Mother and child looking at sunset

Discipline is a form of love. Your intentions are good, and you do it out of care and concern. But at many times, it is easy to be clouded with anger and resort to harsh punishments in order to show your child that their actions are greatly unacceptable nor tolerable.

However, it is important for parents to realize that physical punishments can possibly be harmful to their kids – increased aggression, anti-social behavior, and negative mental health impacts may arise. As your child is growing up and starts developing a character of their own, there is a need for careful consideration when it comes to enforcing discipline.

To help you out, here are 3 things to remember when disciplining your child (and encouraging healthy development at the same time)!

  1. Communicate Effectively
  2. Provide Reasoning
  3. Be Realistic

1. Communicate Effectively

Communication goes both ways – hear your child out, before asking them to hear you out. Children learn in different ways. By listening to what your child has to say, you can better understand why they acted in a certain way before reacting. Giving your child the opportunity to explain themselves will allow them to feel respected and heard. In turn, this has a positive impact on your parent-child relationship which will definitely be helpful in getting your child to comply with the rules you’ve set.

Listening to your child’s perspective can also give you better insights on parenting. Don’t be too quick to judge and hear them out!

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2. Provide Reasoning

Stating a rule without reasoning is a big mistake. When you express your disapproval, you should always explain why you are condemning that particular behavior. Show your child the consequences of their actions, and let them know that you are condemning the act out of care and concern.

Explaining your logic will help to prevent feelings of resentment that may arise from your child.

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3. Be Realistic

After proper communication and reasoning, it is time to reinforce your rules. Show your disapproval of your child’s misbehavior firmly and clearly state what are your expectations.

When doing so, be reasonable about the limits you set. If you put yourself in your child’s position, you will realize that drastic changes are often unrealistic. For instance, if your child disobeys the limit you’ve set on their screen-time, confiscating their electronic gadgets all of a sudden will probably not be the most ideal solution. Instead, try reducing their screen-time gradually.

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It is normal for kids to test their limits and try to get their way. But while we are eager to correct their misbehaviors, it’s important to bear in mind that impulsive punishments and harsh sanctions are often not solutions. Remember, discipline is a form of love, and it works best if your relationship with your child is built on trust!

References

  1. Smith, Brendan L. “The Case against Spanking.” American Psychological Association, https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking.
  2. “Discipline and Guiding Behaviour: Babies and Children.” Raising Children Network, https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/behaviour/discipline/discipline-strategies.
  3. Parker, Wayne. “Correcting Behavior in a Child Who Won’t Listen.” Verywell Family, www.verywellfamily.com/child-discipline-101-kids-wont-listen-1270213.
  4. “Tips on Listening to Your Child.” Family Education, www.familyeducation.com/life/communicating-your-child/tips-listening-your-child.
  5. “What’s the Best Way to Discipline My Child?” Healthy Children.org, www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/communication-discipline/Pages/Disciplining-Your-Child.aspx.