Discipline is the key to success at any age and in any field. The same applies to child disciplining too. The disciplining process of a child needs to be started from a very young age. They say, young children are like soft clay balls that can assume a shape as per the discipline instilled by their parents. As parents, the responsibility lies on us to choose the perfect shape and design for these young minds. The methods of disciplining may vary for each child or as per the family's customs. But in the end, discipline is needed to cultivate values, good manners and a broad-minded personality out of a child. No wonder it is said that a disciplined child mirrors the image of his/her parents. Listed below are some disciplining methods commonly used by parents around the world.
As I previously said, disciplining techniques tend to vary as per the family's customs and the type of upbringing of the mother or father when he or she was a child. As parents, there is a natural tendency to adopt a disciplining technique that resembles the technique used by our parents. However, there are a few instances where parents have preferred disciplining techniques that are totally opposite to the methods used by their own parents. Here is a list of disciplinary methods for your reference.
This is one of the most common methods of disciplining applied by parents for generations together. It works on the principle behind the old proverb which says,
"Spare the rod and spoil the child!"
There has however, been a general disagreement in the recent times, when child psychologists pointed out that spanking might cause long-term physical and psychological effects on the child. It is even said that spanking is incorrect because the child is physically weaker than his parents to react to the beating. Traditionally, spanking or physically hurting or beating a child was considered as the best method of discipline. Here it is assumed that the child can easily recall the physical pain he experienced when he was spanked for his misbehavior. This will help him to refrain from making similar mistakes in the future. However, parents resorting to spanking should remember that intense spanking might lead to greenstick fractures as well as damage to certain nerves in a child's body.
This method involves giving silent treatment to the child. At times, this method is accompanied by withdrawal of affection and contact with the child. The child is made to understand that he will face isolation and silence each time he misbehaves. Children generally crave for constant love and affection from their parents and guardians. A sudden deprivation of communication is likely to make the child understand that he will lose parental attention. Though widely practiced as a method of discipline, child psychologists around the world state that this method may create some long-term effects on the tender mind of a child. Children subjected to this disciplinary method are known for having issues of anxiety and a constant fear of abandonment. At times, such children have difficulty maintaining cordial relationships with other people when they become adults.
Parents who wish to highlight the right kind of behavior may at times resort to appreciating instances of positive behavior in the child e.g. Helping a classmate with homework, sharing toys, and helping parents with the cleaning. A child who craves for positive responses from his parents for his actions, is likely to behave in a way so as to become a model child. Parents may also reward the children for good behavior. Here, care needs to be taken lest the child turns very materialistic. However, parents tend to err when dealing with misbehavior. It is quite likely that the child will make mistakes intentionally or unintentionally however, the same need not be discussed and rebuked openly in front of family or guests. Instead, parents may choose to talk to their children in private and tell them about how their recent behavior was uncalled-for.
This method involves taking away the privileges of the child such as watching television, playing games on the computer, having dinner with family, etc. As soon as the child misbehaves, he might be given a short explanation about the mistake, followed by a timed seclusion. However, parents should ensure that the child does not develop extreme fear or phobia of the place where he is confined. Parents need to be ready to reduce the time-out period if the child shows a positive response to the disciplinary method.
Crucial Points to Remember
I cannot end this article without mentioning certain points that go a long way into building a healthy parent-child relationship. Here is what parents need to remember.
- Never scream or yell at your children. This might permanently spoil your relationship with the child. Similarly, it is likely to make your child verbally abusive as he grows up. Parents need to be polite and firm with their kids at all times.
- Do not starve your children as part of your disciplinary regime.
- Each time you discipline your children, make sure you bend down and talk to them at eye level.
- Whenever you discipline your child, make sure you mention the misbehavior. By way of providing a solution, mention how the child should have actually behaved.
- It is essential that both the parents agree over the choice of disciplinary actions. If parents openly show their disapproval of each others' disciplinary methods, it is quite common for children to take advantage of the situation.
Parents need to be consistent with the nature of the disciplinary method chosen by them. In case a child misbehaves, the misbehavior should be corrected immediately. Care should be taken to avoid discrimination between children while trying to discipline them. Disciplining children
might make parents feel guilty. But trust me, it is essential for the personal growth of the child.