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Discipline in parenting: Take charge over your child

Disciplining needs to be done fearlessly – natural authority is advantageous and parents should build on it when drawing the line with their offspring.

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Hopewell Elementary teacher Milena Jimenez teaches Spanish words to her first-grade class in Trinity, N.C.

Sonny Hedgecock/The Enterprise/AP

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One of the greatest ironies of our time: Today’s women have inherited from their mothers the freedom to claim authority in the military, corporations, churches, the professions, politics, and higher education, but have been persuaded, largely by their own gender, to all but completely abdicate their authority over their children.

Sixty years ago this month, I entered first grade in Charleston, S.C. The class picture shows 50 children. There are no names under the picture save the teacher’s, so I only know that 50 kids showed up the day the photo was taken. I am certain that my first grade teacher had fewer problems out of us during the entire school year than today’s first grade teacher, with half the number of students and an aide, is having during the first week or two of any given school year. Oh, and by the way, most of us early baby boomers came to grade one not knowing our ABCs, yet by the end of that first school year we were outperforming today’s kids (most of whom learn their ABCs at age 3 and have started reading by the time they enter first grade) in every subject. And we continued to do so through college. And our parents did not give us regular help with our homework!

The reason we learned so effectively within such “overcrowded” (and “underfunded”) conditions is simple: We came to school having already learned that women possess a natural authority. We had already learned that when a woman said, “This is the way it’s going to be,” that was the way it was going to be. Period. Today’s kids do not come to school with these same understandings, and that, not IQ, is what defines a successful student.

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