Discipline a Child Effectively
This article discusses a nonviolent approach to disciplining a child.
1. Discipline is important for any young person so they learn boundaries. A lack of discipline has been shown to lead to high incidents of criminal behavior ranging from bullying, rape, murder, robbery and drug use. If you want to keep your child out of jail you will discipline them and teach them boundaries at each step of their lives. Disciplining a child is not an easy task. Many times the parent will feel guilty and avoid the whole concept. Other times parents will act in anger and make bad choices in discipline a child.
All discipline of children should be within reason and for a good reason. Nagging about little things will present the idea to the child that he or she can’t do anything right and lead to an inferiority complex at an older age. I will be discussing discipline techniques in this article and you may or may not agree with me, and that is ok. Each of us have to make the decision as to what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to disciplining our children.
2. I think disciplining children can be distilled down to six areas. The first is teaching. Children are always asking questions and you should take the time to answer them in a positive and teaching manner. Often a child will ask the same questions over and over until they ‘ get ‘ the concept. Its our responsibility as parents to keep our cool as these young humans beings learn about the complex world they have been thrown into.
3. The second is planning. Let your child know ahead of time what the rules of the house are and give them time to get used to the routines. Immediate intervention should only be used if the misbehavior could lead to injury to the child or someone else. The earlier parents establish a system of rules and punishments, the easier and more effective the discipline of your child will be. You may feel it easier to ignore some bad behavior for the sake of a peaceful household but it sets a bad precedent. Consistency is absolutely necessary in disciplining your child as it is an important part of learning boundaries.
4. The third is encouragement. Never miss an opportunity to bring awareness in your child’s heart that they have done something well. The old saying you will catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar is very applicable in disciplining your child. Your child will work toward gaining more of your praise a lot easier if he thinks it is obtainable. Criticism rarely ever works with a child other than giving them a feeling of failure.
5. The forth goes well with the first and second areas, being an example of proper behavior is an important part of disciplining your child. If you are determined to keep your child from becoming a smoker, then do not smoke yourself. Same goes with almost any behavior be it laziness, promptness, or having good work habits. By setting a good examples for your child you will be teaching them ways to interact with the world that hold with your belief system which hopefully is a constructive one.
6. The fifth area is to give your child clear warnings of the consequences of disobeying you. Clearly tell them the boundaries you expect them to obey and what the punishments will be if they decide to not obey you. Don’t jump off the handle and just send a child to his room without letting them know they are crossing boundaries. This will just confuse them and give them the idea your not stable enough to be trusted. Our culture has placed great faith in diplomacy as a means to resolving problems and warnings are part of diplomacy.
7. The sixth area is punishment. Some approve of spanking, others don’t. Personally I don’t and these six areas give a system of discipline that works without spanking. There are other ways to bring compliance rather than causing physical pain. Decide what limits on punishment your comfortable in using and when a child disobeys administer that punishment immediately. Have a backup plan in case your initial punishment does not work so your not left hanging with no idea of what to do next. Waiting will only confuse children and no progress will be made. Not following through with a threatened punishment also sets a bad precedent and will lead to more misbehavior. Consistency is very important in disciplining your child effectively.