We all want to be able to discipline our children, but it can get difficult between their tantrums, fits and yelling. So here are a few tips on how you can discipline your child properly.
Speak their language
One of the first things you should do is sit with your child down and explain to them the rules and the reasons why you are asking them to behave in a certain manner. If your child understands your reasoning they are more likely to apply that behaviour in different situations.
When doing this you should also be aware of what your children can and cannot do. If they misbehave, it might be because they are unable to do what you’ve asked or don’t understand what you are asking. Your child’s personality as well as their strengths and weaknesses should help you to set the rules.
Consistency with the rules
When it comes to being consistent with rules, most of us may waver from time to time. But the fact is that if you don’t enforce your own rules, you’re placing them into question. Kids can sense this indecision, so if they don’t know what to expect from you they may push their limits.
If your rules change from one day to another you may also be confusing them, so they won’t understand what rules they are breaking. It may be challenging at times, but you need to make sure that the rules you make are consistent day in and day out.
Punishment doesn’t always need to be your primary tool for discipline. You can actually use positive reinforcement. By rewarding your child you’re targeting certain behaviours that you want to develop in them. This doesn’t mean you should reward them for every good thing they do, there are levels or positive reinforcement.
Making a good behaviour or reward chart and hang it up somewhere so your child can clearly see it every day, writing on it what you expect your child to do. If they do well at chores for example, you can put a star on the chores column. After they have earned a certain amount of them you can decide on a reward.
For every action, there is a reaction
There are always consequences for your actions. If this applies to you, shouldn’t it apply to your children? Your child needs to understand from the get go that the same result will come from the same behaviour: that choice A will always result in action A, so if they break a toy they can’t play with it.
Sit down and ask your child what it is they value, is it an activity, toy or a certain privilege? Once you know what it is you can use it as a form of discipline, by taking away what they value if they don’t follow the rules. For example, you will take away their favourite toy truck if they don’t clean up their room.
Disciplining your children isn’t easy and at times it’s just down right stressful, but if you’re consistent, reasonable and to the point you’ll be able to get your kids to behave properly.