When your kids know how to control their own behaviors, what is there to discipline?
The catch is actually quite simple – if your kids are aware of the things that they are doing wrong, they would also know how to make it right.
The starting line
While you might have heard of a horde of parents with their binders on ways of how to discipline their kids accompanied by parenting tips online and on television, it is imperative that you have your own way on how to raise a well-behaved kid.
And one of the best solutions is to allow kids to do things on their own. Not that it means you would no longer intervene but it is necessary that kids are held accountable for their own actions.
When your kids turn to toddlers, discipline becomes a challenge. After all, they are kids; it’s in their nature to be all over the place. Their energy level is off the charts, and their creativity is relentless. They will always have their mischievous moments. Steve Silvestro, MD, wrote that “our kids love us and crave our attention.” And as a parent, being in-charge is quite overwhelming and exhausting especially if you have no idea how to restrain your kids.
How does one do this? Do you settle for bribes or with threats of punishment?
No, you don’t. And psychologically speaking, these forms of discipline are going to have a negative impact on your kids in the long run. Alan Kazdin, PhD, wrote, “Punishment fosters aggression. It deteriorates relationships.”
Take note: Right from the moment that your kids can understand you and have a proper conversation with you, make sure to inculcate to them all of your expectations. Have them agree with your rules and whenever they forget what you’ve talked about, create a sort of signal to show them that they’re way over their line.
Toddlers are very smart. Though parents are sometimes oblivious to that fact, toddlers can actually internalize your expectations of them then start to embed those in their systems, making your expectations their expectations as well. From that day forward, your kids will do their very best not to disappoint. Although they will still act out since that’s what they do, these behaviors become less as they grow.
The secrets of winning the game
Now that you know what to do, there are secrets and techniques on how should do it.
- Establish the rules firmly
As previously stated, kids are smart. They have ways on how to get what they want when they want it. And if the parents disagree, they will throw a massive tantrum just to show their parents that their demands must be met. Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, wrote, “No matter how exhausted you are, if you relinquish control, check out, give in, you show her she can use these storms to manipulate you, and this will fuel more tantrums, and make them harder to navigate, not easier.”
This should not be the case. Which is why you have to establish your set of rules firmly and they must respect those limitations. You can do this by:
- Giving them a logical reason why you are setting these rules.
- Giving praises when they did something good.
- Following your own rules.
- Fostering conscience.
- Create skills to solve problems
Kids always want to be involved. Therefore, if they feel that they are powerless or useless, they behave inappropriately. By teaching your kids how to become responsible, you equip them the skills and knowledge on how to solve a challenge. You can do this by:
- Allowing them to make their own decisions, provided you are there to guide them through.
- Encouraging them to keep on doing minor chores.
- Give them the opportunity to find the answers on their own.
- Impose the virtue of patience
Kids hate waiting. One minute you’re telling them to stay still then after a couple of seconds, you’ll see them walking away from you to chase something that caught their eye. Or, if they want something, they would always want it at that very moment. Practice your kids on becoming patient. You can do this by:
- Making them experience the unpleasantness of waiting.
- Validate their struggles by acknowledging how they feel.
- Offer praise upon demonstration of patience.
- Immersed the child in activities that enhance
The finish line… finally!
Many might think that rearing a well-mannered child is daunting and is sometimes, close to impossible. But parents would focus on instilling these essentials at a very young age, specifically at the age of two, there is a better chance of your kids learning the principles faster, abide more, and behave properly.