Be an amazing parent:
Discipline not Punishment
- Punishment gives your child the feeling you want to “hurt” This should never be the case in parenting a child. Parent/child connections should be a safe and loving relationship. Consequences should be about teaching them to make the correct/positive choices for themselves. Someday, they will be adults and make their decisions. As a parent, you want to teach them how to take the best, healthy or most appropriate decisions for their life.
Adults have consequences: don’t get up and go to work…lose a job. Instead, be a dependable and hard worker. Spend all your money on clothes…can not pay rent and lose the apartment. Instead, make a budget and stick to it.
- Consequences should fit the disobedience. Misuse the car, take away driving privileges for a time, caught texting past bedtime…lose the phone for a weekend, bad grades…less social time and more study time.
- When explaining what they did wrong…talk about the misdeed instead of attacking them as a person. Example: I was very disappointed that you were not home by curfew. Tomorrow night, the curfew will be 1 hour earlier. Instead of: You are a Disobedient, Thoughtless, and Stupid child. Example: You didn’t clean up your bedroom. You will not be allowed to socialize until your room is clean to our set standards. Instead of: You are so lazy…your room is a pig pen. Our Minds are like computers: whatever we are told over and over again; we begin to believe. So you want to fill your child’s head up with positive and empowering thoughts and beliefs.
- Pick your battles. Try not to get into a tug of war with your teenager/child all the time. Choose what behaviors need to be worked on the most and stick to them. (Example: my daughter took piano lessons. One day, I realized she was playing the same songs over and over instead of practicing. I confronted her about it, and she told me she hated to practice an instrument. I tried to tell her that music and knowing an instrument is important. She would not change her mind. So I let her drop out of piano lessons. She had the basics and piano lessons are just a bonus in life, not a necessity. She is 30 and still is happy with her decision. Oh well, I tried. It was me who wished I could play the piano. Maybe someday…
- Follow through is Essential! When as a parent, you have set up consequences for breaking a rule, you must follow through. Idle threats just teach your child that there is a good chance they will not get penalized. Because they know there is a good chance of not getting punished, they will gamble on the odds and misbehave. Therefore, think carefully about the consequences, so you are willing to follow up on the work of executing them. (Example: I was a teacher at a church. One day during an activity, my daughter said, “This is silly” and left the room. I chased after her, but she ditched me. When it was time to go home, she was forced to come home with me. I told her that if she would ever disrespect me in church again, I would give her boom box (the 80’s) to charity. If she did it a second time, I would give her TV to charity. If she did it a third time, I would take away all her good (designer) clothes and provide her with just Salvation Army clothes. She knew I don’t mess around. She never disrespected me in church again. Note: She did not get punish that night just a talk to and future consequences. I also knew it was too much to ask never to be disrespected (be practical about human nature). We must take into account what is reasonable to expect from a child.
- Regular Hugs and Compliments are a must. To develop a loving and close relationship with your child, you must make sure you give more hugs and compliments then criticisms or consequences. All parents know that some days this is hard. On those days, you need to hunt for the positive. Examples: I love the smile you just gave me, I noticed you put your plate in the sink, Thanks for turning off the TV when you left the room, or that shirt looks great on you. They may be little compliments but that is OK; as long as the scale is heavier on the hugs and compliments side. Tip: Keep it simple and sincere.
Some other parenting resources would be The Power of Positive Parenting: A Wonderful way to Raise Children by Glenn Latham and Sidney W. Bijou. Positive Parenting in Action by Laura Ling and Rebecca Earnes. For more Valuable Quick Parenting Tips go to www.supportivetalk.com . You can also choose to book a conversation to discuss your parenting or child discipline woes.