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Finding a Balance with Child Discipline
Discipline for a Good Foundation
Every child needs discipline in order for them to learn right from wrong, to separate good from bad and to grow up with a foundation of moral values that only YOU as a parent can instill.
When children are little they explore and question everything and they do tend to mimic parents, so beware of your language unless you want them to use it.
Having a foundation is very important so that children know where they come from, who they are and what they should be. A parents job is to ensure that children grow up with the right values so that when they are older and the decisions are theirs to make, you know that they will make the right ones.
Setting the Rules
Our children need to learn from a very early age that certain things are acceptable and certain things are not.
As parents you need to sit down and discuss with each other what you would like your children to know and learn because discipline can only be achieved if both parents are involved.
Children do not know when they are doing something wrong unless they are told that it is and they also need to be rewarded for good things that they achieve.
When disciplining a child the most important thing to remember is to keep the rules the same so that they remember.
When they are little they do not often understand so patience is a requirement but to avoid children having temper tantrums for their entire life you need to cut it out from their very first cry.
Babies cry all the time and it does get tiring and frustrating but sometimes it is good for them to cry and you often find that if you leave them they will eventually keep quiet.
Should you go and hold them and try to silence them all the time then they will eventually understand that tantrums are used to get what they want and when they are three and up, you will be sorry!
If you want them to listen to what you say then you have to instill disciplinary measures into the home as this will stop them from just doing what they want.
A child with no discipline can be disruptive and later on in life become a living nightmare for you, siblings, friends and others.
How to Discipline Your Children
Make certain that you and your partner are on the same page and that if you chose for your child not to eat sweets during the week then both parents have to stick to that rule.
Discipline does not always have to be "using and iron rod" but children need to know and understand that they will be punished if they do wrong.
Consistency is the key to discipline.
Punishment for toddlers: They are so little but if they have done something wrong you need to get down onto their level and let them know that what they did was naughty and then send them to a corner to keep quiet for five minutes.
Should they use crayons and decide to draw on the walls, make them clean the walls and if they do it again then make them clean it again and if they still do not listen then take the crayons away. Make sure that you have explained why they should not do certain things before you punish them.
A light slap of the hand is also a good way to let them know that they have been naughty because it is the sound that they pay attention to and not the slap itself so don't hit hard!
Also reward them for good behaviour so that there is a balance and it is not just about their failures but about achievements too.
Five to seven: By now they should know that you mean business and they will always try their luck. For children of this age you could stop their television usage, ban them from the tuckshop or take away a treat.
For good behaviour a star chart is a good idea because they can get rewarded for the good things that they do and this will encourage them to do good all the time. When the star chart is full then you can reward them with a treat of some kind.
Don't make a punishment too long either. "You will not watch t.v for a month!" this doesn't motivate them to change their behaviour and it takes away your authority as a parent.
Seven to Ten: You can stick with the star chart but add on a few chores for them to do so that they can learn responsibility.
If they get out of hand or cheeky than stop them from going to a friend.
The naughty corner does not really work.
Sending them to their rooms again, doesn't work because they have a lot to do there.
Shouting at the top of your voice also doesn't really work unless you have a punishment to go with it.
They are old enough now to understand that they need to take responsibility for their actions.
If they have not finished their homework you can either make them stay up and finish it or you can send them to school to accept their punishment there so that they will understand that there are consequences for their actions.
Parents Body Language
When you discipline children you need to understand that you are a giant compared to them so if you raise your voice from where you are standing, it is very scary!
Avoid pointing your finger directly in their faces and crossing your arms is a signal to show that you are angry.
Always get down to your childs level and look them in the eyes. Your tone of voice must be firm and not shaky as this, believe it or not can be picked up by your children and they will know that you are not serious.
Never laugh at their mistakes or call them stupid because this will have a damaging effect on their confidence.
Be serious, firm and show them that you are angry, they are wrong and follow through on a punishment.
One false move and you will have problems with discipline for the rest of their youth!
Build a Good Foundation.
Children that have discipline in their homes will grow up to understand how to treat people, they will learn right from wrong and they will be healthy, happy and set for a life of morals, respect and love.
Building a foundation for your children will secure them for a bright and wonderful life where they will be stable and they will treat others the way that you have taught them to.
Don't give in even though you feel guilty or sorry because that will not teach them and if you do it once then they will know that you are weak and that they can get away with anything!