The topic of discipline is guaranteed to generate an argument. How do I discipline my children? Where am I going wrong?
Everybody has their own ideas of what is appropriate and what is not, but too often we think discipline is a dirty word. Every family unit is different and therefore has different expectations of behaviour. I am the first to blame MY child if there has been an incident between my child and another child, something I know I need to work on. “What did you do wrong?” would be my first reaction. I
f my child has misbehaved or is at fault, they know they will need to apologise and sort it out. We all make mistakes but with some with children ( even some adults) the only way to learn a lesson is by making that mistake on their own. A bigger person admits to their faults, rectifies the situation and moves on.
Image Source: Boston Public Library
My role as a mother of 4 children is to love them, make them feel secure and to teach them right from wrong. Why is it that I see too many families who refuse to take on these simple responsibilities? It is OK for your child to make a mistake, nothing to be embarrassed about as long as they learn a lesson from it. Getting defensive never works and only aggravates the situation. A child will never understand where they went wrong if their parents are constantly stepping in to take over a situation. When that same child grows and enters the real world, they will no longer have the same protection from their parents and may find themselves in a state of confusion on handling the situation.
Boundaries for children
Disciplining children also teaches them boundaries. You can set the bar as high or as low as your family unit feels is necessary but boundaries are essential. Babies thrive on routines with many new parents understanding this and successfully instilling a routine for their baby. Young children and teenagers also thrive with routine. When children understand the boundaries and the punishment given out if the rules are broken, they feel a sense of security. This is an important and essential role as a parent that helps bring up happy and healthy children.
I will always have my children’s backs, even when they mess up and I have made sure they understand this. But I cannot fight all their battles and sometimes tough love is what is required. I try not to sweat the small stuff and concentrate on the bigger picture but along the way its the discipline which makes the bigger stuff not so big anymore.
Discipline is obviously a very important parenting method. Yes I know that it sucks to be told off or sent to your room but think of how things would be if you were allowed to do whatever you wanted. Sounds like a dream come true doesn’t it? There are always times when I wish that I could do anything but then I think, if I could do anything so could everyone else. Being taught how to behave at a young age is definitely important, no matter how annoying it can be. Obviously there are some rules that work and some that don’t. As I am the oldest of four I know how out of control my siblings can get without rules or restrictions. I don’t usually break rules or cause many issues, I’ve been told I’m a goody two shoes, but I do see what works and what doesn’t with my brothers and sister. I think the three most successful discipline tips I can give are;
- Banning. Yes I know what you’re thinking, why would any kid want something to be banned? Well I know firsthand that some people can become too dependent on devices such as a Nintendo and it rules their lives. It is extremely hard to live with these kind of people as you can never talk to them or even interact with people without them yelling that you ‘interrupted their game’ or something.
- For me and my family, timeout just don’t work. They don’t promote anything but if you do something wrong you are punished with time alone. I guess that in some households this may be a major punishment but in my house usually it just gives me time to myself, a luxury I barely ever get.
- Going to bed without dessert. Seems cliché and totally useless but I’ll have you know there is no quicker way to teach a kid a lesson. Even most teenagers still have a sweet tooth and love ending the day with a treat. Take that away and they will always remember the lesson learnt there, after they finish squabbling about how unfair it is.