LC: APPENDIX E: FAMILY DISCIPLINE GUIDELINES: SUMMARY
(Please note that reading this brief summary should not replace the reading of GN 591, which contains the full counsel and further explanation of each of the following points. Please refer to the paragraphs from the GN mentioned below, and also reread the GN from time to time to refresh your memory as to the Discipline Guidelines.)
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR FAMILY DISCIPLINE
1. We must provide a loving, happy, secure environment for our children, making sure that their physical, spiritual and emotional needs are being met. (par.7-11)
2. The Home should work towards improving its childcare department and helping to lighten the workload of those involved with children. (par.189-191)
3. Good training helps eliminate the need for much "correctional discipline." Our goal is happy, self-disciplined children who want to do the right thing. (par.12-20)
4. Parents, or those they appoint in their absence, are the main persons responsible for the care and conduct of their children. (par.49-57)
5. Parents, teachers and others working with children need to be familiar with the Family Discipline Guidelines. Failure to heed these guidelines could result in disciplinary action being taken by a Home against a negligent parent or adult. (par.185-188)
6. All Home members are responsible to monitor the correction of children and young Family members and report to their teamwork any serious neglect or excesses they encounter, or concerns they have. (par.5, 182-184)
7. Home members must meet regularly to establish united behavioral and disciplinary standards. (par.21-30) This involves agreeing on Home rules, defining appropriate correctional methods, and establishing clear limits for any correctional discipline or punishment to be given. The age and maturity of children involved must be taken into consideration.
8. Clearly inform children of the behavioral rules of the Home and be sure they know the consequences for disobedience. Keep the standard you expect within reach, the rules few and simple, use moderation, make exceptions if needed, and do not over-correct children. (par.58-62)
9. Help the child understand what they did wrong and why they are being corrected. Give the child opportunity to explain. (par.80-81)
10. Correction should be given in love and be well balanced with praise. Do not discipline in anger. Harsh discipline is not the Family way or the Lord's way. (par.89-100)
11. Be diligent, consistent, moderate, prayerful and Spirit-led; show no favoritism; look for the cause; use wisdom; remain flexible; show mercy when needed; put yourself in their shoes, and pray without ceasing! (par.83-92, 101-108)
All discipline should be "age-appropriate," "proportionate to the offense" and "reasonable in all circumstances!" (par.123, 125, 128, 142, 154, 159.)
Common Correctional Methods (short of corporal punishment)
1. Give verbal instruction; let the child know clearly what you expect. (par.118)
2. Express disappointment or displeasure in a verbal warning. (par.119)
3. Take away privileges such as video watching, special activity, free time, etc. (par.121)
4. Impose extra duties (without taking away from the child's get-out or rest time). (par.122)
5. Restrict conversation (par.124):
a. This should ideally only be for a few minutes to hour or so, and certainly not more than three hours at one time in any one day. (par.125)
b. Always allow them to be able to talk to parents, guardians, shepherds or overseers.
c. Do not use tape, restraint or facial covering, which restricts breathing or speaking, or causes undue embarrassment. (par.126)
6. Time-out guidelines (par.128-140):
a. Disruptive younger children can be separated from their peers for a short time, but they should not be left alone.
b. A child or teen should not be separated for disciplinary reasons for more than three hours a day (preferably much less).
c. JETTs on up (12 and up) can be separated from their peers for up to three days as long as it is with the consent of the JETT/teen involved as well as his or her parent or guardian, and the Home teamwork. (A person given such "time out" must be treated with love and respect, and closely and individually shepherded.)
1. General guidelines:
a. Corporal punishment should be a last resort after all else has been tried. (par.142, 144)
b. It should usually only be used when the child has put himself or others at serious risk or harm or has been seriously disobedient. (par.142)
c. It should not be given out of frustration or anger. (par.144-153)
d. It should only be administered by parents or those responsible for the child at the time--the teacher, childcare worker, etc. (par.154)
e. Parents, guardians and Childcare teamworker should counsel and agree together in united meetings as to what disciplinary measures are to be used. (par.155, 156)
2. Correctional taps or swats (par.157):
a. Should only be given according to pre-discussed guidelines.
b. May be given at the time of offense.
c. May only be given on the bottom or offending member.
d. Should not be given in anger, or with excessive force.
3. Guidelines for spanking (par.158):
a. Should be the exception, and never be given in anger or with excessive force.
b. Reasons for spanking should have been agreed upon ahead of time.
c. Before spanking, the one doing so should counsel with one other adult, YA or senior teen.
d. Should only be on the bottom (not bare) (par.158-163):
--Children 19 months to 4 years: no more than 2 swats on the bottom at any one time.
--Children age 4 or 5 years: no more than 3 swats on the bottom at any one time (with the hand or a non-damaging, reasonable object, such as a light, flexible slipper).
--Children ages 6 and over: no more than 6 swats at any one time (except in extremely serious situations, and with the agreement of parent or guardian, and shepherds).
e. Only an adult over 21 should administer spanking for JETTs or teens. (par.158)
f. Strongly suggest no spankings for teens. (par.158, 164-168)
g. At least one adult, YA or Senior teen should be a nearby witness (unobtrusively). (par.169) Where this is not possible, it must be reported to the parent or guardian, and shepherd as soon as possible. (par.170)
h. Parents or guardians of the child as well as the Childcare teamworker should be informed of all spankings that are more than simple correctional taps or swats. (par.158)
i. Must be administered with love, understanding and forgiveness. (par.171-177)
1. No public ridicule--no signs, no forced confessions. (par.178)
2. No forced restraint (except in extreme cases, where violence or injury could otherwise result). (par.179)
3. No withholding basic needs--daily exercise/meals/sleep. (Nor routine or frequent barring from enjoyable activities.) (par.180-181)
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family