What is Effective Discipline?
To most of us parents, the word Discipline is misunderstood as “punishment”!!!. Disciplining children is the most challenging experience in parenting yet very important in shaping children and helping them to have some structure in their lives from an early age. Effective discipline is the structure that helps the child to fit into the real world happily and effectively. It is the foundation for the development of the child’s own self-discipline.
Effective and positive discipline is about teaching and guiding children, not just forcing them to obey. Parents tend to use all sorts of ways to discipline children including; shouting, spanking, swearing, threatening, calling them names, restriction, denying food or what the child like most etc. At King’s Kid Crèche we believe in more user- friendly methods to discipline children. As with all other methods aimed at pointing out unacceptable behavior, the child should always know that the parent loves and supports him or her. Trust between parent and child should be maintained and constantly built upon.
As much as a Preschool or Crèche has a responsibility to ensure that a child receives all the necessary support and emotional care to further a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development, parents are equally responsible. The parent will always be the “Best Teacher”, hence coaching and disciplining a child has to start at home.
Why is Effective Discipline So Important?
Disciplining children is one of the most important yet difficult responsibilities of parenting, and there are no shortcuts. Teaching about limits and acceptable behavior takes time and a great deal of energy. I am sure all parents can relate to this. Today our lives are so rushed, hectic, busy, you name it. We are so absorbed into social media (Facebook, Twitter, Whats App, Instagram etc.); trying to connect with everyone else in the world yet we have very little time for our children. All these exciting things have become an obstacle to effective discipline and spending quality time with our children. As parents we have to make a conscious decision to foster acceptable and appropriate behavior in our children and to raise emotionally mature adults; else we should be ready for the consequences 20 years from now.
Parents should know that the foundation for effective discipline is respect. The child should be able to respect the parent’s authority and also the rights of others. Inconsistency in applying discipline will not help a child respect his or her parents. Harsh discipline such as humiliation (verbal abuse, shouting, name-calling) will also make it hard for the child to respect and trust the parent. Effective discipline means discipline applied with mutual respect in a firm, fair, reasonable and consistent way. The goal is to protect the child from danger, help the child learn self-discipline, and develop a healthy conscience and an internal sense of responsibility and control. It also helps to instill values. One of the most important thing in achieving effective discipline is consistency. Inconsistency is a major obstacle and will confuse any child, regardless of developmental age.
Simple Tips on Effective Discipline :
To be effective, discipline needs to be;
- given by an adult with an affective bond to the child;
- given by and adult who is firm and reasonable;
- consistent, close to the behavior needing change;
- perceived as ‘fair’ by the child;
- developmentally and temperamentally appropriate; and
- self-enhancing- to lead to self-discipline.
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