How to discipline your child without making him resent you
Learn how to discipline your child — and avoid being the parent he resents — with these helpful tips!
Disciplinary actions are never popular among screaming tots but they have to be enforced whether they are well-received or not. For parents fearing that steps like this might strain your relationship with your kid, fear not — we share pointers on how to discipline your child without having them resent you because of it.
The importance of follow up
You know the feeling when you’re left hanging at the end of a book that doesn’t tie up the plot’s loose ends? Or even a cliffhanger at the latest blockbuster movie?
We all know the sense of frustration and bewilderment that comes around when we don’t experience a follow-up or are enlightened from knowing what all that was about. Imagine how your kids would feel, too, if you simply discipline them without following up on your actions.
This is probably the root cause of what every parent fears the most — your kids resenting you after you discipline them.
Discipline and its aftermath doesn’t always have to be difficult. Your child won’t resent you if he or she realises that what you're doing is actually for his or her best interests.
So, make sure your kid understands your rationale for discipline and ensure that you don’t leave her 'hanging' after you discipline her. Always follow up your discipline methods with calm reasoning, and lots of hugs and cuddles, of course!
Here are 7 simple things you can do after you discipline your child, to make sure that he or she doesn't resent you afterwards:
1. Sit your child down
Your child is always calmer and more receptive to a serious talk when the tension between you is lower and the both of you are more relaxed.
Find a comfortable area and sit down together. Make sure all possible distractions, such as the handphone, toys or the television are kept away or switched off.
2. Calmly explain why
Remember that you have already enforced the disciplinary action on your child so there’s no use in continuing your nagging or feeling angry about the incident. Keep your cool and maintain a calm stance in explaining what happened and why you did it.
3. Make sure your child understands
More often than not, your child 'switches off' when you’re nagging — although he might appear like he's paying attention, you should know that he's probably not taking in what you’re saying.
In order to ensure that your kid is absorbing all you’re saying, ask more prompting questions and cut out the nagging parts.
4. Reassure your child
Put yourself in your kid’s shoes — he’s probably feeling lousy right now. Probably in low spirits right after getting disciplined, what he needs now isn’t more censuring but just some affirmation and reassurance.
Constantly tell your child that you love him or her and let him or her know that you are doing this only because you care.
5. Show some affection
While step 4 as the verbal part of reassurance is crucial, children usually respond better to more tangible actions of affection. Show your love physically to your kid through a hug or a peck on the cheek — it’ll really make him or her feel much better.
6. Talk about lighthearted matters
Yes, we know things at home now might be tense and everyone might not be in the best of moods. Rather than brooding on the matter and remaining upset or sullen, chat your kid up with something more lighthearted and casual.
A cheery conversation will definitely defuse most of the tension at home and lift the spirits of the whole family.
7. Don’t bring it up unnecessarily
As the wisest parents would say, forgive and forget. As cliché as it might sound, what’s done cannot be undone and you’ve already done your best in disciplining your child.
After you discipline your child, try not to mention his wrongdoings or use them against him in the future. Besides sounding less 'naggy' and tiresome, you’re also giving your child a better opportunity to prove himself, relieving yourself of unnecessary stress at the same time.
How do you discipline your child so that he or she doesn't resent you? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment!