It really depends on what you mean by "discipline our kids".
Discipline is many things. One of the first things is to eat properly. However, the "discipline teaching" should NOT be performed in such a way that the child gets eating disorder.
Wrong (e.g. too strict) discipline will merely harm the child for life.
So my answer, to your question "at what age", is that it should begin VERY EARLY, but it should be a teaching relevant to the age of the kid.
When the kid is a teenager, the it is hopefully other issues than eating that you focus on.
Discipline can start as young as 6 months. Discipline doesn't need to be mean. It can be as simple as not giving back a rattle that an infant keeps throwing from the high chair because they think it is funny mom will pick it up 30 times. Simply not giving the rattle back is a form of teaching or discipline.
The earlier you teach actions have reactions the better.
Discipline is one of those words that means so many different things. For some people, it means spanking their children. I am completely against spanking. Spanking is just physical abuse; plain and simple.
As far as other forms of discipline are concerned, I really don't think you ever have to truly "discipline" a child. Children mimic what they see. Of course, they're going to push boundaries sometimes. When they're pushing boundaries too far, then that is the time to lay out very gentle rules for them to follow. Otherwise, children learn discipline by watching you practice self-discipline.
Be the type of person you want your children to be. That is the best way for them to learn.
Discipline to me suggests punishment which I don't really think is appropriate for young children who don't have a real grasp on right and wrong.
I use mostly natural consequences with my toddler and it works pretty well. I try to talk to her about things rather than just punish her for them. I want her to do things (or not do things) because she knows they're right/wrong, not because she's afraid of being punished.
But that's just my philosophy for now, I've never raised an older child, so I know my methods could change if she doesn't respond to them as she grows. One thing I will never do, however, is physical punishment. It goes against every instinct I have and I think it's lazy parenting if used regularly.
The definition of discipline is to train someone to follow rules, usually with rewards and punishments. As an educator and mother, discipline to me means teaching someone to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. It involves teaching the child to have self discipline. When children are very young that is a big goal. When a child is old enough to understand what the word "No." means, you can begin teaching them to do the right thing. Usually 18-24 months of age. However, punishment and reward is not usually the way to go with a child this young. I found with my own children, distraction worked better. If they are doing something they shouldn't because it's not safe, remove them from the situation or give them something else to focus on. If there is something you don't want the child playing with, then put it out of their reach. Why create a battle when you can just avoid the battle?
Time out still works great once the child is old enough. Usually around 4 years of age. They should only spend 1 minute per year of age so about 4 minutes for a 4 year old. They should be told why they are there, "To think about what they did and what a better choice would have been.", they need to stay in the designated place and remain quiet the entire time. If they are screaming and yelling or getting out of the spot, the timer does not start until they comply. Do not engage them in any way. Do not yell or argue with them. Their goal (whether they know it or not) is to get attention from you, if you begin yelling or negotiating you have lost control of the situation. Walk away. Once it's over, calmly discuss what they did, what they should do next time and move on. Don't force them to apologize if they are not really sorry. Asking them to apologize when they are not sorry is teaching them to lie.
I'm not a fan of spanking. Having said that, I am not going to say it should never be done. As a parent, and a teacher, I know there are a few situations where it may be beneficial to the child. Spanking is NOT beating. It shouldn't leave marks or break the skin. It shouldn't be excessive in duration and things like straps should not be used. A spanking should never be done in public or to embarrass the child. It should be a few (1-5 swats) on the bottom, when behavior is dangerous or other methods have failed. Never before age 4 and not because you are angry. It should also be done on the spot when possible. Immediate consequences are best.
It depends upon the psychological behavior of our kids. Because, We must realize the acts done by our kids, everyday. If they start doing something wrong, then, we must make them, to do good. After they starting things, about this world, Its better to explain them, why we have to do good, and how we have to do a thing in a correct manner.
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