Raising children is really a tough job and sometimes parents get frustrated and exhausted trying to deal with the children. It results in punishing the children for their little misbehaviours and indiscipline. Generally, we can’t think about disciplining children without punishment. But we often forget that every action of our children is most likely related directly or indirectly to our parenting style. Giving punishment is not a solution to a child’s misbehaviour. Some parents think that at an early age it is not possible to make a child realize the consequences of his wrongdoings. Physical punishment or spanking is an easy way to make them realize that they have done something wrong. So they will not repeat it in the future.
But is it really like that? Does punishment make the children refrain from inappropriate behaviour? Do we actually teach them a lesson by giving punishment? I don’t think so. Punishment does not teach our children accountability. In our childhood, most of us got physical punishments from our parents and that was proved as an effective measure in most of the cases. It was also implied that if one of the siblings got punished then others also got a strong message about the result of their misbehaviour or indiscipline. But, the scenario has been changed now. Research has proved that kids who are punished often tend to make wrong moral choices. So, we must make changes in our child discipline method.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE CAN’T DISCIPLINE CHILDREN WITHOUT PUNISHMENT?
- Punishment has a very short term effect on children. As the real cause is not treated, it remains suppressed for some time and pops up again. As a result, they repeat the same mistake again.
- Punishment creates a distance between the parents and the children. By getting punished, gradually children become stubborn and they don’t care about pleasing us anymore. As a result, we become disconnected from our children.
- When we cannot discipline children without punishment, they hide their misdeeds from us in fear of punishment. So we remain clueless about their activities and owing to their inexperience they often take the wrong step.
- In order to escape punishment kids start telling lies to their parents. This makes our kids dishonest.
- Sometimes in fear kids blame other children for their own wrongdoings. Eventually, by practising this they grow up as irresponsible. They fail to care about how their inappropriate behaviour affects others.
- Children make their parents responsible for their misbehaviour and don’t take responsibility for their own actions.
- Furthermore, punishment makes a child angry and aggressive. In that case, punishment for kids bounces back towards the parents.
SO, HOW TO DISCIPLINE A CHILD WITHOUT HITTING AND YELLING?
In case of toddlers giving a “ Count of Three” is sufficient to make them follow our order. But as soon as they grow up disciplining children without punishment becomes a real challenge to parents. We have to learn and apply different ways if our old strategies don’t work out. All kids are different and all need different approaches to make positive changes in their lives. It is our duty to recognise the exact needs of our children. Here are some ways we can follow instead of punishment while disciplining our children.
CHILD DISCIPLINE METHODS WE CAN FOLLOW INSTEAD OF PUNISHMENT:
1. LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES FOR KIDS:
Some parents follow “Consequences” as child discipline method to respond to the misbehaviour of their children. This creative punishment for kids helps them to think about their actions and their results. Logical consequences help children develop understanding, self- control, and an urge to follow the rules. “Look, what have you done! Maybe it requires some help to fix things up. Would you be able to do this?” – this kind of approach preserves the dignity of the children. Punishment makes a child angry, ashamed, and resentful. But logical consequence helps children to learn from their mistakes.
2. BE THE ROLE-MODEL:
Children learn from parental discipline. We have to exhibit ourselves as compassionate, empathetic, caring, and responsible human beings. Unnecessary yelling on little matters, fighting over petty issues in front of the child must be avoided. It makes the child ill-tempered.
3. TREAT WITH COMPASSION:
Most importantly, if we become more considerate and compassionate, our success rate in disciplining our children without punishment will be increased. When my child shows a tantrum I give him a tight hug and express how much I love him and I want him to be the best child in the world. I also make it clear how this kind of behaviour works as an obstacle to becoming the best. It takes him in the meltdown mode quickly. In my opinion, our unconditional love towards our children can do any wonder. We have to tell them about our expectations for them. Developing a healthy and happy parent-children bonding should be our first step in the child discipline method.
4. LISTEN TO THE CHILD:
As moms, we have the responsibility to find out the causes behind our children’s habitual misbehaviour. When they are in a happy mood ask them the reason for their misbehaviour. Maybe there is some logic in their point of view. We have to sort out the issues which are bothering our children. Listening patiently to our children must be our first priority. By doing this we can gain the trust of our children and it would help us to make them act as per our direction.
5. OFFER REWARDS:
Children become happy with small rewards. If we praise their small efforts to do something good, it makes them happy. “Complete these tasks and I will allow you to watch TV for extra half an hour” or “Solve this while I am baking your favourite muffins” can make them act according to our wish. Our love and praise will help to reinforce good behaviour in them.
6. SET THE RULES: THE MOST IMPORTANT CHILD DISCIPLINE METHOD
If we set the rules of our homes and follow them consistently, children would learn self- discipline automatically. We have to give priority to their opinions while setting rules for them. This will make them follow the rules without any question.
7. TEACH TO APOLOGIZE:
Acknowledging our fault and asking for an apology is a great practice. If we admit our mistakes and feel sorry for it, our children will learn to do the same. This parental discipline style is very much effective and makes ways to discipline a child without hitting.
8. HELP TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY:
From an early age, we have to teach our children the consequences of wrongdoings and to take responsibility for it. We should make them understand that they are accountable for their deeds and consequently have to suffer the after-effects.
However, it is not so easy to raise children as disciplined and responsible human beings in the modern age. We have to be mindful in applying rules, disciplines, and consequences to our younger ones. After all, they are just kids. We have to keep in mind that punishment or consequences for kids, rules or rewards everything should be age-appropriate.