Discipline is the process of teaching your child what type of behavior is acceptable and what type is not acceptable. But it looks simple only in reading. Discipline is really a complex concept, I feel. When people say that I have a very behaved child, I really feel proud. In my circle, almost every couple has a kid of same age as mine. And among them, my son is always assumed disciplined. Both my husband and I feel good about this. However, this is not a one-day effort to make your kid understand the need of staying behaved with enjoying the freedom of childhood. My husband and I believe that the efforts to make a child well behaved should start right from the early stage.
Honestly, there is no perfect guideline for disciplining a child. It depends on the type of behavior a child show, the age of the child, child’s temperament. With discipline comes rules, reinforcement and bad time. Because, as you correct the child for inappropriate behavior, she may not like it. But you need to find ways to make her understand the consequences of destructive behaviour. Sometimes, punishment is also an effective way to make a kid understand the importance of rules, but that doesn’t mean that discipline is mostly about punishments. Your aim should not be to turn your child into someone she is not. Your goal should be to acknowledge good behavior and correct bad behaviour.
In my family, we have a 3 C approach that we have been following since long, and this is going fairly well till now. Hope this can help you as well.
Be Consistent: You need to be consistent in what you want your kids to learn. They may not understand what is wrong with breaking toys or waiting for an ice cream. But you need to tell them. You must tell them everything which is right with comparing against wrong. Be consistent in correcting them. Be positive in telling them again and again. As I said it may take time to shape your child, the way you want. You need to keep trying.
Be Calm: Anger can never help in any situation. I know, that keeping yourselves calm isn’t always easy. Un-noticed reactions and disrespect trigger a feeling which is nowhere similar to being calm. But parents, at times, forget a universal law that kids are growing up and they now have their own (may be different) opinion. Staying calm while communicating with kids is, I think, the best way to attract kids for listening what you want to say, without any anger coated words.
Be Caring: When kids know that you care for them, they feel special. It boosts their self-confidence and ability to face future challenges. If your kids anyway can feel that you don’t care for them and that’s why you scold them every now and then, they may start feeling inadequate. With correcting them, it’s your responsibility to make them feel special. At the end of the day, kids are part of your souls. You can’t stop loving them no matter how harsh behavior they display. You care for them and that’s why you try to shape them in a good way.
These 3 C’s is not only about showing your kids that you love them, but also moving towards a world where discipline, correction, betterment, and cooperation live with smiles, happiness, and enjoyment. The key to discipline and cooperation with children is to consistently and caringly point out what is off limits or not acceptable. And a better communication always gives strength to any relationship.
You can make a difference by being the difference. Discipline is not a technique, it is a behavior.