What’s the most effective and peaceful method to discipline children? There seem to be parents who still hold with the “spoil the rod, spoil the child” philosophy, happily hitting, beating and smacking their child, justifying this behavior by quoting the Bible. On the other opposite end, there are parents who refrain from having any level of accountability or responsibility requirement for their children, nor do some of these parents hold their children to any decent standards of behavior.
Both of these polarities can have dire consequences for both the children and parents, as well as the world. We all have to be accountable for our thoughts, language, behavior, and the consequences of our actions or inactions. Nobody gets a free ride, as we are all here to evolve.
Clearly, every child is different, requiring unique approaches. Also, every child needs parental attention, love, care, and understanding. When parents refuse to deal with their kids, hoping that somehow, magically, their kids will “do the right thing,” and that no one should ever tell them (the parents) anything negative about their children, these very parents are living in a fantasy.
Moms, Dads, ask people who see your kids in settings where you are absent — as in school, other people’s homes, the playground, sports, after-school programs — how your children behave, and how these other people perceive your children. Regularly, speak with your child about how life is going for them. Refuse to accept a grunt as an answer.
Hitting, beating, smacking, any corporeal punishment teaches that might makes right, that physical violence is acceptable under certain circumstances, that bullying has a place. Being hit is demeaning. Yes, some kids may stop their inappropriate behavior, yet what has that child learned? Has that child learned why their behavior had been objectionable? Has the child learned how to self regulate? Does the child maintain self respect?
Being hit harms a child’s sense of self, has the child think less of her or him self. When a parent, supposedly a person who loves a child, then physically hurts that child, the child can get an internally twisted idea of live, even if the child has the intellectual and emotional capacity to distinguish punishment from loving actions.
Start early, when your child is a toddler. TALK to your child. Explain why certain behavior is acceptable, while other actions are unacceptable. Have the child think about this. Perhaps, the child can draw a picture, act out a scenario, or see something on a good video or child TV show that will demonstrate the lesson you are in the midst of teaching. Time out is also good. Taking away or awarding privileges are effective techniques.
As a parent, be sure what you require of your child is age appropriate. A foolish parent will expect a child in a high chair to eat with the manners of a cultured adult. This child will sometimes play with her or his food. This is okay. Yes, I know, some parents require strict obedience and adherence to adult etiquette, even, for example, the parent, speaking in a very stern harsh tone to the child, then turning the child and high chair to the wall, rather than facing and participating with the family. This kind of behavior, for example, needs to be avoided, as the child can get nervous about ever pleasing this parent.
Balanced Discipline 2 – Is There Such a Thing? will give 7 ideas you can implement in your home with children of various ages.
What are your thoughts? What are your experiences?
May you have a blessed day with yourself, your children, your mate, your world!!!!