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Discipline Decoded – Effective Discipline Techniques   

“There are no bad children, only bad behaviour.”

-UNICEF

Disciplining a child is one of the hardest things to do as a parent, as unpleasant as it is, it is still a necessity and shouldn’t be avoided. Children need parents and teachers to guide them, teach them discipline, and help them learn how to regulate their behaviour and to do what is expected of them. Loving and caring for our children comes naturally and easily to us, (it also helps that when it comes to kids there is no such thing as too much love) However it is a very different story when it comes to disciplining children.

Children usually indulge in unacceptable behaviour because they are hungry, tired, stressed, frustrated, or just bored amongst other reasons.  As parents, if we identify and properly manage these reasons instead of ignoring and dismissing them, we will notice a significant difference.

When it comes to disciplining our kids, most parents make mistakes because there are many parameters to consider like age of the child, personality of the child, intensity of the unacceptable behaviour and so on. We’ve compiled a list of 7 common discipline mistakes made by parents and ways to avoid them.

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7 Common Discipline Mistakes Made by Parents And How To Avoid Them

Did you know practising an effective discipline strategy in kids can help create a positive learning environment?

  1. Too much Negativity
  2. It is important to curb too much negativity as one of the disciplinary techniques for your kids. “Don’t touch this” or “No, you can’t have doughnuts for lunch” or “Stop wasting water”, with statements like these, the children are hearing a lot of negative statements or instructions telling them what not to do. This mistake almost all parents are guilty of. We need to realise, if we keep saying “no” or “don’t” very often our children will soon ignore us. When we stop our child from doing something without giving them another option they are at a loss and may do something else that is also unacceptable.

    Instead of bombarding them with “No’s” and “don’ts”, try suffixing it with an alternative for e.g. “no, you can’t have doughnuts for lunch, but you can have some in the evening as a snack”. Or “Stop beating the dog, try petting it instead, they really like that.” or “don’t touch this, here you can play with this/ why don’t you go out and ride your bike.” Giving your child options and diverting their attention to something else will surely keep them out of trouble.

  3. Having unrealistic expectations
  4. Imagine sitting at a restaurant and your child loudly says that they want to eat what the neighbouring table is eating, you try to quieten them up, but they loudly make the same demand again much to your embarrassment. The thing we need to remember as parents is that just because our child behaves well at school or at their friend’s house, doesn’t mean they know how to behave appropriately in all circumstances. Children are very impulsive and are still learning the intricacies of socially appropriate behaviour.

    Children need to be taught in advance what is expected of them especially in a new situation, as in the case above you can tell them that if they want to share something to do so using “inside voices “or if they are in a quiet place like a church then they need to come close and whisper they needs to either parent. Draw their attention to other people around and show them the expected behaviour in the situation. Children learn best when they observe others.

    Did you know that disciplining a child in the correct manner can greatly influence their development and behaviour?

  5. Being a good role model
  6. Parents are the first reference points for children. Being keen observers they are quick to imitate the behaviour of parents. Initially children don’t really filter out correct or incorrect behaviour, they blindly copy and follow the adults around them. There are going to be a few instances when we as parents have our outbursts too and we end up behaving in an unacceptable manner.

    Emotions have a strong tendency to influence our behaviour, but we can definitely rectify by apologising for our behaviour and talking about how the situation could have been handled in a more acceptable manner. The same can be done when children have an outburst too.  Talk about the situation in a calm manner after your child has had the chance to settle down.

    For you: Enrol your child in India’s leading preschool network.

  7. Intervening when not required
  8. Children are playful and love trying out new things or finding ways to entertain themselves even if it means troubling and chasing their siblings around the house or drawing on their hands with colour pens. Keeping a watchful eye on the children at all times is not possible and the times when we do manage that, the constant shouting and correcting will give us a headache and annoy us even more. The best way forward is to choose when to effectively intervene.

    As long as no one is getting harmed, why not be a silent observer, let your child be, and let them figure things out for themselves. So, let them put on their clothes or shoes the wrong way, they will soon realise that it doesn’t seem right, or dip their sandwich in their juice and eat it, they are curious and could be experimenting with flavours or just trying to get your attention or a reaction from you, either way if it doesn’t work they will soon stop.

  9. Giving empty threats
  10. Children are very good at discerning when a parent is serious or bluffing. So when you instruct your child, be clear what you are expecting them to do and not do. For e.g. – telling kids to clean their room, they are not going to do it till they know the consequences for not completing the task. A better approach would be to tell them that they could watch TV only after their room is cleaned. Or instead of saying finish your homework, you could say, “Once you finish your homework, you can go out to play”. When children are made aware of what they stand to lose or gain, they will be more inclined to listen to you and complete their tasks.

  11. Use Time-out or Time-in
  12. Most Parents use the Time-out concept incorrectly by using it as a tool for punishment, whereas it is meant to be used to help a child to calm down and get control over their emotions. Often when a situation gets out of hand, children experience a higher level of emotions that they are not able to handle and things quickly spiral out of control. When parents intervene and give a time out, the child needs to understand it is not a punishment but a chance for them to calm down and relax, most children will respond well to a time out. With very small children or sensitive children a time -in may be required, wherein they sit with you quietly till they can calm down, or you might need to hold them till they settle down. Once everything is settled then talk to them about why their behaviour was unacceptable. As a parent you also could take a time out for yourself if you feel you are very upset or angry, once calm you can handle the situation more effectively.

  13. Using the same strategy for all kids
  14. It is a known fact that all children are different, so if a discipline strategy works for one child it may not work as effectively with the second. Some children are sensitive and need to be told just once whereas others need repeated reminders. Using different disciplinary techniques for different children cannot be considered as favouritism as you are still disciplining the child, you’re just changing the approach used based on your child’s personality and temperament. For example, one child may just need a single verbal reminder to clean their room but the other may need their phone privileges taken away till their job gets done. These are some of the effective ways in disciplining kids.

Conclusion

Children require parents and teachers to guide them, teach them discipline, and help them learn how to regulate their behaviour and to do what is expected of them. In this article, we have provided details on 7 common discipline mistakes made by parents and how to avoid them. There is no set formula for disciplining kids and yet it is something that all parents need to do, so that children’s behaviour can be regulated. As parents there will be instances where you run out of ideas on how to handle it. Talk to other parents, and family members, share and collect ideas on different techniques used, this might prove to be a great asset in the long run. What other strategies can you think of? Please share your thoughts.

EuroKids, a well-recognized brand in early childhood education is well aware of the differences among children and hence have devised various child friendly techniques to discipline children which embraces the unique spirit of each child. Over the course of time you will see spirited children gradually conforming to the rules and regulations of the school, and society, while still retaining their uniqueness.  

References

https://www.unicef.org/parenting/child-care/how-discipline-your-child-smart-and-healthy-way

https://www.verywellfamily.com/types-of-child-discipline-1095064

https://www.verywellfamily.com/teach-kids-self-discipline-skills-1095034

For informative and accurate articles on all things related to your new born-toddler’s development, growth, health and nutrition, follow EuroKids Blogs and do check out our nationally recognized preschools – EuroKids for the first step in your kid’s educational journey!

About Us:

EuroKids is recognized as India’s most respected early childhood education brand, with over 21 years of experience, and has a presence in 350+ cities & 3 countries. The journey began in 2001 with 2 preschools and since then the group has consistently raised the bar for preschool education through its innovative and mindful curriculum – EUNOIA, which helps children grow holistically in a home-like environment.

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