How to discipline your child

Society imposes rules for the peaceful coexistence of people. Discipline is vital for children to live and flourish in society. Teaching children discipline and control is the responsibility of every parent. This is the most important and toughest challenge facing parents today.


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The points mentioned below can help and guide parents facing this challenge.

Positivity works

Each behaviour of a child leads to a reaction from the parent which reinforces or rejects the behaviour. A parent can either positively or negatively reinforce the behaviour. Positive reinforcement means words of encouragement, hugs, pats on the back and any other method of encouraging the child to continue the behaviour. Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, refers to putting down the child, scolding, punishing and spanking him.

Always focus on your child’s good behaviour. Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement does not need to be connected with junk food, toys and gifts. Kind words and appreciation would go a long way in encouraging a child. Material gifts should be reserved only for important occasions.

Make clear rules

Let your child know what things she can do and what she can’t. Before she switches on the television, let her know she needs to switch it off in half an hour, instead of shouting at her for watching TV for too long. Also, involve your child when you make rules in the house. They will adhere to the rules better if they were involved in making them.

Let them take responsibility for their actions

Whenever the child makes a mistake, parents scold and punish the kids. Then, they take all the efforts to correct and rectify the wrong action of the child. The child looks on as a mute spectator. An impression formed in the mind of the child is that whatever he or she does will be alright, as their parents are always there to set things right.

Instead of that, let your child feels the responsibility of his actions. The next time he comes home without completing his class notes, don’t write it down for him. Ask him to complete it during his evening playtime. He will regret losing the precious playtime that he enjoys with his friends. Never again will he bring home incomplete notes after that.

Walk the Talk

The most important thing a parent should remember is to be a role model for the child. If a parent throws tantrums for a child’s misbehavior, it reinforces the thought in the child’s mind that it is okay to throw a tantrum to make someone behave in a particular manner. So, always remember to be cool and composed even during a crisis. It is not necessary to react to situations immediately. You can tell your child, “I need to think about what you have done for a few minutes. We will decide how to deal with it after that.” This will give you time to think about how to react to the particular situation.

The next most important thing is to be consistent with the rules. Children like to keep pushing their parents to see how much leeway they can get away with. Once you break a rule or a allow them to break a rule, it can set a dangerous pattern. So, be consistent with the rules you make. Following these ideas can definitely mould your child into a disciplined and obedient person.

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Archana Sarat
Archana Sarat is a freelance writer and author. While on most days you can find her tapping away on her laptop, sometimes she does turn her hair loose and paint the city red. Her works are published in various popular newspapers and magazines like The Times of India, The Economic Times, The SEBI and Corporate Laws Journal, The CA Newsletter and many more.

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