Child Discipline with Love
Who said parenting is easy. In fact it can be very challenging especially when it comes to child discipline. The way we treat our children every day can have great impact on their self esteem, behaviour, and their character development. So how can we discipline children in a more positive loving way to ensure that they grow up with a more balanced personality?
What is child discipline?
" I had to discipline Sami , he is grounded to day". To Some parents the concept of child discipline might be associated with punishing children or perhaps being harsh to them, whereas the real meaning of discipline is guiding and teaching children to think of their actions and be responsible for their behavior. We can achieve this through a more loving and positive way, without humiliating or hurting the child in any way.
How can we discipline children effectively?
When parents don't have a clear vision of how to deal with children's behaviour they might end up being confused about how to deal with their children in different situations, there will be inconsistency in whatever approach they follow and this creates insecurity and confusion to children. As a result, children keep misbehaving with the hope that they get away with it or at least attract their parent's attention .
The way we treat our children when they are young or even teenagers have a great impact on their personality when they grow up. Children who have been disciplined with love and respect can grow up to be happy and well-adjusted. They can think for themselves and take responsibility of their acts. By the same token, children who have been mistreated or being disrespected will suffer from low self esteem, insecurity and lack of confidence.
Before we answer this question we need to look at what we can do to prevent behaviour problems in the first place. Here are some tips:
Build a positive relationship with your children
Having a good relationship with children is the corner stone of good discipline. One of the factors that hinder parent's relationship with children is to have too high expectations. At times parents intend to forget that these are children, they expect them to behave like adults or let's say older than their age. When parent's expectations are not met, they feel disappointed, frustrated and angry and then they start reacting negatively to some of their children's innocent sayings or behaviour.
To have a more realistic expectation parents need to spend enough time with their children, playing ,chatting or even more important listening to what goes on in their hearts and minds. They need to seek to understand their children before being understood or even before they expect them to listen to them and do whatever they ask them to do. Without a strong relationship between a child and his parents not much can be achieved. After all, it is very satisfying to spend time with the children before they grow up and leave the nest. Once children feel that strong love and care bonding, they start sharing their issues with their parents, seek their opinion and as results parents will have less problems to deal with in the first place. In fact, they might have the opportunity to save their children from quite dangerous situations.
Clarify your rules and expectations
Once the rules and expectations are reasonable and clear to parents ,the next step will be to communicate and clarify these to the children. Explaining the logic behind these decisions, using of course child appropriate language and concepts ,shows respect to children and they will be more likely to cooperate and respect these rules ,especially if we had mangled to have a relationship built on love ,respect and trust. If a child goes against these rules, then it is worth listening to the child ,trying to understand his reasons and deal with the situation in a calm manner before deciding to react or punish the child.
Keep the consistency
Being consistent in the approach and the kinds of decisions made is very important in keeping positive child discipline. When parents say NO to something, then they have to keep to it. They need to be careful not to buy into a child's tantrum. They can remind the child in a calm loving tone this is not allowed and why it is not allowed not because " I said so". When parents spend time explaining to children gently without harsh reaction they are more likely to win the child to their side. If the child keeps insisting, the parents can choose ignore him, or redirect his attention to something else.
Self guard your emotions
One of the reasons for parents to give in is losing patience. However, the more parents give in the worse it gets. Every time parents give in they are sending a message to the child saying if "you keep bothering me and try harder you will get what you want ".This is how children perceive it. Of course ,worse than this, is losing temper, When parents lose their temper they either get angry , humiliate or even hurt the child which is very damaging or the child takes control over the situation and do what pleases. In both cases it is a great loss for both parties. When parents get angry, It is a good idea to watch their emotions and to take a deep breath ,withdraw from the situation for few minutes and come back to it when they are cooled down. This will give them the opportunity to think of what to do and how to act rather than reacting negatively.
Dealing with misbehaviour
In spite of all parent's teachings and efforts, children might still misbehave. Here are some tips to deal with children's misbehaviour:
Seek to understand
Try to understand the reason behind the child's miss behavior so you can get to the root of the problems. A lot of times, children have stored negative emotions from a different situation and because they don't know how to manage their emotions they take it out in other situations. For example, a child can be bullied at school and he takes it out on his little sister at home. Or it might be a new behaviour or word he learnt at school and he is trying it out at home. If the channel of communication is kept open between the parent's and the child they can get the opportunity to reach to the core of the problem rather than superficially correct a child's act.
If the child is still at fault, then appropriate consequence should be applied. For example, if a child throws something on the floor, the consequences will be to ask him to clean the mess, rather than punishing him and getting someone else to clear the mess.
Catch them being good
It is a good idea not to put children under the micro scope all the time finding their faults. It is more effective if parents try to catch their children being good and reinforce the positive behaviour they carry out rather than just punishing them for their negative behaviour. Positive reinforcement is much more powerful the negative treatment.
Watch the language you choose
When a child misbehave it is important not to criticism. the child but to discuss the act. It is vital to avoid using any hurtful negative words to avoid leaving deep scars on children's personality.