Have you ever noticed that parenting can be a lot like a roller coaster? Sometimes, you are flying high after your child achieves a milestone and sometimes you feel like you’re going to “lose your lunch” based on something your child has done. Today’s post is meant to assist parents when times are tough with a child and effective discipline is in order.
Many times, parents feel the low points when their child has misbehaved and it is time to implement some discipline. The shock of the misbehavior may be enough for some of us. Others though have an even harder time because it’s difficult to implement discipline in such a way as to educate versus retaliate. It’s with this in mind that I’ve come up with three D’s you should remember when disciplining your child.
1. Decisiveness– This is vital. Whether your child is 4 or 14, being decisive goes a long way. A decisive parent will implement a consequence and not back down. When a child knows his/her parent doesn’t back down, the parents aren’t challenged as often simply because the child feels like it is almost pointless. People who are wishy-washy with their discipline are challenged much more frequently and severely. That’s because a wishy-washy disciplinarian can be worn down over time and most children know the correct buttons to push.
2. Discretion– Remember that you are the parent. You have the right to discipline how you see fit. Sometimes, this is a hard point to remember if you feel that you have in-laws or neighbors watching over your shoulder. It’s your choice as to whether to punish a child for a particular behavior and how severe the punishment will be (within the limits of the law of course). There’s not a one size fits all approach to discipline. It’s up to you to know what discipline measures works best for your child.
3. Danger– Children should realize there is a certain amount of danger to breaking one of your rules. In other words, a child should know your consequences have bite. The “bite” I am referring to should be enough for a child to think twice before performing the misbehavior. Please don’t confuse the word bite with violent. For example, my 7 year old despises time outs and will do most anything to stay out of them. Therefore, time outs have “bite” with him. But, no two children are exactly the same. As a parent, it is your job to learn the likes and dislikes of your child well enough to know what discipline measures have real bite versus the ones that are ineffective.
If you have enjoyed this post, I’m certain you will enjoy my parenting book Tantrums, Troubles, and Treasures. The book is full of stories and real life examples designed to help any family. Feel free to click on the tab above to read the preface and the reviews.
My next post will be next Friday. Until then, have a fabulous time performing the most important job in the world- PARENTING!