The most challenging task of parenting is probably teaching your children to behave. Sometimes, this task (or your children, indeed) can drive you crazy. However, as frustrated as you may feel, never lose your temper or you will end up setting a bad example of misbehaving for your children. Here are 10 rules you should keep in mind to discipline your children effectively when they misbehave.
Let your children see the consequences of their actions
This is the important thing to teach your child to learn how to take responsibility for their actions. For example, you can start by giving your child limited food and toys. If your child keeps throwing out cookies, soon she will not have any left to eat. If your child keeps purposely breaking toys, she will not have any left to play with.
Create consequences when necessary
If your child refuses to pick up her toys, tell her that you will lock her toys up and she cannot play with them later. It is important to do as you say or your child will not react to your words anymore.
Cut off her special treatment
You can also discipline your child by withholding privileges such as watching TV or playing games. However, just like the rule above; once you give the punishment, you have to go through with it.
Make sure you do not ask what your child cannot do
There are limits to what a child can and cannot do at every age. Do not ask too much. Also, make sure that you use simple language so that your child understands what you want her to do.
Stick to your rules
Once you set a rule, you have to stick with it. There is no place for negotiation, or your child will try to negotiate every rule you set later. So, think carefully before you make rules with them.
Never give in bad behaviours
Even if you think the behaviour will not have a bad result (staying up 30 minutes late or having one more candy will probably not hurt your child, right?), do not give in. One exception will lead to another and another more.
Do not ignore your child’s feelings
Sometimes bad behaviours are the result of negative feelings, such as jealousy or sadness. Your child needs to learn how to handle those feelings without throwing tantrums.
Say sorry when you do something wrong
Do not try to be infallible. If you make a mistake, just tell your child that you are sorry and promise her you will not do it again. Then, keep your promise. You can turn your mistake into a learning opportunity for your child. Make she understand that mistakes are unavoidable. The important thing is that how one learns from their mistake.
Stay positive in front of your child
There may be moments when you feel disappointed in your child. But, you have to keep it to yourself. Never talk about her, especially with her present, negatively. If your child hears you saying she is stupid, she will believe that how she really is, which will ruin her self-image and lead to even worse behaviours.
No violence at all
Although it may be tempting to spank a misbehaving child, you should restrain yourself from that. Violence does not teach responsibility. It only feeds anger and aggression. A child who is beaten by his parents will grow up believing it is acceptable to hurt other people if you are superior to them.
In conclusion, the key to effective discipline is good reinforcement. Punish accordingly, but do not focus on bad behaviours. Praise your child for good ones, too. No matter how old your child is, it is vital for you to be consistent. Good discipline is not only to keep your child from tearing your house apart. It should be about teaching your child a sense of responsibility and self-control, all of which will be beneficial as your child grow up.
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