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How to Discipline Your Child Effectively
How to Discipline Your Child Effectively
Children always seem to find a way to try our patience. It’s easy to feel irritated, sad, angry, annoyed, confused and hurt. It’s when our parenting skills are really tested, and that it’s imperative we maintain a kind but firm stance when it comes to doling out the discipline. Our goal is to teach them to be responsible, cooperative, kind and respectful.  The best way to teach this is to always remain consistent, follow through with the same punishment for the same misdeed, and to discuss the discipline with your child openly and honestly afterwards.

Always keep in mind that the age, maturity level, and temperament of your child should always be considered when enforcing a set disciplinary action.  Disciplinary actions should be discussed and understood in advance so that children know what they have coming when they’ve misbehaved and can give pause and hopefully choose an appropriate route to avoid it.  And most importantly, remember that it’s not the child you dislike; it’s his or her chosen behavior, action or misdeed.

If you need to, give yourself a brief ‘time out’ before responding with appropriate discipline. Sometimes we need a short cooling off period before dealing with our children’s misdeeds in order to avoid a misdeed of our own. Yelling and hitting should never be an option. What about adult responsibility? It is not helpful to blame ourselves and feel guilty. It is helpful to be aware of mistakes we might be making so that we can know what to do to correct them and produce the results we want.

Have you ever noticed how forgiving children are when we are willing to apologize? Have you ever said you were sorry to a child? If so, how did that child respond? When adults sincerely apologize, children almost always say, “That’s ok” (Teacher or Mom and Dad). Children can be feeling angry and resentful in response to disrespectful behavior one minute (and adult probably deserve it) and switch to total forgiveness as soon as the adult says, “I am sorry.”

In our society we are taught to be ashamed of mistakes. We are all imperfect. What we need to achieve is the courage to change our debilitating beliefs about imperfection. This is one of the most encouraging concepts, and yet one of the hardest to achieve in our society. There isn’t perfect human being in the world, yet everyone is demanding it of themselves and others especially children. Mistakes are Wonderful Opportunities to Learn.

Keep an open mind, and be willing to learn with and from your child.  We all make mistakes and it’s important to realize that not every form of discipline works with every child. Children are just as unique as adults are, and forms of discipline should be tailored to fit the individual needs of both parent and child.  But with a little forethought, patience, firmness, love and understanding, the discipline can have a positive outcome.
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