Is there a right or wrong way to discipline our children? Many parents do not put a lot of thought into how they discipline their children. Some parents do not discipline their children at all and then some take disciplining their children way too far. I believe it is important to control your child’s behavior and to teach them that bad actions have consequences.
Some of us just do not know how to effectively do this. It’s not always easy to punish our little ones. If we have waited too late to start, we may have the task of correcting behavioral issues that have gotten out of hand, which, makes it that much harder to know how to properly discipline and be effective. We need to have good child discipline ideas and to continually build on them.
There are three styles of parenting: authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive.
There is a difference between discipline and punishment. Some parents get them confused. When we discipline, we are teaching the child to follow the rules; teaching them new behavior. When we punish, we inflict a consequence or penalty on our child as a result of their wrongdoing. Grounding or spanking, for example.
We should use positive reinforcement and remember to praise our children when they folIow the rules and do the right things. If we must punish our children for being defiant against the rules that are in place, then we should try to be as effective as possible. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to be consistent with the rules and the consequences if said rules are broken. They must have no doubt about what the rules are or what the consequences of breaking them will be.
Sometimes, our children will put up such resistance that we just give in. Begging and persistent whining are tactics a lot of children start at an early age and since it proved successful they continue the behavior until they realize it doesn’t work anymore. We must be consistent and not give in to them no matter the level of their persistence.
Arguing or fit-throwing may be what your child has adopted to try a lot. It’s easy to start arguing back with them, which just drags out the whole ordeal. We can’t let them draw us into an argument. Some parents may even get mad enough to yell if this is something they deal with regularly. It’s maddening to have to argue with a child.
We are the grown-ups and they must not think that they have a say in the matter. It’s OK to explain why, so that they don’t think we are just being mean. But, in the end no means no. Again, if we are consistent with our strategies they will eventually realize that arguing or fit-throwing is just a wast of time and will only lead to the consequences that have been set.
Ignoring what is being said or just plain “no” is another way a child might resist our authority. This may be a way for them to have “power” over the situation. Our children are naturally going to test us. Sometimes, we can avoid hearing “no”. In some situations, like if we are asking them to do something, we can phrase what we say in a way that makes them feel they are being a helper, a team member. Or, maybe it is a situation in which we can provide alternative options. It helps if they don’t think we are just trying to tell them what to do.
Depending on the maturity of our child, their are slightly different ways to handle disobedience. For a small child, one way is to get down to eye level when you speak to them. This makes your child take you more seriously and you come across more respectful thus, making he or she less defensive and more likely to obey. You MUST follow through with consequences and be consistent.
For the older child, refrain from raising your voice. Use respectful tones instead. We should focus on strengthening our relationship as our children grow. They will be much more likely to cooperate with us when we set limits if we can talk like adults with each other and they understand the nonnegotiable rules.
There are programs to teach parents to effectively discipline their children. It’s OK to need help and it never hurts to build on what we already know.
Effective discipline teaches our children to make good choices throughout their childhood and, as adults, they have good problem-solving skills along with self-control. Teaching our children discipline is one of the most important things we can do as parents to ensure they become safe, healthy, and productive individuals.