Child discipline is usually associated with good parenting. Between typical toddler bahaviour and being naughty, there must be a line to distinguish them. It is here that parents need to decide what acceptable behaviour is, and what is not. They must also bear in mind what society’s expectation of proper discipline is, so that the child would be able to function within the societal norms.
Sarah draws on the walls with her crayons while Zack throws his food on the floor. Would you just brush aside the behaviour as being typical of toddler’s? Or do you feel that you need to exercise some discipline here? According to Webster’s dictionary, discipline is training that develops self-control and efficiency. Therefore child discipline could be defined as a training or a process to help these young children to learn acceptable behaviour and able to exercise self-control. They too must in the end, able to decide on the best choices and without doubt, this will lead them in being efficient in life.
Parents may ask, when do we start to discipline a child? Many experts agree that it should start from the very beginning. Parents must not start disciplining the child only when a bad behaviour surfaced. Cuddling and talking to baby may improve his brain development. Words such as, 'It’s time to have your milk now or time for a diaper change’ introduce the time factor here. Though baby cannot understand words said, they can relate to the tone used by the parents.
As parents, we may have indicated the type of behaviour that is acceptable from the very start. We could have learnt them from our own parents and now we are handing them down to the children. We could also have learnt through trial and error. There are many ways in enforcing discipline but the desired results could only be achieved through positive encouragement, consistency and love.
Some of the ways of disciplining include giving instructions calmly, being firm when rules have been set earlier on and giving attention to good behaviour. When faced with constant bad behaviour, it is very easy to lose your temper and start shouting at your child. However, shouting should be avoided for it may worsen the bad behaviour or even introduced another! Try to be calm. The child would find it easier to listen to you if no shouting is involved. Listening is a skill that needs to be developed at an early age.
Being firm is another rule that parents should follow. If you have said ‘no’, then it will be a ‘no’. No amount of bargaining from the child should change you. Though you may feel bad about saying ‘no’, your child needs to know his boundaries and limitations.
Giving attention to good behaviour is also an effective child discipline technique. Praise and reward when used appropriately can bring fruitful results. However, do avoid giving sweets as reward.
Child discipline is vital to the development of a child. With the decline in overall discipline worldwide, parents should take this as a challenge to help bring about a well disciplined generation.
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