As a parent, one of the most important jobs you have is knowing how to discipline your child and teach them what behavior is and is not appropriate. This is one of the toughest parts about being a parent, and as much as you don’t want to get upset with your child, there are going to be times when you will be. There are many different approaches to disciplining your child in a healthy way that includes positive re-enforcement, emotional control, and keeping your children safe when they misbehave.
Today we’re going to talk about how to discipline your child in a healthy way that promotes understanding, modeling appropriate behaviors, as well as setting limits and consequences and being consistent in your approach.
Here are some healthy ways to discipline your child:
Lead by example. Model the appropriate behavior for your child and teach them right from wrong using calm words and actions when they act up.
Set limits on behavior. Set clear and consistent boundaries and rules for your children and explain them in age-appropriate terms they can understand.
Hear your child out. Oftentimes, there are patterns in behavior or circumstance that may trigger your child to misbehave. When children are tired, hungry, or jealous for example, this can contribute to misbehavior occurring. Instead of jumping the gun when they act out, try your best to hear them out and help them problem-solve why they may be feeling a certain way. Forming an understanding with your child can help curb bad behavior. However, if your child is in immediate danger or safety is a concern, or is a danger to those around them, you may need to re-work this strategy and act much more quickly to avoid anyone getting hurt.
Catch them being good and reward positive behavior. Children need to know when they do something good or something bad. Reinforcing good behavior is an excellent way to curb bad behavior and encourage good behavior. Be specific when your child is being good, and praise them with something like, “You did such a great job listening and putting your toys away,” etc.
What not to do:
Never hit or spank your child for misbehavior. This type of discipline is ineffective at best and also provokes fear and insecurity in children. Just because your parents or grandparents did it, does not mean you should. Breaking the cycle means that you try to do better than your parents.
Never curse at your child or yell at them intensely.
Never insult your children or put them down when they are misbehaving.
Take a Quick Break
If you feel yourself getting very angry, take a step back and separate yourself from the situation for a few minutes.
Being a parent can be frustrating and sometimes you need to take a few minutes to calm down too. Put your child in a safe place and take a short walk in your yard, or step outside for some fresh air for a couple of minutes, and then talk to your child. When you've calmed down a bit, odds are they will too.
For more tips on how to discipline your children healthily, click here!