Parent's Guide To Child Discipline

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A variety of child discipline strategies are used by parents today. The question of significance is, is your choice of child discipline teaching good behavior or emotionally wounding your child? The form of discipline you use with your child is an issue that requires very careful consideration and depends greatly on your child. The decision you make today can have long-lasting positive or negative effects on your child.

Discipline comes from the word disciple, which means teacher. It should begin as soon as your child is born. Some parents neglect to discipline their children when they are 1 or 2 or 3 because they are so cute. They are allowed to get away with everything. Then suddenly the child is four and throwing temper tantrums and you can’t figure out how your child became that way.

First and foremost, you must remember why child discipline is necessary.

Discipline should only be about:

  • Teaching good behavior. There will be a consequence for inappropriate behavior.

  • Training your children to know appropriate behaviors

  • Correcting problems

  • Shaping the character of your child through discipline

  • Setting clear boundaries

  • Consistency

    The subject of child discipline is one that requires careful thought from the moment you decide to become a parent. It is one of the most important components of successful parenting. It is something that can make or break your child. With the knowledge available to us today, you must take the time to investigate the many forms of child discipline and choose one that you feel will work for your family. Make sure to choose one that is effective and not destructive.

    Many parents choose forms of child discipline that were used on them by their parents. Even though the discipline may have been emotionally troubling, they continue to repeat the same destructive cycle. Let’s take a look at the different ways to discipline a child

    Spanking:

  • Spanking is not considered positive child discipline. Most often when a parent spanks a child, it’s done in anger by the parent. Anger has the potential to trigger actions and behaviors that end up wounding or abusing your child.

  • The child focuses on the pain inflicted on them and not the behavior you are trying to change.

  • Spanking teaches your child to “hit” in order to get the behavior they want.

  • Spanking may seem effective in the short term. You will get your child to react immediately for the fear, pain, or threat they feel but the resentment towards you begins to build.

  • Spanking destroys your child self-esteem. She begins to believe that she must be a really bad person to deserve such violent treatment.

  • Spanking emotionally wounds your child that can leave long-term psychological scars.

  • Spanking quickly teaches your child how to lie. It doesn’t necessarily change the behavior. Instead the child continues her inappropriate behavior trying even harder not to get caught.

  • Spanking breaks down the potential for any open communication between you and your children.

    Let's take a look at some positive forms of child discipline. Remember you must choose the positive forms of child discipline that is appropriate for your child.

    Time Out:

  • Is considered positive discipline.

  • Reinforces the concept that there are consequences for their inappropriate behavior.

  • Takes the hostility out of child discipline.

  • Removes the emotional hurt and humiliation from child discipline.

  • Can be used as early as one year old. The time allowance must be age appropriate.

  • Gives the child a chance to think about his/her behavior.

  • Teaches more self-control while maintaining the self-esteem of your child.

  • Should never be done using the child's bedroom. Designate a place that you use only for time out.

    Taking Away Priviliges:

    I chose this form of discipline while raising my child. It was a very effective method for our family.

  • Can be implemented at any age.

  • Reinforces the concept that there are consequences for their inappropriate behavior.

  • Allowing the child to go without, lets him/her focus on the inappropriate behavior.

  • Does not destroy you child’s self-esteem

  • Does not emotionally wound your child

  • No matter what forms of child discipline you use, when the period of discipline has ended, you must sit with your child and talk about the reasons why she had to be disciplined. You must let her know that you understand she is not perfect and she will make mistakes. Explain to her that you expect her to learn from her mistakes and not repeat them in the future or she will have consequences again until she learns that behavior.

    Then hug your child. Let him/her know that he/she is a good person and how much you love him/her.

    Remember tough love must be balanced with lots of affectionate love.

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