One of the most difficult aspects of parenting is discipline. We want to have a good relationship with our kids. Discipline can make us feel like the bad guy. Handing out consequences for bad behavior is not fun. It generally makes our kids upset to have consequences for their behavior. Then they get mad at us for being the enforcer of consequences. It is a tough thing to be the disciplinarian of our children. It would be great if a reward system with charts and prizes would be enough to keep kids well behaved and not need discipline at all. Reward systems are great, but they are simply not enough.
Children need age appropriate discipline. It is a simple fact of life and parenting. If you are at a loss for how to discipline your child, I hope to provide some helpful tips for what can work for your child.
I have three kids and all three require different discipline approaches. No child is the same, nor will they respond to discipline the same as the next kid. Being flexible, fair, consistent in follow through, and loving are the keys to making discipline effective without breaking the bonds of trust with a child. Using discipline that is too harsh or without warning will leave a child having trust broken between parent and child. They need to feel that they are being treated fairly in order for the consequence to not harm the parent and child relationship.
This doesn’t mean all forms of discipline are the same for all children. You need to implement systems that work for each individual child in the household. Discipline is not a one size fits all.
Why Discipline is Essential
Children need discipline because it will help them now and also in their future as adults. They will develop a sense of right and wrong, with discipline in the home playing a major role in their moral development.
Discipline helps them to understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not. They will also learn to respect authority when discipline is done fairly and comes from the love of a parent. If they can’t learn to respect authority in the home, it will not be favorable to their future.
Will they listen to their boss and respect his or her authority? Much of their development of respect for figures of authority is directly correlated with how they were disciplined in the home.
Was there discipline and correction in the home or were the rules loose and unknown? They will develop a good sense of respect for authority figures when discipline is done correctly in the home with clear rules and consequences in place.
This again means that it is not too harsh (i.e. screaming and yelling), does not involve abuse, and is never done when a parent is filled with anger or rage.
How discipline affects development
There are four major parenting approaches, as outlined in this Psychology Today article:1
As parents, we need to strive to be authoritative parents in order to be effective in disciplining our children in a manner that helps them develop into the best adults they can be. With authoritative parenting approaches being utilized, a child will come to respect authority and discipline. The article from Psychology Today states the following regarding authoritative parenting methods:
Authoritative parenting methods:
Typically, authoritative parents give their children increasing levels of independence as they mature and this leads to higher leadership potential in the children of authoritative parents. Social skills, self-control, and self-reliance are more highly developed, and these are qualities that make ideal employees, leaders, and life partners.
When authoritative parenting methods are utilized, children will develop respect for authority figures that will carry over into adulthood. What we are teaching our children now in our discipline methods will have them develop not only a sense of morality of what is right and what is wrong, but they will also develop respect for authority figures.
The other methods of parenting (authoritarian, neglectful, and indulgent) are flawed and come with consequences that affect the child in their adulthood. The goal is to raise children who are prepared to leave the nest someday and be fully prepared to take on the world.
Discipline, and the parenting approach it stems from affects the development of children. Authoritative parenting is setting rules and boundaries that are fair to the child and their age. It is also discipline that helps the child to understand right and wrong behavior and the consequences of either within the home.
How to Discipline a Child
Whether we are using appropriate and effective discipline methods will determine whether our children will develop a strong sense of morality (that you have taught them) and a respect for authority.
- Here are some general guidelines for authoritative parenting in regard to discipline: Rules and the reasoning behind them are clearly explained.
- Parents will try to help their child when the child is frightened or upset.
- Respect for the child’s opinion is provided, even if they may differ from the parents’ opinions.
- The child is encouraged to talk about his or her feelings.
- Consequences for breaking rules are clear to the child before rules are ever broken.
- Communications and conversations with the child take place after rules are broken to help the child and parent process what took place. This conversation is done with empathy on the part of the parent.
- Children are provided with discipline when they break rules. This is done in a consistent manner (i.e. if their smart phone is revoked as a consequence of not having their bedroom clean, then it is also revoked the next day if that same rule is broken).
- Parents discuss with their children the consequences of their good and bad behavior, so there is a clear understanding of consequences and discipline in the home.
- Parents follow through with discipline and are not lax about allowing rules to be broken without consequences. Rules being broken means that there are consequences. Not just sometimes, but always.
- Consequences do not involve harsh punishments, shaming, screaming, yelling, name calling, or withholding of love.
- Consequences are followed by healing words of encouragement and love to assure the child that even though they are being disciplined they are still very much loved. Example, after a time out period the parent would hug their child and tell them they love them unconditionally.
- Parents encourage children to be independent within boundaries.
- The reasons for the rules are clearly emphasized when discipline takes place so that the child clearly understands the “why” of their consequence. For example, when a child runs into the street after their ball, they are taken inside for a time out and it is explained that they are not allowed to go into the street because there are cars driving on the street making it very dangerous for them (it is for their own safety)
To Continue Reading the full article go to: https://www.lifehack.org/686658/how-to-discipline-a-child-at-different-age?ref=category_section_post_158911