Should you discipline children ?
Children are individuals in their own right. They grow fast during their first five years and are eager to experiment and explore things around them.They learn by observing and imitating .They are small and everything is new to them and so they need our guidance to understand wrong and right.They need to be gently instructed to follow a particular way of behaviour.They need guidelines to differentiate right from wrong. They need guidance to learn acceptable social behaviour and build morals and a value system to develop self discipline throughout their lives. This could be defined as disciplining a child.
Believe me, children like to be disciplined. Often when things become too much for them to handle they get confused and get out of control.It is then that they need our help. We should remember – we don’t train children….that’s for puppies.We need to give them full attention and caring for their needs. We should be there for them to understand somethings are not correct. Disciplining does not mean punishing or ridiculing a child.He /she needs to be gently explained why an action is not acceptable .
Picture 1 : What can happen if you don’t exercise discipline. Patience is the way to make kids understand -it takes time and consistence effort.Needless to say, the reward is phenomenal. Like I always say ,there is no magic formula…you have to test and find out what works best for you in different situations.
Some ways that can be used to discipline :-
- At all times we should be aware of the child’s needs and pay attention to them.Remember the child is experiencing new things,many times things for the first time – we have to help them to make choices , eg : How to use a book ,to put away things like .toys and not to destroy them……..
- Limits can be set on what is acceptable behaviour and should be followed not to confuse the child.One must be gentle yet firm at all times: – eg. Eating food sitting in one place….cleaning up after play….. TV watching only at a given time….
- Never ridicule a child in front of others.This can lower his / her self esteem and sometimes kids may react, and turn out to be more aggressive and bold to hide their embarassment.
- Don’t give into tantrums .If you do, kids will know how to get what they want at all times .
- Be gentle yet firm telling them you mean business.Try to use encouraging words .
- Last but not the least , set an example. like don’t waste food….. sit and eat ,chew your food…clean up….
Don’t respond to tantrums …….reason out—-
For a more effective way to discipline children ,they must understand that if an action is not acceptable , they will have to face the outcome 0r the consequences.
Natural Cnsequences:- The child learns by his own deeds. He /she will have to be monitored –or else the child could get a ” I don’t care “attitude.some examples :- Forgetting lunch box …goes hungry so he /she will remember to take his tiffin.
Sleeps till late…. misses school bus..
Leaves or destroys his toys…. won’t have toys to play…
Here the child may be too young so he has to be reasoned with.
Logical Consequences :- The child is explained that every time he does an action which not acceptable – he will have to face the result….example
Wasting food….. no favourite dish next time………Toys not put away ……cannot go out to play with friends……
Other ways of disciplining :-
Distracting the child from the activity eg…If he /she is standing on his /her toys one can give balls to throw and so engage the child in another activity…….If the child is throwing a tantrum one can start singing a fun song….”5 liitle monkeys”…..
it is important to remember that children get easily distracted so instead of yelling or scolding ,one can change the focus to another activity.
Instead of always being negative with no and don’t –we can say ‘lets see if this works ” in a voice that the child feels confident about.
It is important to remember that everything that happens to a child from the time he is born leaves an impression on him /her.Every experience plays a part in forming the child’s character.As adults it is our duty to guide the child and discipline him /her so that he /she grows up with a good value system.
One has to find a way that suits one and is most effective.
Punishing is a NO, NO
Reward is nice but should not become a habit or the child will do things only for the reward.