How To Effectively Discipline Children

One of the most difficult things that parents will need to navigate to their children is dispensing discipline. Discipline is not just a means of punishment or a system that perpetuates action and consequence. It is important that children learn to understand how to behave and why certain behaviors are deemed unacceptable or unsafe. Disciplining your child is not about punishing them but it is about teaching them how to act in society in a way that is safe as well as respectful of others.

So, how does a parent go about effectively disciplining their child?

There are several things that you should remember, but one of the most important things you should keep in mind is to be clear about the rules and be consistent with them.

First off, it is important that children understand what sort of behavior is unacceptable. In some cases, children will learn this by example whether it is through their own behavior or by watching other children, and in some cases other people in general. It is vital that you have a discussion with your child as to why something is unacceptable, whether it is throwing a tantrum, stealing, being rude, or anything else along those lines. If they understand why something is bad or unacceptable, they are more likely to listen. It is important that children have some sense of personal understanding beyond the idea that something is “bad” or undesirable. Not only is it better for them in the long run, but it can help to better ensure that the idea sticks. It also helps you create a strong sense of communication and respect with your child.

Disciplining Your Child

Once your child understands what the rules are, or what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable, it helps that you remain as consistent as possible. Sometimes, contradictions will arise as new situations and exceptions present themselves, but overall it is important that you remain as consistent as you can in order for children to retain a sense of understanding. If you’re inconsistent, then your children will not have a reasonable idea of what to expect from you or how they should ideally behave.

As a parent, it is also important that you lead by example. Children are visual learners and they often learn how to behave by mimicking the way that their parents do. If you often contradict the rules that you set for your children, not only will they not understand what the rules are but they will disregard anything you try to tell them about their behavior because of it. The way that you act around your children and others will have more of a lasting effect on them over what you say, so if you support your advice and your rules with your own behavior, children are more likely to take note and to listen.

Raising disciplined children is not going to be easy. There will be good days and bad days, and some kids will be more difficult than others. It is important that you remember the advice above, but it is also essential that you employ tactics that work best for you and your children as individuals. Setting boundaries, being clear, and remaining consistent is vital, but the ways in which you discipline your child should be appropriate to them as a person involving the situation at hand.

~ KD Novelties is a publisher of personalized children’s books and are advocates for promoting literacy in children. They share parenting resources and reading tips here on their blog.

Behavior at School vs. Behavior at Home: What’s Normal?

Many parents witness a transformation of some form when their children begin to go to school. For many children, school is the first place outside of the home and they really begin to learn how to act when their parents are not around. Children learn that certain behaviors are expected in different environments. Some kids have difficulty adjusting whereas other kids transition seamlessly. Regardless, it is important that parents pay attention to their child’s behavior in order to see whether it is healthy or whether there is a concern that needs addressing.

An Angel at School but Acting Out at Home

Misbehaving at Home

As frustrating as it can be for some parents, hearing that your child is well-behaved at school despite acting out at home is actually good news. Some parents may be surprised and wonder why there is a difference in their child’s behavior between these two spaces. For many kids, school is an unfamiliar environment. This applies to children who are just starting school, but it also applies to children who are older as well – every year they are placed in a new classroom, with new classmates and a new teacher. School follows a schedule and has structure, and teachers and faculty are unfamiliar adults that they are told should be listened to. If you are a parent of a child who acts well at school but acts out at home, you may wonder whether this means that your children does not like or respect you – but this is absolutely not the case.

Since kids are in an unfamiliar environment, they are more likely to follow the rules and do as they are told. They are learning how to operate in the world as individuals so their time at school becomes a learning process. At home, children are comfortable and they already know that they are loved and appreciated by you, their parents. When kids act out at home, they are learning as well. Since kids are more comfortable at home, they feel more at ease when it comes to testing limits and pushing boundaries, which is actually a very good sign (really??? you say!!) in terms of their personal development.  However, setting boundaries at home is very important because children can get out of control in the home setting.  Rewarding them for good behavior and reprimanding for bad behavior (in love) is crucial when setting house rules.

Misbehaving at School

Acting Out at School but Agreeable at Home
It is usually when the tables are turned that parents need to do some investigating. For some children, their school or classroom may simply not be a good fit for them. Some parents have been told by teachers that their children cannot or will not sit still, but for many kids this sort of restlessness, especially after extended periods of time, is extremely normal for their age group. Some behavioral issues have simple fixes and finding alternatives can provide you with the solution that you need.

In other cases, however, children who act out severely at school are advised to seek therapy along with their parents as it may be the sign of another issue. A specialist can help you get to the bottom of the problem and teach you how to address it in a healthy way that benefits you and your child.

One thing to always remember is that if there are any issues with the child seeking help early in the process is always beneficial, and most behaviors are temporary and kids will get over it and so will you.  It’s just going through the process that makes this difficult, but this too shall pass.

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