Every parent wants a well behaved child both at home and in the public. While some parents are obviously wanting in the discipline department, some are over disciplining to the detriment of the child. You mean well but you might be doing that child more harm than good. How do you know that? Read on, and we will get to that in a bit.
Discipline is the process of teaching your child what type of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable. Discipline teaches a child to follow rules. Effective discipline uses many different tools. Sometimes, punishments are also an effective tool but that doesn’t mean that good discipline is mostly about punishments.
READ ALSO: Do You Know Why Children Tell Lies Frequently? See 7 Reasons Why (Part Two)
Having established what discipline is, here are 9 signs you that you are over-disciplining your child…
1. Your Child Lies a Lot
When your child does something wrong in your presence and lies about it instead of apologizing, then you are raising a good liar, no thanks to your over discipline. Children like that grow up and struggle to say the truth or over stretch it even in meaningless situations. This is because saying the truth or owning up to something they did always score them punishments. So, they end up lying instead.
2. You Make Outrageous Threats and Carry Them Out
While growing up we had a neighbor who always locked out his children at night whenever they misbehaved. We always heard him say things like if you do this, you will sleep outside, if you do that I will call the police on you. Making outrageous threats and actually carrying them out is taking things way too far.
3. You Have a Zero Tolerance Policy
While it’s important to have clear rules, it’s equally important to recognize that there are always exceptions to the rules. Rather than taking a permanent stance on everything, show a willingness to evaluate your child’s behavior in the context of the circumstance. Your children are not perfect, so you know there are times you need to cut them some slack.
4. You Struggle to Identify Age Appropriate Expectations
You expect too much from a child regardless of their age. For instance, you want your 4 year-old to know when it’s time to play and time for bed. When they fail to act according to your expectations, they get punished. Kids will always be kids no matter how strict you are. Losen up and allow them be kids.
5. You are Too Authoritative and Have Little Patience for Silliness
When you find yourself struggling to allow your child make his/her own choices even in the choice of food. When you force them to eat vegetables so they can grow up to love it. When you force them to always wear what you chose for them. When they can’t air their opinion confidently in your presence, then you know you’ve been too high handed.
READ ALSO: ETIQUETTE: Grooming Your Child To Be One Of The Finest (Part One)
6. You Have Too Many Restrictions
Having too many restrictions for your child is over disciplining. This is when ou hardly allow them indulge in the harmless activities they love, you don’t allow them go out to play when it is play time, you cut them off from watching their favorite television program and do not allow them visit friends or be visited. You are caging them.
7. You Have a Long List of Rules
Rules are good, but too many rules can be harmful. Keep your rules simple and only include the most important ones that you want your child to remember. Post your list of house rules in a place where you can refer to it as often as it is needed.
8. You Praise the Outcome and Not Your Child’s Effort
Children sometimes struggle. Don’t wait until they get it right, praise their effort. Praising only the desired result may make them grow up thinkin,g you won’t love them until they are perfect. Praise the process.
READ ALSO: Are You Punishing or Disciplining Your Child? Know the Difference
9. You Don’t Offer Choices
Rather than ask, “would you rather dress your bed now or wash the dishes?” you bark orders. Giving kids a little freedom, especially with their choices can go a long way to make them compliant.
Discipline is good for your child but you should be mindful not to cross the line.
Tags: Over-disciplining, Parenting
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