There are many people who believe that discipline automatically equals punishment and harsh conduct in order to “raise” kids. That is not the case. Discipline should absolutely not mean punishing the child or being hard on them to “teach them a lesson.”
In fact, it is quite the opposite.
To discipline is to teach, not punish. To teach our children right from wrong, to help them understand better, to correct their behavior. We discipline our children to teach them how to conduct themselves, control their emotions, and react in certain situations.
What Is Discipline?
The word “discipline” comes from the Latin word disciplina, which means teaching, learning, and giving instruction. These may be the roots of the word, but most parents today associate discipline with metering out punishment, rewards, or consequences. (Daniel Siegel)
Discipline should be carried out with love and mercy. When approaching a child to discipline them, a parent should not think about “punishing” or causing them any harm.
Asking Yourself the Right Questions
In order to better act in situations that require parents to step forward, they should ask themselves three important questions: Why, What, and How.
Why did my child act this way?
When we understand the reason behind our children’s behavior, our reactions will immediately change as well. Perhaps your child requires more attention, and maybe you have not spent enough quality time with them. Your child’s actions can also result from feelings like jealousy, feeling a change of some sort, hunger, thirst, etc.
What lesson do I want to teach in this moment?
Instead of dwelling on this behavior, think of the way you wish your child would act instead. Think about the skills you want them to acquire to face future situations better. You might want to teach your child self-control, responsibility, concentration, etc.
How can I best teach this lesson?
Take a step back and contemplate the best way you can teach your child the lesson, without being too harsh on or scaring them. Try communicating with your child when delivering a message and watch as your successful parent-child relationship start brewing. Moreover, turning your lessons into games and o entertaining activity is also an excellent method of delivery. Telling bedtime stories, examples on how to act, or setting up similar “imaginary” situations where we reenact what had happened and demonstrate how the child in the story reacted are all additional techniques you can also use to ace your relationship with your kids.
It’s important to note that some behavior patterns take time to change. Setting up a plan and a set of actions to follow will help you achieve your goal. One thing is for sure, you must not, in any case, rush the process. Children differ from one another and you cannot apply the same rules to all of them. Learn to take your time, be understanding, and compassionate.
Remember, you are supposed to love your kids. The way you show that love is what they are going to carry with them.
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