I’m afraid to discipline my kid…

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If you treat your child as someone who cannot understand, they will always behave like one. The boundaries should really begin at birth.

mother scolding childDiscipline is often confused with punishment. This is why we are afraid to discipline our kids. What distinguishes the more harsh training that often passes for teaching in our society is positive discipline. Try to enforce rules while empathising with a child’s behaviour. Every child presents discipline challenges at every age, here we show you the how to handle them.

We spoke to a circle of parents to find out how they do it. This is what they had to say about disciplining their child.

As the mom of three kids, aged between 9 years to 13 months, Karen says-

“I believe that babies are much smarter than what we take them to be. I start with a grumpy look, and then a firm ‘No’ and after the final warning take the toys away.  Again with my toddlers, a light swat on the hand, accompanied with a stern ‘don’t touch’ work.  If they abide they are rewarded by a loving snuggle and kiss.”

Pat, a father of two kids says –

“I don’t think it is too early. If our kids try to touch anything electrical or the cupboards, we give them a smack on the hand not too hard though. If he is playing up over meal times we put him in his highchair and turn him around to face the wall for a minute. Later we always give him a hug and tell him why we did it and ask him to say sorry. He is learning.”

Below we have answered the most common questions parents encounter while disciplining their kid?

What is the right age to start disciplining my kid?

If you treat your child as someone who cannot understand, they will always behave like one. The boundaries should really begin at birth. There are no real age guidelines to enforce rules. Adjust rules according to your child’s comprehension level. When a successful method doesn’t seem to work anymore, step it up a notch.

How do I discipline my kid?

Set a good example early on. When your child tries to tell you something, focus your attention and respond, just as you expect her to listen to you. Model whatever you want to teach your kid. A child gets your message more from observation than from communication.

Punishment is destructive to your relationship with your child creating misbehaviour. The right way is to set limits and reinforce expectation, but in an empathic way that helps the child focus on improving her behaviour rather than getting angry.

Why do my kids disregard my warnings and threats?

We all make empty threats and warnings sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment, hoping to coerce better behaviour out of our kids. These seldom work as we give warnings with great consequences to grab maximum attention which we fail to abide. So they learn to not pay much attention to those warnings at all. Instead prepare your child beforehand. If you do not behave you may not go to ‘Candyland’ next Friday. These warnings are much easier to stand by.

How do I discipline my kid without being a hardliner in the process?

Disciplining a child is like walking a tight rope.  On one side you don’t want to be too liberal and raise a brat. On the other side there’s the fear of over-control and raising daunted, sullen kids. Discipline gives a child structure and rules without which they start to feel insecure. Practicing positive discipline ensures that our little ones grow up to be respectful, caring, and well behaved.

What should I do when my toddler enters the kitchen and touches electrical points?

Explain to your child in your way that as a parent their safety and well-being is your priority and purpose.  Speak to your child in simple words about the dangers in such places as you cannot always be there to protect them.

Special care should be taken about safety issues. Get hold of home kid friendly products.  Special child proof switch guards, locks are available for appliances, use fencing around the kitchen area in order to keep them safe. Reminding them about safety will surely make them understand.

Is it okay to use time-outs with my toddler?

The time-out is one of the best-known discipline tactics, but it’s also somewhat controversial. When we say ‘Go to your room,’ we’re teaching them we’re in control, though we really want them to learn to control themselves. Treat time-outs nothing more than a brief cooling-off period for both of you.  Less than a minute of time-out is long enough for a 2 year old.

What is the best discipline method?

Discipline has many forms, as a parent choose what’s best. Whichever form of discipline you choose, just keep them consistent and moderate. Be consistent and unwavering about rules and chores. Always back it up with positive reinforcement and love. Everything we do as parents is to connect with our child and support him so he’s open to our guidance.

Be sure to check out ParentTown for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from sg.theAsianparent.com! 

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