Discipline your children can be tricky, especially youngsters. It tends to weigh down on you, the shouting (we all do it), the harsh tones, the spanking. After all is said and done, most times, we find ourselves wishing we were just a tad bit calmer. Here are a few tips on how to discipline your children without losing your cool:
1: Examine your motives
“Am I correcting my child because he did a wrong thing or because his behavior has caused me some personal discomfort, embarrassment, or trouble?”
Children can sense when they are being violated by impure motives, they will view it as a personal attack or an act of vengeance. This may result in them becoming angry rather than repentant. As parents, you are also to provide your child with a means of escape rather than just rebuking them for wrong.
2: Examine your life
“What is my example? How do I act when things don’t go my way? ”
Many times, in fact more often than not, children will emulate the behaviors that they see their parents showcase. Instead of rushing to discipline a child, be sure that he or she is not acting the same way you do. Be a good example, be sure to choose your words carefully and act in a manner that will not be disheartening if you had to watch your child copy your act.
3: Choose the right time and place
Do not embarrass your child. He will be more attentive to your instructions if he is not embarrassed because of being corrected in front of his friends. When you do this in front of others, you take his focus off of the sin in his heart and onto the embarrassment and humiliation that you have unnecessarily caused him. Your goal is not to embarrass him but to bring him to repentance. Occasionally, it may be necessary to scold your child in front of others but most of the time, if others are around, it would be better to take the child into another room or quietly instruct him in his ear.
4: Choose the right words.
Be careful not to sugar coat the truth when correcting a child. It is good to let them know the extent to which they have erred. For example, when speaking to your child, don’t substitute:
“You are being disrespectful” with “You are acting ugly.”
“Telling a lie” with “Telling a fib.”
“Being foolish” with “Being stubborn.”
“Being disobedient” with “Being strong-willed.