Recently in an electronics store, the owner said to me "I heard you discuss discipline and I don't agree with you." He stretched out the palm of his hand. "This is my psychology," he said proudly. I asked him whether he applied the same "palm method" in fixing a computer, stereo or TV set. "Oh, no," he replied. "For that you need skill and knowledge. These are complex instruments."
Issues of corporal punishment as a parenting method aside, the message is quite still clear. I think it's interesting how we don't start our education for becoming doctors, lawyers, accountants, psychologists, teachers or virtually any career just nine months before we begin working (and never-mind initiating that training the day we take a position!). We know it takes years to master, and dedicate large chunks of each day to learning the required information and skills. We are aware that every situation requires preparation and application of a specific set of learned skills.
Personally, that's why I have dedicated tremendous time and effort in preparing myself to be a better parent. Thus, the parenting books. Then again, I think the same about relationships and marriage -particularly because I see marriage, children and family so intimately intertwined -so I dedicate significant time and effort into that as well.