Discipline Styles

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Disciplining children can be trying and sometimes ineffective. We try to correct them when they’re wrong and show them there are consequences for their actions. But when a child misbehaves, some parents don’t know the appropriate or effective way to discipline. Because all children are different, what works for one child may not work for another. So it’s important to determine which method of discipline will work for each child.

Spanking was very effective for the older generations, and usually a child responded to it. Some parents had a knack for just giving their children “the look”, and whatever plan the child had was quickly forgotten. However, in the world we live in today, spanking has become taboo and considered abuse. Although there are parents that take it to the extreme and just hit their children out of anger, the majority of parents do it for discipline purposes only.

Grounding or putting a child on restriction is very common. It can range from no outside play, to completely revoking all of a child’s privileges. Some parents determine the length of time that the child is on restriction according to the offense and how often the behavior occurs. However, for little ones under the age of 3, they may not always understand the message behind being on restriction. Their discipline is usually a “time out’, 1 minute for every age they are. Obviously this wouldn’t work on a teenager but it’s beneficial to a toddler.

Since every parent it different, their discipline styles vary. Some parents feel that spanking or grounding their children isn’t worth the headache, so they overlook bad behavior. This sends a poor message to the child that is misbehaving. Without discipline and consequences, children will never know what it means to have boundaries, which will give them the idea that rules are only made for other people.

Children respond to praise more than anything, they love to hear their parents tell them they did a good job or that they are proud of them. So praise is something to consider. If the child was initially put on restriction and their behavior has changed, it’s important to let them know that you can see their improvements, acknowledge their efforts, and reward the positive. Continually bringing up their failures and overlooking their progress can make them feel that they aren’t worth making a fuss over unless it’s in a negative way.

Regardless of the discipline style, it is a necessary part of parenting. You don’t have to choose just one way, you can incorporate many styles as long as it is effective. Consistency is the key and what we teach, how we raise, and how we lead our children will affect who they become.

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