The word "discipline" is derived from a Latin word "disciplinare" which refers to a meaning "to teach." Most of the people, commonly engage the word with punishment, which explains the full meaning in short. Discipline is very important for children as its proper practice can achieve positive results such as rewards, admiration and accolades for them in future. Punishments teach a child to be sincere and hard-working thus reinforcing the desired behavior. Children can learn self-direction, responsibility, self-control and competitiveness through discipline. Hence it is the responsibility of parents to inculcate discipline in children at a young age as they are still in a process of learning and it must be remembered that they always inculcate the manners and attitude from their parents.
According to an American Academy of Pediatrics, an effective way of teaching discipline must always possess three important components as all these qualities can lay down a strong foundation for the behavior of a child in future. These main elements include:
1. Creating a learning atmosphere that is associated with caring and supportive relationship between a parent and child.
2. Planning of strategies in a systematic way of teaching and shape their minds accordingly towards cultivating desired behaviors.
3. A proper gentle instruction to decrease or completely eliminate unruly behaviors.
Children may not behave properly due to various reasons where the main issue could be lack of advice and discipline from their parents. Other factors that encourage children to engage in misbehavior could be due to lack of attention from parents, hunger, hyperactive problem, negligence, battered child syndrome and so on. Children can cultivate improper behavior due to family issues like divorce from parents, separation, poverty and behavioral problems in parents. Such children can develop psychological problems due to negligence from their care providers or guardians, and they can indulge themselves in illegal activities like theft, substance abuse etc. The causes of misbehavior could be due to the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other emotional factors that can predispose few children towards engaging in an improper misbehavior. On the other hand, harsh discipline and cruelty displayed by parents can never improve a child’s behavior but it could rather worsen their behavior.
Usually, discipline must be taught by parents to their child based on its age depending on its proper understanding capacities. If you are a beginner, then you must understand that you must be generous and set certain limits to your child in a gentle manner by giving certain acceptable options. It must be taught to your child that discipline is important to protect them from crisis and it ensures them safety. Furthermore, it is very much necessary in order to develop social and moral standards by becoming fully aware of what is right and wrong. In addition, discipline guides children to respect other people’s opinions and individual rights.
Here are the best guidelines that need to be followed by beginners in order to teach discipline in their children:
It is important to understand that teaching discipline in a child is dependent upon their age. If the child is too young enough to understand the reasons, then you can gently tell what is good and bad. You must highlight good things and tell that they should perform good deeds by ignoring bad. This can create awareness in a child and can automatically grasp what is told to them by their parents. This habit will be cultivated by them on getting older which can make parents to feel proud. So, it must be remembered that a small child can learn better with wise words and must never be punished as it can only increase misbehavior.
If the child is old enough to understand and still engages in misbehavior, then punishment can be given to child if verbal strategies do ot work out. The child must be given proper advice to get stop misbehavior. It is important to identify the factors that are responsible for the development of misbehaving qualities as certain disorders such as attention deficit hyperactive syndrome, temperament and various behavioral disorders can predispose to such problems. If you suspect any of these biological factors, then punishment may not be a permanent solution as the misbehaving attitude recurs in your child. On the other hand, if your child is purposely misbehaving then you can sit and discuss it properly in a gentle way as trying to scare your child by reinforcing harsh punishment can only worsen the problem.
Parents must learn to teach discipline to your children by first become their close friend. Being their friend could encourage you to discuss about your undesirable qualities openly to them. It creates awareness in them pertaining to right and wrong decisions. If they go wrong, then you will have an opportunity to properly discuss it in a gentle manner and suggest them your own ideas by providing options. A friendly suggestion will be obliged by children and they can easily try to adapt to your rules. You can worsen the situation by being harsh or on passing unfriendly commands or threatening can give them a chance to oppose you and exploit these differences. Hence discipline must be taught in a friendly and patient way.
It is important to remember that discipline must be taught by setting simple rules. You must not argue with your child as the child psychology is different compared to adults. Arguing and beating can only encourage your child to engage in misbehavior. You must allow them to perform few good things according to their wish and you must provide few options or alternatives in order to make them cultivate a good behavior. Punishment must always be a logical consequence of misbehavior and should be given after explaining that they have done wrong and it must not be too harsh.
Parents must prefer to be flexible and negotiable while dealing with older children sometimes as consistency is important as it always yields good results. Your children can take you in high regard if you do so and understand that they are respected and have an independence to make their own decisions. It can also enhance the moral judgment and development of conscience in children.