How to Discipline Children – Parenting Methods & Important Tips
Is your child deliberately picking up fights with you or with his teachers in school? Is he displaying aggressive behaviour by bullying his peers? You may have even noticed that your child feels sad and depressed for long periods of time and does not talk to anyone. The problem is that he does not have any strong and positive role models from whom he can draw inspiration. Such kind of behaviour is a sign of a lack of a healthy environment in school and at home. But worry not, as this can be rectified through discipline.
Why is Spanking Not the Best Option to Discipline Your Child?
Nearly all of us grew up under child discipline methods of scolding, beating, or being spanked, and now we seem to have accepted it as means of growing up phase and lead our lives rather efficiently. But statistics and research have now shown that spanking your kid can have unwanted effects on his physical and mental well-being.
Spanking always seems to work the first time it’s done. Your child relents and begins listening to you. But repetitive administration leads to him being insensitive to it and he begins to manifest hateful emotions for the same. The worst part is that spanking develops a fear in children, and he might often find it difficult to communicate freely because of the fear of being scolded or spanked.
Initially, you may try to talk to him calmly and patiently, but once you resort to spanking, it makes him think that you do not care about him anymore, which only fuels his anger and aggressive behaviour and he does not take responsibility for his actions. He begins to accept that anger is the only appropriate way to handle conflicts and maintain control. And as he grows old, it may result in physical fights which could end up hurting him.
Research has also shown that spanking causes long-term behavioural impact on the mental health of kids. With no understanding of a mature way to handle conflict, such children grow up to be adults who resort to alcohol and violence to handle their emotions, hit their children or spouse, and lead a frustrated life thereafter.
What to Do if Your Child Throws a Temper Tantrum?
Tantrums can be prevented by giving your child positive reinforcement for good behaviour. If he helps you with your chores or finishes his work on time, a simple pat on the back and a few words of encouragement would be enough to set his moral compass right.
Whenever you sense that a certain situation might cause him to start throwing a tantrum, step in before he even has a chance to react, and ask him if he is feeling fine or if there’s something he would like to tell you. If he does tell you properly about his issue, help him in resolving the problem. However, if he starts getting frustrated, maintain your own calm and make him understand why certain actions are unacceptable. Telling him in a gentle tone that he can be angry if he wants to, but he is not allowed to throw things around the house. This will make him understand that his actions are wrong and your patient behaviour towards him will make him happy and he will feel that his emotions are being acknowledged. A gentle approach always goes a long way.
If, at all, he completely loses control and starts throwing tantrums, start by ignoring his behaviour completely and carrying on as usual. But, do keep a watch on him to ensure that he isn’t harming himself or anyone else in the home. If such kind of behaviour is increasing and he gets physically violent, restrain him by holding him firmly. Do not slap or spank in order to control him. Use enough strength to restrain any physical movement and he will gradually calm down.
Once he calms down, let him drink some water and wash his face. Distract him from the issue at hand by bringing up a new topic or asking him to help you with some household chore. If he is considerably grown up, talk to him about why such tantrums are harmful and unacceptable, and find better ways to communicate in the future.
The Best Ways to Discipline Children
When children are in their growing stage, it is the responsibility of parents to keep their behaviour in check, otherwise, they will go out of hand. Children spoiled in young age, remained spoiled for life. So, a little discipline is necessary, don’t you think? But how to discipline them so that they take it in a positive manner? Here are some ways of making sure that your children behave properly without you having to resort to physical or verbal thrashing.
- Second Chance – If your child has been rude or disrespectful towards you or anyone, make him aware of what he did and ask him to repeat his actions without being rude.
- No More Talking – If he has said something rude or unpleasant, ask him to firmly stay silent for some time. This will give him some time to think and introspect. He will understand that such a behaviour was completely unnecessary and will remember it in future.
- Let Him Win – If certain things are not to your liking but the consequences aren’t harmful to anyone, you can let him win an argument and allow him certain control in his own life.
- Breathe – Shouting back at a child who is already throwing tantrums and shouting will only result in noise and disrupt the neighbours. So, instead of playing the shouting game, firmly send your child to his room or ask him to sit in a corner for a while, and let him calm down.
- Spare the Rod – Spanking your child or hitting him should rarely be an option. Using the rod even in the mildest form creates a fear in him rather than a sense of responsibility for his actions. So, remember never to spank your child even if you are angry at him. You don’t want him to be afraid of you.
- No ‘I-told-you-so’ – Even when you forewarn him about an upcoming problem, he may ignore it until it stares at him right in his face. As tempting as it might be, don’t resort to telling him that you had warned him already. Help him in dealing with that problem and he will appreciate that you are by his side.
- Be Smart – When your child doesn’t want to listen to you, create interesting scenarios for him so that he will end up listening to you and doing what you wanted him to do.
- Sacrifice – In order to show him the cost of his actions, take away his favourite toy or video-game for some time until he understands what he did was wrong.
- Restricting Social Interactions – Restricting social interactions of a child is a solution that might work because he wouldn’t want to get embarrassed in front of his friends. But, don’t use this way when he is with his friends or among relatives. As this will lower his morale and he will dislike you. Although it is one of the options, it is best to avoid it.
- Love and encouragement – It is a common misconception among people that to disciple a child, one needs to use strict ways. But that is not true at all. Discipline can be inculcated once children are encouraged for good behaviour. You talk to your child politely and he will listen to you. Discipline is never confined to a strict approach, it is blossomed by a positive tone.
Tantrums are a child’s way of showing his dislike and refusal to agree with what you’re asking since he isn’t fully equipped to process unwanted emotions. By understanding your child better and using the right methods to inculcate discipline, your child will not only behave better but become closer to you as well.