It seems that these days parents are reluctant to discipline their children either for fear of the consequences of law or because they feel that reasoning with a child is more appropriate. This article will discuss the process of punishing your child and the consequences of not.
When punishing a child for doing something wrong, there are a few things that must be kept in mind.
Quick response: You must first teach your child that what they did is wrong. To do this, you must inform the child as soon as he does something wrong that you do not approve of it. If you wait too long, the child will not associate his action to your disapproval and will result in a confused child. Do this by using a stern voice and saying “No”! You may need to do this several times before the child understands that he is not suppose to do that.
Be consistent: You will soon realize that your child knows he is not suppose to do something, but will do it as a test to see what he can get away with. It is very important you remain consistent by continuously reminding him you are unhappy with him when he does that. If you let your child get away with what he is doing even once, you are sending a mixed message which will confuse him.
Increase punishment: Once it’s obvious your child understands certain actions are forbidden, but he continues to “test” you, it’s time to increase the punishment. You must teach your child there are consequences in life for doing the wrong thing. The most effective way to teach this is by causing discomfort. I’m not saying you should beat your children into submission. However, a slap on the hand will get your message across effectively.
Does my child understand: You must continually ask yourself if your child understands that what he is doing is wrong. Punishing your child for something he does not understand will only confuse your child and frustrate you.
What you will gain: If you properly discipline your child, you will be accomplishing several things. First, you are teaching your child the differences between right and wrong. Second, you will be ensuring the safety of your child by teaching him certain things are dangerous and to listen to you when you speak. When you say “Stop”, your child should do just that, not continue to run. This could save your child from serious harm. You will also be teaching your child there are consequences for doing the wrong thing.
Lack of discipline: Some believe that you can reason with a child and achieve the same effects of discipline. However, a child that does not understand what is right and wrong will not be able to reason. A child will naturally do whatever interests him whether it is right or wrong. Just talking to your child will at best send the message to your child that what he did was wrong, but the only consequence is he has to listen to you for a couple minutes.
Summary: For the safety of your child and for his future, you must be strict and teach your child that every action has a consequence. He must understand that doing the wrong thing will result in pain and discomfort. If he does not learn this as a child, he will eventually grow up thinking he can get away with anything.