Every parent dreams of disciplined, well-behaved and well-mannered kids. And similarly, every parent wishes to teach and embed this discipline in their children without resorting to the negativity of punishment. Punishment can not only widen the gulf between you and your child, but it can also lead to anger and frustration in him/her.
Such strong and aggressive feelings can take a toll on your child’s emotional development, and if these feelings become habitual, it will be very difficult to change them even as your child grows older.
Following are four simple yet highly effective tips that seek to disciple children without giving in to punishment.
Be Particular Of Your Child’s Feelings
The alternative to punishment is to sit down with your child and connect with them. Ask them to communicate their feelings and talk about your expectations. Tell your child about the natural consequences of their bad behaviour. For example, if your child refuses to pick up the toys scattered in the living room, tell them about how someone could get hurt by tripping over them, and it could lead to a serious injury.
However, the most important thing is to be mindful of your timing. Wait for your child to calm down before you initiate any talk. An angry child will only insist on bratty behaviour.
This is one of the most significant tips. If you are angry, tired or simply in a bad mood, don’t expect your child’s to be otherwise. Your children will naturally imitate you. Therefore, similar to ensuring your children’s serenity before you bond with them, it is important that you too are in a peaceful state of mind.
Moreover, always remember to be a role model for your children. If they observe you being calm in stressful situations, they will naturally learn to deal with any problems –even if they’re as simple as clearing up toys after playtime – naturally.
Perhaps the most efficient trick, offering choices will not only help you avoid the messy path of punishment, but it will also let your child be in control. It will lead them to think that they have the upper hand in the situation –the choice.
If we consider the same example of your child throwing a tantrum, refusing to clear up the toys, an alternative effortlessly clears the situation (and the toys). Offer them an alternative that they can either clear up the toys then get some chocolate or you could clear them up, but that would mean no chocolate for them.
Always Remember to Praise
Just how you take action against the bad, always acknowledge and praise the good. If your child cleans up the living room, remember to give him/her a high five, a hug or maybe even his/her favourite lunch. This will encourage your children to do good more often.
It can thus be seen how your children can be disciplined in a number of ways that do not involve punishment. A little bit of positive reinforcement and acknowledgement, a few bonding sessions with your children and a couple of alternatives later, and your children will not only be disciplined, but they will also be much closer to you.