Discipline is a big concern for moms and dads; every parent wants their child to grow up to be a well-regulated adult. It’s during childhood that parents help their kids achieve that.
Discipline can also influence children’s school performance: Sam Ogawng, an English and literature teacher, tellsThe New Times that disciplined kids can acquire knowledge and skills with ease, and one study found that self-disciplined students are more capable of focusing on long-term goals and making good choices in school.
It can be tough to rein yourself in when you’re frustrated about your child’s misbehavior, but if you respond angrily to him, he might think that it’s fine to act out when you’re upset. Yelling can also cause emotional and psychological pain for your child.
Instead, it might be more useful to remain gentle and loving when disciplining your child. A hug and an understanding statement can help him calm down so that he is better able to listen to you.
2. Be firm.
Aside from staying calm, assume a firm tone when disciplining your child, because he will notice if you’re unsure or anxious when trying to correct him. This might prevent him from taking your instructions seriously. Speak with authority so he will know you’re serious.
Sometimes, kids misbehave because they don’t know how to deal with their emotions. Listening to your little one to help him figure out those feelings can be an effective way to deal with misbehavior or even prevent them.
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4. Notice his good behavior.
Don’t just point out your child’s missteps; take time to notice the things he does right as well! Doing so will help reinforce his good habits and encourage him to keep doing them, therefore lessening your need to discipline him (hopefully). It’ll make him feel better, too!
5. Establish rules and limits.
Pediatrician Dr. Marianne NeiferttellsParenting that rules help provide a sense of order for kids to know what will come next. When a child knows what is required of him, he cooperates better. Make sure that the rules and limits for your child are age-appropriate because if they’re not, you might just set him up for failure.
When it comes to consequences, try to come up with ones that are directly connected to the misbehavior. For example, if he refuses to get dressed, the consequence may be that you won’t be taking him out anymore. If the consequences are unfair, he might feel like he’s being shortchanged or manipulated.
7. Set up routines.
Kids thrive on routines. These also allow parents to set realistic expectations on their child’s behavior. As much as possible, try to stick to those routines — and in situations where changes to the routine are unavoidable, don’t forget to give him a heads-up.