A lot of mums and dads know that disciplining kids is important, but what does discipline mean exactly?
The word discipline comes from the Latin word disciplina which means “teaching, learning”. While some people connect discipline with punishment or telling a child off, its true meaning lies in teaching your child the right thing to do.
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The goal of discipline isn’t to just make sure your child is well-behaved. Disciplining kids means that you also need to empower them so that they can change their behaviour.
Forcing your child to behave a certain way won’t cut it since that’s not really teaching your child anything. The key is to empower your child to change their behaviour themselves. And you can do that with one simple phrase.
Saying this one phrase will make disciplining kids a breeze!
When disciplining kids, patience and understanding are very important.
Whenever your child misbehaves, there are 4 steps that you need to remember:
- Identify the problem. First, make sure that your child knows what they did wrong. Identify the problem and let your child know that their behaviour wasn’t nice.
- Give them perspective. Let them look at their behaviour from a different perspective. For example, if they refuse to share their toys with others, ask them how they would feel if other kids also refused to share their toys with them.
- Provide them with an alternative. It’s always important to provide an alternative solution to your child’s behaviour problem. If they have a problem with sharing, then maybe they can ask another kid to share their toys as well so that both of them can play together.
- Empower them. Lastly, the most important thing would be to empower them. And all you need is to say this one phrase: You’ll remember next time. Telling your child that they’ll remember next time means that you trust them and you’re reassuring them that they won’t make the same mistake again. If they remember to do the right thing, then you can respond by giving them praise and showing excitement.
Empowering your child is very important since you’re letting your child have control over their behaviour instead of simply being told of what they need to do.
It’s important for mums and dads to understand that while the phrase “You’ll remember next time” does work, it’s not magic. Kids don’t always remember things, and it’s up to mums and dads to extend their patience and constantly reassure their child.
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Another thing to remember is to never let your child feel that they’re not in control of their behaviour. Try to avoid calling them “naughty,” “rude,” or “bad” as your child can internalize these things, and they might feel that they really are naughty, rude, or bad.
Be patient and try to understand things from your child’s perspective. A child’s bad behaviour isn’t the result of them being bad or actively trying to do bad things. Most of the time, kids just really don’t know any better, so it’s a parent’s job to guide their little ones.
READ: 5 Steps to discipline, WITHOUT hurting your child