Child discipline - A parent's right
Toddler for sale?
''Stop that. Sit here. Do not touch that''.
Just getting in from work and I already have to dish out instructions. Phew!!! Thank goodness for nurseries and daycares, I would have been forced to put this toddler up for sale till he is at least 18.
I thought wrong
Parenthood is truly a blessing, it helps you discover your talents. Talents in screaming - a trait you never knew you had.
I thought being 2-years old was terrible. Well welcome 3. My dearest toddler (bless him) has just clocked 3 and at this stage I will not consider him adorable. He is sweet and all but I can see myself pulling my hair apart.
Bath-time is tsunami time. Feeding time is make-over time for me, with cereal as my new mascara. Going for outings is a no-no for me. I try to avoid it if I can. And bed-time? Oh the headache. There I was trying to sing sweet lullabies and I found myself sleeping off instead. Every misbehavior comes with a smile that makes it difficult to administer any kind of punishment.
I thought raising a child would be easy but I thought wrong. You learn all sorts from books, tv programs but can you really implement them? Some, Yes. But most, NO. Experience is really the best teacher and every child comes with something new.
Child discipline- a parents' right
I have a hard time disciplining my child, he just has this cute face that makes you melt like jelly. The small punishments come to play once in a while like, no cartoon network for you today, no ice-creams or chocolates, go to the naughty corner for a time out (are you kidding me? I wouldn't mind one myself) What does that leave me? Punishment with the rod? Indeed, spare the rod and spoil the child- this is a mother who cried during her child's circumcision.
I have come to understand that to groom responsible children and adults who will become the leaders of tomorrow, we have to start disciplining now. It is a parents' right and duty to instill discipline, they need to know the Yes', No's and why.
After much advice from concerned and caring parents, I have learnt a few tips to keep me sane when it comes to discipling my child.
1. Stay Calm and avoid screaming- easier said than done. But it is workable. I am told this makes the child learn and understand self-control.
2. Avoid physical punishment- I hear this has not really done much good. (How about pinching and pulling the ear?). Spanking may only seem to work initially but eventually makes the child more aggressive and resentful. This will manifest when the child is much older (yes, yes I am a witness!!!)
3. Withhold privileges - I haven't done so badly, I guess I can score myself a 95 in that department. I try to alternate this punishment with others so that it does not lose its effectiveness over time. E.g Go to bed now, no desert for you today, you are not attending your friends party, no toys for 2 days
4. Acknowledge and reward good behavior- When it comes to children, you have to open the door of praise. Good boy, thank you for that..blah.. blah..Do not focus on negatives. Praise the child when he is doing good (not excessively though). As an African child, praising was not one of my good spot but I am learning.
5. Set rules and boundaries - Follow through with any rule set and assign consequences for breaking each of them. This is the hardest for me because my 3 year old does not understand boundaries yet and it only takes me through the cycle again- screaming, withholding privileges and rewarding good behavior. It just never ends
6. NO: a necessary tool for disciplining - Don't give in to your child's tantrum (as I write - he is rolling on the floor for some chocolate and I have conveniently buried myself in this hub). As much as I love my children, I need to make them understand that the world will not always give us what we want. If you are the type that says yes easily and a lot, try stalling to give a response or say 'maybe'. In a child's dictionary maybe may as well be no.
These are just a few tips. Bottom line, you know your child best and are in a better position to know what will work.
P.S- I better go attend to the chocolate-crying-lil-angel before he rips my fridge apart.
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