Revisiting: "Smart Punishment"
by Fr. George Morelli
It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones (Lk 17:2)
The major goal of good parenting is to provide the milieu and guidance their children need to become the 'most they can be' in all major domains of life. These domains include the dimensions of spirituality, moral character, family and social commitment, personality characteristics, and intellectual and cognitive-behavioral-emotional development. The cornerstone for all development in the orthodox Christian family is Christ and his Church. In this regard we can think of the words said by St. Paul to the Ephesians that we are all part of God's family that is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." (2:20). This is especially true for those, male and female, husband and wife, who are "one flesh" in a blessed marriage, as is prayed in the Orthodox Wedding Service, "unite them in one mind and one flesh, and grant unto them fair children for education in thy faith and fear. . . ."
Psychological Principles of Smart Parenting
Morelli (2005, 2006ab) has pointed out that the principles of cognitive-behavioral management are ideally suited for application to good parenting. All behaviors, whether appropriate or inappropriate, have both cognitive and behavioral factors that can influence their occurrence.
The major psychological principles that influence behavior can be summarized thus: