Chana Heller, MSW, is the mother of five children and grandmother to many.
From the Jewish perspective, discipline is seen as a sign of love. Just as God admonishes us with love, we admonish our children due to our love for them.
Years ago I was visiting with an old college friend and her young children.
She confided in me the difficulties in getting her children to sleep at night.
It is referring to the various forms of discipline we use to correct our children and to set limits.
Other Jewish sources tell us that a disciplined child will bring us delight (Proverbs ) and that a disciplined child will become wise when he is old (see "Reishis Chochma" on childraising). Years ago, some parenting experts advocated "family meetings," where the entire brood sat around the table voting on family rules and issues. While it is important to allow children to express their feelings and wishes, the Jewish home needs to be one where parents have the ultimate authority and make the final decisions.
When parents get angry, the message the child receives often is "I don't like you." One time I was yelling at my daughter and she looked at me and said, "You hate me! Then the child has to deal with both the parent's anger and the guilt feelings for having caused the parent's anger!