Want to know how to raise a disciplined child? Remember these 6 rules!
Mums and dads are free to write their own rules for their kids, but when it comes to discipline these guidelines will greatly help!
I was once at a restaurant where a mum whose toddler was throwing a tantrum calmly spoke to him until the child calmed down.
Explaining to him why he absolutely could not have more ice cream because it would hurt his tummy later in the day helped diffuse the tantrum and reassure the child of her love.
To me, this was a shining example of how parents can effectively discipline their child, or at least get them to listen to reason, with love, patience, and care.
Psychologist and author Lisa Firestone echoes this same idea in an article on Psychology Today. When it comes to discipline, the first step is for parents to get a handle on their own emotions.
When it comes to discipline styles, mums and dads write the rules.
But there will be times when they feel that they could be revising these rules to be more effective, particularly when their child's emotional needs deepen as they grow up.
Raise a disciplined child: Six rules for parents
1. Remain calm at all times
First, relax and get a handle on your own emotions before disciplining your child. To a child, nothing is scarier than being yelled at by their parent.
You cannot communicate properly when you're upset because children will not remember what you said, but more of how they felt to see you lash out.
2. Think about your desired effect
What do you want your child to learn? What is the best way to discipline them without venting your frustrations, while still reassuring them of your love?
Kids listen and express themselves best when they feel they are secure and cared for. Once they feel that they are not being blamed, they will be more open to the lessons you wish to teach them.
For instance, don't simply tell them that their behaviour upsets you, but tell them in a rational manner how certain kinds of behaviour, like refusing to do homework or not wanting to share toys, will give them a difficult time in the long run.
3. Truly connect with your child
Effective discipline doesn't just mean keeping your own emotions at bay, it means helping your child calm down as well. You know your child best. Will hugging them or speaking to them eye-to-eye will help?
When your child is having a meltdown because they can't seem to finish their homework, for example, don't immediately give them an easy way out, but do make things easier for them.
Take breaks to do things they enjoy, even if it's just having a quick snack.
4. Refrain from harsh punishment
Isolating them or punishing them physically has been proven by many parents as simply counterproductive. There are ways to be firm without being harsh.
Though "time outs" have been known to work in the past, it can deprive your child from the opportunity to learn through communication when things get confusing.
Allowing them the ability to interact can build resilience and develop healthy ways for them to regulate their emotions.
5. Behave the way you want them to
Modelling good behaviour, or giving them concrete examples of how to behave well, works better than simply telling them NOT to do certain things.
Don't overparent or spoil them because it can lead to a sense of entitlement that can hinder them from growing up to be well-rounded adults.
Celebrate their positive qualities and be consistently supportive and loving. Make sure they know that just because they exhibited bad behaviour, it does not make them a "bad" child.
6. Nurture empathy
Parenting and character expert Dr. Michele Borba told theAsianparent in an interview that "kids are hardwired for goodness." Nurturing empathy is so important for parents to remember because this is where most, if not all, desirable values arise from, like respect, compassion, honesty, and kindness.
Most importantly, all methods of discipline should be directed at teaching and not punishment. As a parent, strive to make all interactions with your child loving but firm, filled with reassurance that just because they misbehave at times, they will always be the good kid you love and will always be proud to call your own.
Source: Psychology Today