Disciplining children is one of the hardest and most important things that a parent has to do. Your child needs to understand that there are rules, and when they break the rules, there are consequences.
I remember getting spanked and yelled at as a kid. Today, however, parents are looking for alternative methods of discipline and avoiding the dreaded spanking or punishment.
There are, of course, many books and online resources available with varying opinions on how you should be disciplining children. Many of these articles and books can give you good advice, but no one understands your child better than you and what will work for them.
Because all children are different, and this applies to children in the same family, using time-out for one child may not work for another. It is important to understand this and not try to force the same discipline on a child that it won’t work for.
By the time any child is 4 yrs old, you should have already laid down the basic rules, and the most important part of setting a rule is to stand by them. Especially when they are still young, be sure to go over the rules with them whenever they break one. And do not try to explain yourself to your child, you are the parent and what you say goes.
Praise your child’s good behavior to reinforce the idea that having good behavior is much better than bad behavior. Ever notice how we tend to spend a lot more time scolding them for the bad things they do than on the good things. A simple “Thank You” can really make your child feel good about themselves, what they have done and they will want to do more of it.
When saying “no” to your child, be sure to use a firm tone with authority, but not an angry one. Also make sure that when you say “no” you mean “no”. Don’t give in if your child continues to ask or plead; just stand by your decision.
Remember, it is you who is in charge, not them.
The discipline should also relate to the act. For example; if a child colors all over the walls, they should have to clean up the mess. If they are too small, give them some time to work on it alone and then help them to finish up. Make sure not to make a game of it though, they need to understand that they are in trouble.
Understanding your child and finding what discipline works for them will help them become well adjusted as they get older, and help your household run smoother.
While growing up, our parents and/or caregivers influence our values and principles. When you become a parent, you will then do 1 of 3 things.
1. You will adopt the principles and values your parents have taught you and continue to live by them today OR
2. You will completely reject your parents values and do the exact opposite of what you believe your parents would do OR
3. You are somewhere in the middle – you will accept some of your parents values and rejected others.
Which one are you? I am am mostly #3, yet sometimes I think I may be leaning a little towards #2. I turned out okay, thanks to mom and dad, however, I do not believe in many of their parenting techniques.
Your the parent now though. Do you pray that your children are safe, healthy and happy? Do you do everything that you can to help make these things happen for them?
Probably, but what happens when they get older, and they don’t need to depend on you so much. During their younger years, it is up to you to teach and guide them so that when they are older, they can make the right decision when it comes to their safety. It’s up to you to encourage healthy behavior so that they will head down a life path that will ultimately lead to happiness.
It’s your job to support your children and help them manage consequences, not intervene on their behalf and definitely not to assume that “I told you so” attitude. That does not teach your child anything except not to come to you to talk things over anymore.
Below are links to parenting articles that may be helpful to you when disciplining your children.