Disciplining Your Child
At the mention of the word discipline, most people imagine physical punishment. This is especially for those of us who grew up in very strict households where any slight deviance from what was considered right resulted in a thorough beating, nowadays referred to as ‘ass-whooping.’
In truth, however, discipline means correcting what is wrong as well as encouraging what is right. It may be a hard thing for many parents, especially considering that many of them just want to pamper their little bundles of joy all the way to adulthood. Discipline, however, is a necessary concept to produce morally upright children that know what is right and what is not.
This stage of growth is characterized by learning and acquiring of new skills. The toddler can quickly pick up good habits as well as the bad ones. There is also a lot of mix-up and frustration as they discover new feelings and emotions, which is why they may result in difficult behavior like biting, tantrums and even open defiance. Strategies to discipline them include:
- Introducing consequences. Let the toddler know that one wrong act results in something unpleasant. For example, tell them that if they throw a toy, they won’t see it again for ten minutes. Proceed to do just that.
- Showing them what you expect and why. For instance, let them know that you want them to swallow food not spit it out because it will cause a mess. Or, you want them to take off their footwear before they run in the house so as not to make a mess.
- Identifying their emotions. Toddlers seem to behave better when they know what they are feeling. If the child throws a tantrum when playtime is over, talk to them gently and let them know that they are experiencing anger or frustration.
- Separating them from their peers when correcting them. This saves them humiliation in front of their friends, which may cause them to be even more defiant. Take them to the side and talk to them privately.
- Time out. This involves sending the child to a different place or room alone until you calm down, especially when you are feeling very annoyed. You may accompany them if you are not very frustrated.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DISCIPLINE
Every child is different. Some learn easily and barely repeat mistakes, and others are just strong-willed and determined to be involved in certain things. For the latter, it is advisable to let them know what you feel. Also, try to see things from their perspective and understand that they are just trying to get some control over their world.
To positively instill discipline in your children, teach them your values even from a very young age. Let them know what you like and what you don’t. Don’t forget to be a role model; they are very keen on fairness which is why it all goes to deaf ears if you say one thing and o another.
In conclusion, every child is different, and you will need to understand them well before deciding on which discipline strategy to use. Whatever you choose, be sure it is proper and fair.