "Do I have to spank?".

Most Americans struggle with manufactured questions about child discipline. Somehow, we are incapable of noting the difference between smacking a child as summary punishment and child abuse - the infliction of permanent injuries. Yet, that sentence in bold up there has always been true, and it is the reason that if little Susie or José is throwing a fit, reasoning fails to bring them out of their internally manufactured acute outrage.

Politicians know that if they can engage your emotions, they can get you to do things you wouldn't let farm animals get away with in the light of reason, and you're an adult. Before you grew up, you didn't even have a chance at logic.

Calm down, and remember that.