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Discipline is Education. Helping your child learn appropriate behaviors is one of the toughest parts of being a parent. Children need a little helping hand in knowing what is safe and appropriate to do. They need years of practice and guidance. As a parent you play the most crucial and important role in shaping them into a person for their future. Knowing your child’s temperament can help you, but remember your behavior style reflects on theirs too.
How should you ensure discipline is a part of their life? Here are 5 golden rules that I follow, and they work :
Use POSITIVE approach
Tell your child what “do” you want them to do. Don’t say ‘No’.
For example – Say “Sit on the chair” rather than “Don’t stand on the chair”.
As the child grows, reason with them. Praise the child when they follow family rules without your constant reminders. Criticize the action, rather than your child when a rule is broken.
Your child is trying to learn whether the same rule applies everyday, and you can help by making sure that the limits are as consistent as possible. Involve your child when making rules- you will be surprised to note that the agreement works wonders. Establish a consequence when a certain rule is broken. Your child should be aware of the consequence if they do not follow a particular rule.
LIMIT the number of RULES
Keep very few rules that you think can enforce consistently. Rules should be reasonable enough for your child’s age, attention span and understanding too. Make sure your child understands why it is important to have rules around home. Review the rules constantly as your child grows the rules need modifications or changing and in fact some rules can be lifted or added according to the age.
Rules should be followed consistently by adults too, especially in front of the child. In doing so you are setting example for child in terms of moral behavior, social responsibility and fairness. You are their role models and by doing so, you avoid sending them mixed messages, especially in their initial learning stages.
Talk in CALM yet FIRM tone
A loud screaming or shouting voice will only encourage your child to tune you out. Keep calm yet swiftly follow-up when a rule is broken. Carry out the consequences set for that particular rule. Reason with the child the reason for a rule and encourage your child to express their feelings towards rules.
Parents should have patience when you are following the golden rules. They may not work immediately but will definitely have a positive effect on long run with a satisfied, positive parenting approach.
What works for you and your kids to ensure discipline in your household? Share with all the parents!