Disciplining a child is probably the hardest thing parents have to do in their life. Raising children is a full-time job, and one that should be taken care of properly. The secret to disciplining children effectively is consistency. If children see that their parents mean what they say, then they will listen and obey the orders of the household. No child is perfect and they will break things, write on walls and behave inappropriately in the home and outside the home. That is why it is important for parents to have disciplinary rules for the children.
Disciplining starts at a young age. Babies do not understand right and wrong, which makes it especially hard to communicate with them. Their word choices are limited to mama, baba and other two letter words that nobody understands. When they become toddlers, start walking and begin to let their curiosity get the best of them, this is when parents can begin communication and discipline. For example, if a toddler writes on the wall, disciplinary action is required. It’s not recommended to spank the child, but approach the child in a nice way. Knee down to their level, take the marker, pencil or crayon away and let them know that what they did was wrong by saying, “No.” Screaming will only scare them and hitting them is only hurting them.
Setting the ground rules of the home is very important so that children will know what is expected of them and what is considered misbehaving. They need to understand that their mother or father is the rule-maker of the household and that rules need to be followed by all. Let them know that bad behavior will be punished through a timeout or through consequences. The way people speak with their children is very important as well. A calm and clear tone needs to be executed so that the child will listen and respond in the same way.
It is also important to reward children. Kids learn through their parent’s actions. If they see mother and father cleaning up or brushing their teeth, they will be excited and do the same. Rewarding children makes them feel special and happy. Every parent wants to see their children happy. A simple “Thank you” or “Good job” will boost a child’s self-confidence.
Don’t forget that when your child behaves accordingly, you should reward him/her. Give your child praise or even go to the park for a celebratory play time if they have behaved well all day. If they have been especially good during the weeks or months leading up to their birthday, break out some great birthday party ideas and make their day extra special! Any positive reinforcement is better than none when it comes to effective discipline.