Many parents have compared their experience of disciplining their children akin to tight rope walking. They have to be careful not to be too strict or too lenient with their offspring. The term child discipline broadly encompasses the rewards, punishments and rules which are implemented by parents to promote good behavior and reduce unruly behavior in children.
Nature and nurture have a strong influence on the levels of discipline or good behavior a child will exhibit. If the child is born in an environment where he or she witnesses various degrees of unruly behavior, the child will grow up imbibing the same negative habits. Children born into families which pay great attention to positive discipline will definitely exhibit good behavior and habits.
Styles of Discipline
Parents either resort to excessive force or are too permissive with their children when it comes to disciplining them. Both techniques of disciplining children fail at some point or the other in the long run. Instead parents should follow a sort of middle path when it comes to disciplining their kids. There should be healthy doses of punishment and rewards to ensure that their children grow up in the right way.
Effective Ways to Discipline Children
There are many positive ways to discipline your child without using excessive force or punishment. While trying to discipline their children, the parents should not try to humiliate or embarrass them. Instead parents should develop a model or method where good behavior is rewarded and negative behavior is punished.
Let Your Child Know the Difference between Punishment and Discipline
Most children equate discipline with punishment. The reason for developing this wrong notion can be attributed to the excessive force used by overzealous parents to discipline their children. Let your children know that although punishment may be a part of discipline it not the only element. Discipline also includes rewards. Once children understand that good behavior will not be ignored but instead will be rewarded, they will try to behave in a better, more positive manner.
Reward Good Behavior
A parent who succeeds in positively disciplining their children is one who rewards their children’s good behavior. Never be stingy when it comes to praising your children for their good behavior. If children observe that their parents make no effort to acknowledge their good behavior, they may become rebellious and do things just to irk their parents.
Let Punishments Match the Crime
While disciplining children ensure that the punishment you mete out to them match the crime. For example if your child gobbles up his food every morning because he is getting late for school, instead of beating your child up or using harsh words, ensure that he gets up half an earlier so that he can eat his food at a more leisurely pace.
Tone Down the Language
While chiding your child never use harsh language. Let your child know your displeasure on a certain behavior exhibited by him or her but use a tone that will not humiliate or embarrass them. If you are trying to adopt positive parenting techniques to discipline your child then never use harsh or coarse language to correct them.
Be Consistent With Your Child
Always remember to be consistent. An unswerving attitude on the parent’s part will help children to obey their parents and follow rules in a better manner. If you have set a certain time for your child to turn in for the night, then ensure that your child goes to bed at the same time every night. Don’t waver from your decision if your child decides to throw a tantrum. If you allow your child to have his or her way, then they will latch on to the idea that tantrums will get them what they want each and every time.
Behave in the Exact Same Way That You Want Your Children to Behave
As a parent, it is your duty to behave in the exact same manner that you would want your child to behave. If you behave in a way that is totally different from what you expect of your children, it can lead to confusion and negative behavior in children. For example if you have instructed your kids not to litter public places and you yourself throw rubbish around carelessly you are actually giving conflicting advice to your children.
Set Restrictions Wisely
Set limits or restrictions wisely. Allow your children to learn from a certain event in a positive manner. Parents and other caregivers lay restrictions for their children’s safety. For example if you child likes to play with fire instead of beating them let them know the dangers associated with fire and how they can get hurt if they play with. Reinforce the dangers associated with fire to your child, till it is imprinted in their mind. Simply beating or scolding your child will only make them more rebellious.
Share With Your Children Your Personal Experience
One of the best ways to discipline your children is to share with them your own personal experiences. Taking the above mentioned example as a case in point, you can educate your children on how you got badly burnt when you yourself played with fire as a young child.
Pay Attention to What Your Child Has To Say
Never ignore your children when they approach you with a problem. Instead of adopting the ‘I don’t have time now’ attitude, take time out to listen to your children. Let your children know that you are as much their friend as you are their parent. This way you can set parameters regarding what is permissible and what is not which your child will readily follow.
Allow Children to Make Choices
Allowing your child to make choices will not only help you to discipline them better, it will also ensure that the child follows the rule in a better way. Instead of imposing your wish on your child allow them to choose things for themselves. By allowing the child to choose things for themselves you are helping them to gain independence.
Allow Older Children to Make Their Own Decisions
As children grow older the role of parents become more of a guide and a friend. Allow your teenage children to make decisions. If you feel their personal decisions will not harm them in any way, then support them. However as a parent if your teenager is making wrong decisions then exert your authority.