Parenting Guide For Child Discipline

by 4 - Date: 2010-05-08 - Word Count: 553 Share This!

The subject of how parents should discipline their children is a perennial issue. Much of the debate stems from the connotation of the word discipline, which often includes a picture of harsh treatment and unreasonable expectations by parents on their children. The counteraction to this picture is that many parents have crossed over to the oppoisite extreme, and tend to be overly permissive with their children.

It's a basic point of fact that everyone needs discipline in their lives. Even adults need discipline, which we tend to call self-discipline. We need to have a basic understanding of what is right and wrong, as well as the knowledge that there are things in this life which we don't exactly want to do, but that are necessary to do. Life presents plenty of challenges, and discipline helps us be prepared to face them.

But self-discipline doesn't come naturally. It is something that must be learned over time, and parents need to treat their children in a way that prepares them for this lifelong lesson.

Parents need to learn several lessons in regard to disciplining their children. First, it needs to be understood that our children are individuals, and what may work as discipline for one child may not carry the same effect on another child. Children are different from one another, and so cannot all be treated in exactly the same manner.

Second, discipline must necessarily be related to a child's ability to understand that discipline. Again, because children are different, they may not respond to the same form of discipline at the same stages of life. Children develop at different rates, and discipline needs to be tailored accordingly.

For example, it is not helpful to try and explain the world of ethics to a four year old who is misbehaving in a grocery store. Simply saying "No!" is often sufficient for their level of understanding. Conversely, a sixteen year old needs a fuller explanation than "because I said so" when they act in rebellion. So it is that a parent's response to a child's negative behavior must be borne out of a thorough understanding of the child.

Another important factor to remember in discipline is that your discipline of you child should be calculated. Never respond impulsively without having already though through what your response should be. Impulsivity tends to cloud your mind instead of enabling you to think clearly.

When you find yourself wanting to react in anger, take a deep breath first before responding. Walk away from the situation if you need to. Discuss it with your spouse if it is necessary. Do not wait to long, but sometimes a simple night's sleep can be very helpful for your ability to think clearly.

Once you have composed yourself, clearly communicate to your child your reaction to their actions, and demonstrate that you have thought carefully about the implications and the consequent punishment. This communicates not only a model for decision-making, but a genuine concern for your child's well-being, that you would give careful consideration to your response.

Discipline is a very necessary part of parenting. But realize your role as a parent is not simply to counteract their misbehavior, but to offer them a valuable instruction in how to live life well. Disciplining children is not usually pleasant, but it is typically in the child's best interest to be disciplined.

Related Tags: child discipline, parenting guide, discipline guide

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