Discipline Begins at Home

By | June 26, 2019

[June 26, 2019] I was traveling out in the Western U.S. this past week. In one of the many legs of my trip, I sat beside a Texas High School principal on an American Airlines flight. We talked about college and the challenges of teaching and eventually, I asked her what message she would share with us. She said that the biggest problem in schools is the lack of discipline and that parents are responsible to fix the problem, not the schools.

“Discipline isn’t what you do to a Child – It’s what you do for a child…” – Unknown

Discipline begins at home. I see it in young soldiers who come into the U.S. Army and don’t know how to show respect or to even make their bed in the morning. The movie Private Benjamin (1980) starring Goldie Hawn plays on this very theme. It’s about a sheltered young high-society woman who joins the U.S. Army on a whim and finds herself in difficult situations.

While reading a book by retired Lieutenant General Hal Moore, I was surprised at his admission that, as a child, he struggled to keep his emotions in check. Like many young boys, Hal Moore liked to fish, hunt, camp, and generally have fun. But his overall lack of discipline caused him to fight fiercely to be a better person. In Hal Moore on Leadership, he shares an important lesson in life; that discipline begins at home. Without his parents, Hal Moore tells us he would have been a failure.

Hal Moore, the High School principle, and many others place the responsibility of discipline squarely at the feet of parents. Excuses are made that parents in a modern society are too busy or are just doing their ‘own thing’ and ‘shouldn’t be bothered.’ It’s always “someone else’s responsibility,” the modern argument goes. Parents who do not implant discipline in their children are guilty of the most fundamental error of parenting.

Discipline is, by definition, what drives us to succeed and get those things we want. Usually, it means working hard, being honest, and treating others properly. Without discipline, all the motivation in the world cannot help us. We must be focused and attentive to control ourselves and insure we do the right thing at the right time.

Parents give us our first introduction to discipline. Eventually, through nurturing and a firm kindness of our parents, we grow emotionally to understand that our pathway to success is only through disciplined behavior.  Self-discipline is learned from our parents and is the end-product of good parenting.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “Discipline Begins at Home

    1. Willie Shrumburger

      Most of us did. Thanks Mike. Haven’t heard from you in a while.

  1. Darryl Sitterly

    I enjoyed your article this morning and hope you continue with your blog. I shared today’s article with a friend of mine at work and he just laughed. He thought that discipline was only for soldiers. How little he knows amazes me but he is still my friend. I’m trying to convert him into thinking more for himself and not drink the liberal cool aide.

  2. Bryan Lee

    If you don’t learn to control yourself early in life, no one will be able to help you. It’s been said that parents should train their kids to be liked so others will work with them and play with them. That is so true. We call that “discipline.”

    1. Greg Heyman

      There is no substitute for learning the rules and following them. The fact that we even debate the issue is weird to me.

    2. Kenny Foster

      I think it was Professor Jordan Peterson who said the main job of parents is to make their kids likable.

  3. Army Captain

    Discipline is one of the keys to a good life. Keep up the great work, Gen. Satterfield.

  4. JT Patterson

    Good article, interesting and entertaining.

  5. Georgie M.

    I’ve been saying this for years. The parents are the key to having children who behave and respect others. When parenting becomes secondary to other things in life, then the degradation of the family began and we now have weak, mindless robots walking around trying to tell us what is moral. How quaint and how ignorant.

    1. Jonnie the Bart

      Hey Georgie, great comment. I see it at work when we get new, young folks into work for us. They think they should be the ‘boss’ and paid for it, yet they have zero social skills. And, they don’t desire to work to get anything before being paid for it. How sad that our current generation of young people is so ignorant of reality.

  6. Wilson Cox

    Gen. Satterfield has written about Google before on its predatory predilections. The leftist snowflakes are being undermined and they are completely oblivious to it.

  7. Gil Johnson

    It is interesting that in your DAILY FAVORITES section you have two articles about the latest Google scandal and an article today about discipline. It is clear that Google is an “authoritarian” inspired company that will use any fascist method and employ dirty tricks to undermine democracy.

    1. Eddie Ray Anderson, Jr.

      That’s a good point, Gil. It’s kind of scary that a monopoly can do the kind of damage and try to get away with it.

      1. Scotty Bush

        … and they were, of course, trying to hide what they were doing. Let’s shine a bright light and watch the cockroaches run.

    2. Tracey Brockman

      Ha Ha. Just like the citizens of North Korea, our people are being hoodwinked by Google executives.

      1. Big Al

        Good comparison. Or Cuba or some of the African nations. Ignorance is a common malady.

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