Parents, especially young parents, face more challenges than their own parents when it comes to child discipline. The idea of raising your child the same way you were raised is a big temptation, especially when you turned out okay. But with the world constantly changing around us, your child will be exposed to situations that are different from those you faced with as a child, so applying the same methods, even with the best of intentions, may not be what’s best for your child.
The Tricky Art Of Discipline
Discipline, particularly child discipline, is a set of methods used to teach children proper behavior. It helps kids learn to do the right things because they want to, and not because of fear of punishment.
Every parent should realize that discipline and punishment are two very different things. Discipline focuses on the act done by the child, while punishment focuses on the child itself.
When you punish a child, whether physically or verbally, you slowly destroy his self-esteem, making him feel small and unworthy. It doesn’t actually stop him from repeating the bad behavior, though it may seem like it for a time. But in reality, it just teaches him to repeat the bad behavior and avoid getting caught.
Discipline, on the other hand, focuses on the act. The parent explains to the child why that certain behavior is not acceptable, at the same time teaching him what was the right thing to do in that situation. Afterwards, explain clearly the consequences of both actions.
This method is much more effective, because the parent is able to communicate and build a stronger bond with the child. It creates a loving atmosphere where the child is given freedom of choice, action, and consequence.
Of course, the right method of discipline and the consequences given for certain bad behaviors depends on the child’s age. Parents need to understand that certain behaviors that would normally annoy them are not really bad per se — they’re simply behaviors to be expected of a child that age. Parents need to be able to differentiate unacceptable behaviors from those that the child will eventually outgrow. For unacceptable behavior, the solution is to redirect the child’s attention to behaviors that are much more acceptable.
The Power Of Positive Reinforcement
As a parent YOU are the model for your children to learn good behavior from. The key is consistency, because it will be easier for your child to understand and accept your teachings if he sees that you yourself practice what you preach. Be supportive, let him focus on the things that he CAN do, instead of reminding him of the things he CAN’T do. That way, his curiosity of the world is not held back by protectiveness or fear.
A child raised through positive discipline will grow up into a confident and responsible adult. It will determine his success in life, because the way he views himself greatly influences the kind of decisions he will make. Curiosity is an important success trait, and parents should know how to nurture and guide their children as they discover the world around them. The ultimate goal is for the kids to have sound judgment and morals that will eventually lead them to the path of success and greatness.
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