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Child Discipline and Successful Parenting

Updated on June 21, 2011

Child Discipline

Child discipline is at the core of successful parenting. But today it seems many parents just don't know how. Parents, easily fall into the trap of thinking life revolves around the children. Much of it does. However, parents must take care of themselves. It’s important for them to get proper rest, eat healthy, exercise and schedule personal time before they can effectively concentrate on being good parents.

Child discipline should start as soon as a child is born by holding, cuddling, and talking to them. Studies have revealed talking to a newborn may assist in brain development.

New parents often only think about correction measures after the fact. They must be taught what to expect. Discipline is best thought of as a way to teach appropriate behavior, attitudes and how to make good choices. Children need to learn self control, mutual respect and accountability. Without this, children are apt to have behavioral and emotional problems.

The Bible is a good source of information on correctly raising children. It says parents have a God-given responsibility to train their child in the way he should go. However often, parents must discipline themselves first. Good parenting skills rarely come naturally. They are often learned through trial and error.

Explore New Things

Remember, a young child’s job is to explore and test out new things. They do this by touching, poking, feeling and seeing. This sometimes tries a parent’s patience. They begin to grow and develop their own unique personalities. At this time parents must learn to say “no” and set boundaries.

Discipline for a strong willed child is more difficult and requires a firmer hand. Every child is different. Therefore, it should be no surprise discipline methods must be tailored to each. What works as a disciplinary approach for one child may not work as well with another. In any case one constant is consistency. Parents can’t bargain or negotiate set rules but kids will naturally try. They need to be taught all actions bring consequences. Encourage them when they make good choices and vice versa.

There are general rules most have agreed upon as being applicable to most children. First, make sure any questionable behaviors have a physiological or physcological cause and if so, seek help.

When correcting a child it’s advisable to not scream or yell, but rather speak calmly. Boundries must be clear, concise and consequences expected if those boundaries are breached. Be consistent and firm, but give encouragement if needed.

If the child becomes difficult, in an even tone, inform the child his behavior is not acceptable. Establish control and hold your ground. 

There are many techniques around claiming to be the best way of maintaining discipline. But a few researchers have narrowed it down to three basic characteristic types included in almost any method. First there is the authoritarian. This type of technique sets strict rules. Emphasis is placed on perfection and unrealistic goals. There is usually constant criticism, little freedom, little praise or recognition.

Children raised in this manner generally don’t become well balanced adults. These are children, who grow up to rely on parents and others to make the slightest decision in their behalf. In childhood they may even wet the bed or stammer.

Next is the “permissive” category. This mode  uses little or no discipline and there are hardly any limits or boundaries for a child. A child growing up under these circumstances might not have any concept of right or wrong. With permissive disciplinary technique children might display excessive aggressiveness, feel resentful or be unmanageable.

And then there is the democratic disciplinary technique associated with education, counseling, and emphasis upon self growth, self discipline and self control.

Characteristic of this category is punishment only when warranted, motivation, explanation and reasoning to help the child understand why they are expected to conduct themselves. Children brought up with democratic disciplinary techniques are usually positive, spontaneous and have better self control.

It’s natural for parents to get an urge to spank a child occasionally. But according to some surveys there are problems associated with it. Spanking may initially get a point across but It may also give the message it’s alright to hit.

Most agree taking a time out is the best way to go. Giving children a short time out allows them to reflect on their behavior. This can be an effective method of teaching. Time-outs can also give an angry, frustrated parent a chance to calm down and respond more rationally.


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    • JY3502 profile image

      John Young 6 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you slaffery

    • slaffery profile image

      slaffery 6 years ago from Kansas, USA

      This is very good information and right on. I love the way you phrased your points as they came across perfectly. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.