The key to raising undisciplined kids is to understand what developmentally appropriate discipline tactics are, why they are effective, and how to use them. We live in a world today that expects more from our children and we as parents must provide this for them. This article will help you raise a disciplined child that knows right from wrong and that follows through with what he/she has been told to do or else face the consequences.
Sometimes it seems like your child is miles away from their goals. But working on consequences and positive discipline techniques can help them learn responsibility and respect for others.
What do you understand by Discipline?
Discipline means teaching an individual to behave in a certain way. It is the process of guiding your child towards the positive behaviors you want them to display. This seems simple enough, yet every parent struggles with issues surrounding routine, rules, and expectations.
If a child does not know what behavior is acceptable, he is more likely to act out. If he knows what behavior is acceptable but does not understand why he may become confused when faced with a situation that calls for a certain type of behavior. Effective discipline gives children the ability to understand how their actions affect those around them (speaking) and helps them make decisions based on their role within the family.
As A Parent Establish Your Role
As parents, we have high expectations for our children. But there are times when they just do not behave as we would like them to do. It is times like that when the best thing you can do is take a step back and try again later. Letting your child know that you expect good behavior, but also recognizing that sometimes it just does not happen and being okay with that can help ease frustration and make a parent’s job easier.
As a parent, you have the primary responsibility of disciplining your child. Relatives and other adults can help. Sometimes schools, churches, therapists, health care professionals, and others may provide discipline for your child. But despite the help available, you cannot delegate this important job to others.
There are three styles of parenting, Which style do you use?
A permissive parent is a parent that shows lots of affection toward their child but provides little discipline. This can lead to behavioral issues in children and problems later in life such as drug or alcohol abuse, higher rates of depression and anxiety, and even suicide.
Being authoritative is the most effective form of parenting. An authoritative parent has clear expectations and consequences are affectionate toward their child and allows for flexibility and collaborative problem solving with the child when dealing with behavioral challenges.
An authoritarian parent has clear expectations and consequences. Their main goal is to make sure that their child follows the rules of the family and society in general. These parents tend to be overly strict, and not affectionate, and they make all decisions without much input from the child.
Basic Discipline Techniques
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the National Mental Health Association recommend these discipline techniques as effective:
- Time-outs are a form of discipline in which the child is temporarily isolated from the parent or caregiver. It is a way to help kids learn to control their behavior, so they behave better when you are home and around. Using time-outs works best with kids who can understand why they are getting a time-out. Most children are ready for a time out by the time they are two years old.
- Natural consequences can be an effective way to change your child’s behavior if they hear your warnings about the potential consequences of their actions but do not need them. Be sure, however, that any natural consequence you might impose is not dangerous.
- Logical Consequences are like natural consequences but involve explaining to your child the results of the specific behavior. The consequence can be a direct reaction to the behavior or an indirect consequence that you explain will occur if your child does not follow through.
- Natural consequences are things that happen because of your child’s behavior. When your child does something wrong, there is no need to lecture. Children will not blame you for what happened. For example, if a child deliberately breaks a toy, they will not have it to play with anymore.
- Rewards are used to encourage good behavior in children. “Catch him being good” means that you should praise your child as soon as he or she demonstrates the desired behavior—not just when the situation calls for an award. For example, if your child clears the table without being told, let them know how much that impressed you.
- Taking away a privilege is a discipline technique that you can use when there is no logical or natural consequence for unacceptable behavior. For example, if a middle schooler does not complete their homework on time, take away television privileges for the evening. The type of privilege that you remove depends on the situation. Understand that it is important to have a backup plan in case your child does not comply with the removal of a privilege.
- While there are many positive aspects to spanking, it is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and most mental health associations. Spanking may make children more aggressive and cause them to think that it is OK to physically hurt someone you love. If spanking is an effective discipline strategy for you, be sure to monitor your child’s behavior regularly to avoid physical abuse.
Primary Tips for Maintaining Discipline
If you are like most parents, you want to raise a child who is happy and well-adjusted, who has self-discipline and respect for others. While children are small and dependent on their parents, this goal can seem like an unachievable ideal. But it can be achieved if you understand your child’s temperamental style and develop discipline techniques that fit that style.
The most effective discipline techniques are those that are planned off time so that you are not caught off guard. To children who are old enough to understand, use planned discussions and role-playing to lay out the detailed do’s and don’ts of your plan. Explain why you are choosing these techniques (e.g., “Because hitting hurts”). Then repeat them again when it comes time for consequences or rewards.
- The best way to reinforce good behaviors is by praise. Try to keep your goals and your techniques consistent over time. Consistency is one of the keys to effective discipline. If you and other adults who care for your child disagree about how to discipline, your child may not be clear about what behavior is expected.
- Children will naturally imitate the behavior of their parents and others in their environment. If you show your child respect, he or she is more likely to respect you, other family members, and other people in his or her life.
- Giving in during public displays of misbehavior can have a devastating effect on your discipline. For example, if you give in to the child’s demands when he throws a tantrum when shopping, it is likely that he will continue to throw tantrums because he recognizes that he will get what he wants in the end.
- Consistency is the most important element in your efforts to correct poor behavior. If you say that toys will be off-limits for a week, then take them away if the offending behavior continues, the problem will be solved.
- Do not let the time your child spends on the consequence or consequence-related tasks be a time of continued lecturing or teaching. After your child has served her time, help her return to an appropriate activity, or move on to another area and then come back later in the day.
- When your child is misbehaving, look for the “why” behind his or her behavior. Your child is having a bad day at school and is not having a good relationship with their teacher. Or they have friends who are moving away and are facing some changes in their social circle. Or your child has work or school looming on the horizon and is feeling behind.
- Your child may be touching other people because he or she needs reassurance, because someone else is doing it, or because it feels good. If the behavior is prompted by stress or anxiety, try to find ways to help your child cope with that.
- One of the more difficult aspects of parenting is knowing what to do when your child misbehaves. Parents sometimes make demands for behavior that is beyond the child’s ability to comply, leading to frustration and conflict on both sides. It is OK if your child does not understand something you have asked them to do yet he or she will gain new skills over time. And there are lots of ways you can help this happen.
Know Where and When to Seek Help
Learn to be realistic about the times you are not able to be positive, and then give yourself a break. Let go of your guilt and consider the times when you need help with problem-solving and discipline in your family. If you have not already, give some thought to where you can get that help. Professional counseling services, support groups for parents, or partners who are willing to discuss issues will all help you become more effective as a parent.
Have you ever been in a situation where you did not know what to do next? Or you do know but do not know how to accomplish what you want. This can be one of the most frustrating things ever.
When you find yourself concerned about your child’s behavior and discipline, it is a good idea to check in with their doctor. Not sure when to seek help from a mental health professional? Here are some signs that could indicate your child may be struggling:
- It is important to recognize the warning signs of bullying and know how to respond. By watching for certain behaviors in your child or teen, you can identify when your child is being bullied or if he or she is bullying others.
- If you notice that your child or another family member is showing signs of depression, such as feeling blue for a long time and not being able to find enjoyment in things they used to love doing, it might be good to see a counselor.
- If other members of the family are involved with drugs or alcohol, this can cause problems in the relationship between siblings and parents.
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