As parents, disciplining your child can be a fine balancing act as kids are naturally wind up merchants, continually testing the limits of how much cheek you can stomach. Find common discipline mistakes often made in the process that you absolutely have to stop making henceforth:
6. Delayed consequences
Kids rarely learn from punishments that do not follow misbehaviour immediately. For instance, telling your child she will not attend a party at the weekend if she does not brush her teeth may seem of little consequence at that moment.
The hours that pass after the incident fill them with other thoughts at which point the lesson is lost. Immediate action is always best.
7. One rule for you, one rule for them
It’s easy to forget that kids watch, mimic and listen to our every move. If you are going to set rules, it’s best you stick to them yourself. It’s no good telling your child not to hit people if you will do the very same to correct bad behaviour. Or shouting abuse at your staff or another motorist and then react with shock when your child does the same. In other words, practise what you preach!
Offering kids treats for good behaviour, for instance, ‘You will get sweets if you eat all your greens,’ can easily end up at giving one piece of chocolate per slice of carrot.
It’s always tempting to introduce early trade by barter. I’ve used it a lot in the past. However, it will come back to haunt you, as I soon discovered. They should feel the need to act properly simply because it is the right thing to do. This will help them develop empathy and a conscience.
9. No to everything
“Don’t break that, no you can’t have ice cream for breakfast, no you cannot attend Irene’s party, no you can’t play soccer this evening,” and so on. Saying no to everything starts to wear on a child, having heard it all day, every day. Remove the constant negative vibe that can come with saying ‘no’ to virtually all their requests by compromising sometimes on those that are valid as well as redirecting their attention to other things they love that you can approve at the moment.
10. Punishing always!
Parents always feel the need to punish bad behaviour, however, often times, talking to them in a firm but gentle tone works. You’ll find approaching discipline in a nurturing way through kind words geared towards pointing out your child’s wrong and steering them in the right direction can make a bigger and more lasting impact.