Children are curious little beings with unbridled energies to explore and make sense of the world around them growing up. And, indeed, we want them to enjoy every moment as they learn and imbibe new knowledge and gain greater awareness. In such a scenario, it is understandable if establishing strict rules of discipline for them and creating boundaries of what they should and should not do, seems a little unfair.
However, we believe there is a need to understand that when implemented appropriately, discipline is not about putting a stop to all the fun for the kids but rather channelizing their energies in the right direction. As a parent, one of your jobs is to teach your child how to behave. It's a job that takes time and patience. Here are some strategies that help kids to learn healthy discipline strategies.
9 discipline strategies that work are:
1. Show And Tell.
Teach children right from wrong with calm words and actions. Model behaviours you would like to see in your children.
2. Set Limits.
Have clear and consistent rules your children can follow. Be sure to explain these rules in age-appropriate terms they can understand.
3. Have Them Feel Consequences.
Calmly and firmly explain the consequences if they don't behave. For example, tell them that if they do not pick up their toys, you will put them away for the rest of the day. Be prepared to follow through right away. Don't give in by giving them back after a few minutes. But remember, never take away something your child truly needs, such as a meal.
4. Hear Them Out.
Listening is important. Let your child finish the story before helping solve the problem. Watch for times when misbehaviour is repetitive, like if your child is feeling jealous. Talk with your child about this rather than just punishing.
5. Give Them Your Attention.
The most powerful tool for effective discipline is attention — to reinforce good behaviours and discourage others. Remember, all children want their parent's attention.
6. Catch Them Being Good.
Children need to know when they do something right and when they do something wrong. Notice good behaviour and point it out, praising success and good tries. Be specific.
7. Know When Not To Respond.
As long as your child isn't doing something dangerous and gets plenty of attention for good behaviour, ignoring bad behaviour can be an effective way of stopping it. Ignoring bad behaviour can also teach children the natural consequences of their actions. For example, if your child keeps dropping their cookies on purpose, they will soon have no more cookies left to eat. If they throw and break their toys, they will not be able to play with them. It will not be long before they learn not to drop cookies and play carefully with toys.
8. Be Prepared For Trouble.
Plan ahead for situations when your child might have trouble behaving. Prepare them for upcoming activities and how you want them to act.
9. Redirect Bad Behaviour.
Sometimes children misbehave because they are bored or don't know any better. Find something else for your child to do.
Why Is Discipline Important?
We have seen that the idea of disciplining kids has always had a negative mindset about it. People tend to equate it with taking away their toys, curbing their game time, or even worse, grounding them in their room. However, when appropriately implemented, disciplining kids can offer the following four long-term benefits.
1. Elimination of distractions to inch closer to goals.
Being disciplined helps children to remain focused on their goals, and thus, unwavering from the path of success. Discipline in education keeps distractions at bay so that reaching their aim becomes more assured. After all, self-control is not about deprivation but rather about effective management of conflicts and making decisions that align with personal goals.
2. The effects on improved academic performance.
Discipline for students makes them more motivated students. They become more focused on their goal to showcase better performance. Besides, research suggests that self-disciplined students are more likely to attain their long-term goals, and thus, they tend to make better choices when it comes to their academic achievement.
3. It helps children make the right choices.
When you tell your child that he will not be allowed to touch his bicycle for the week because he rode into the road, you are essentially teaching him that the right choice was to cycle within the compound. The next time, he will choose not to do anything that puts him in harm's way. So, basically, healthy discipline is all about teaching children the distinction between right and wrong choices.
4. Better management of emotions for the children.
Children are at a stage of their lives when they are still learning to get a hold of their emotions. Showing their feelings aggressively at times is something that most kids are accused of. However, we can nip such tendencies in the bud if we take precautions beforehand.
It is important to start instilling self-discipline early in a child's life. Self-discipline shows itself in nearly every aspect of one's life. This article can help you to instil discipline in children.