In this era we live in , it’s almost as if discipline is a taboo. Many kids get away with bad behaviors, no wonder why they become uncontrollable as they get older. No structure.
How can we discipline our kids. I’m outingling a few importnat points to think of when tdealing with children.
Be authoritative and not an authortarian – Discipline your children with love. This is the most important ingredient that differentiates the two. Make yourself and rules clear. Set expectations and list consequences for disobedience or misbehaviors. This gives the child the opportunity to learn to choose right from wrong and also learn that there are consequences for bad behaviors. You have to stick with the consequence.
Be consistent. It’s been said so many times that consistency in discipline is paramount. Saying the words isn’t enough. If you say, you must do. Follow through with action if you want to see the change you desire. This also prevents your child/children from thinking that he/she can do whatever he pleases and get away with it. “Momy or daddy won’t do anything… They’ll just talk but not actually do anything” Kids are smart, they come prepared to be cunning. They come prepared with skills on how to push your buttons. Don’t let them.
Think now Act later. It is perfectly ok not to to come up with your punishment for misbehavior right away. If you find yourself so angry it’s best to take a minute or an hour to cool off, and decide on how to handle the situation. You can send the child to their room while you take the time you need. It’s more important that the punishment matches the bad behavior than the punishment being issued “early”. If you need a day to think about it and converse with your partner, take a day. Let the child know that you two are coming up with a right punishment for his/her behavior. Let them know they’re not off the hook.
Always let your punishment fit the bad behavior. This can be hard sometimes because we tend to act in anger. I too have been a victim of this; issuing out drastic punishments because I was so upset about whatever my kids did worng. I’m also learning to take a minute to breathe before responding. Sometimes this pause helps me to realize if no punishement is needed at all. We have to understand that not every wrongdoing needs to be addressed with a punishment, some need correction with words and second chances.
Don’t be ashamed to discipline your child in public. Imagine a 9 year old talking back at his mother in a grocery store, in the presence of hundreds of other customers and the mother, feeling embarrassed, does nothing to discipline her child. Maybe she’s worried about what people will say, or how people will look at her. Trust me, you will get more wierd looks if you do nothing than if you call the kid to order immediately. If I have to redirect my kids at the grocery store, the mall, the park, church, anywhere, I usually do without caring who is looking or listening, I call them to order right away. I don’t believe in hitting or spanking kids over every little mistake they make because it can quickly go from spanking to physical abuse especially when you hit them in anger. I do agree with spanking lightly sometimes when absolutely necessary. It’s very easy for us adults to hit too hard when angry and cause extreme pain to the child or inflict an injury to their body part. Another thing is what you spank your child with. Some parents use their belts or other hard objects. Belts or whips aren’t meant for children but animals. It’s always best not to hit or punish your kids when you’re at your peak of anger over something they did wrong. Give yourself some time to cool off and then deal with the issue later.
Always positive never negative. I have heard parents use certian words on their kids when yelling at them over an issue. Idiot, stupid, wuss, wimp, dump, fool, foolish, etc It bites me everytime. How and why should you call your own child a dummy, or tell them they don’t use their brains to think right, or that they never do anything right or you’re so stupid. As parents our kids look up to us for everything and when most of our words and/or actions towards them is all negative, can you imagine how low they will feel? We crush our children’s self esteem when we pull them down with negative, no good words. Stay positive.