Disciplining children doesn’t have to be difficult or harmful. It doesn’t always have to be associated with punishment. To raise respectful and well-behaved children, parents must introduce them to an environment that is loving, accepting, and orderly. For mom and entrepreneur Milena Djankovich, discipline should start from a place of positivity. Below are some effective techniques parents can follow.
Set age-appropriate rules.
Parents can start setting rules when the kids enter their toddler years. Though the “terrible twos” can be challenging, this is the best time to introduce the right habits and practices to a child. Simple rules such as finishing their food, picking up their toys, or saying “please” and “thank you” are easy enough for them to follow. For school-age kids, setting rules for playtime and gadget time is a must. It is also a good age to introduce them to tasks that they can do to help with housework. Milena Djankovich notes that parents should give their children time to process these new rules. Though they will surely break these rules at one point, parents must be forgiving especially if the child apologizes.
Explain consequences, don’t just resort to punishment.
Punishment should be the last resort. Parents should tell their kids about the consequences of their good and bad behaviors. As the little ones process new rules, parents should also be watchful as they warn them. If mom or dad notices bad behavior, they shouldn’t label the child as “bad.” Instead, they should find time to explain to their children why their actions are unacceptable. Milena Djankovich adds that parents should also strive to help the child change their habits. In many cases, some children use bad behavior as a call for attention. If this is the case, parents should also check what is causing the negative actions.
Avoid disciplining with anger.
When parents are angry, children get scared. Even if a child is in the wrong, a parent should try to keep their own emotions in check. Sometimes anger can lead parents to say negative things about the child which can discourage them or even push them to disobey. Instead of yelling, Milena Djankovich encourages fellow moms to explain what their child did wrong in an authoritative and calm voice. Fear is not a healthy motivator for children. It can even cause the child to withhold expressing their true feelings to their parents. Leading by example is always the best way for parents to let the little ones understand their point.
For children to grow up disciplined, it would be helpful to raise them in an environment that is caring, accepting, and orderly. While it is easy to set rules, parents should be consistent with their actions. Being present and kind allows parents to set a good example for their kids. Giving them room to grow will make them realize their responsibilities as young as they are. Raising well-behaved children is a testament to effective parenting, notes Milena Djankovich.