Reprimanding kids for their bad behavior is not the only way to discipline them, but it is also an essential basic parenting skill. It guarantees that children will develop the necessary qualities to become grownups, as well as helps foster a healthy parent-child relationship.
There are several different kinds of discipline and parental methods. However, no matter the form of discipline used by a parent, it will have several advantages to children.
You have already seen a few very clear illustrations of why it is necessary to control children if you have ever met those that were not properly disciplined by their families. Discipline is beneficial not only to you as a parent that has to manage your child’s behavior every day but also for his or her overall happiness and welfare.
What Does Discipline Entail?
Discipline, including good food, physical and mental activities, compassion, and other fundamental needs, is essential for a child’s positive growth. Children who neglect discipline lack the skills they need to manage the interactions and problems of adulthood, such as self-control, empathy for others, and peer cooperation.
Kids who aren’t adequately disciplined are not joyful, as opposed to what certain people may assume. In reality, the inability to discipline your child often leads to a sad, frustrated, or even embittered child. Children who are not disciplined are likely to become a terrible company for other people, thus making finding and maintaining healthy relationships all the more difficult.
Knowing how to control one’s behavior and control harmful emotions is especially important for school-aged children. If they have the resources to discipline themselves when they enter puberty and the chaos of the adolescent years, they would be far more able to effectively overcome obstacles and impulses.
What Causes a Child to Be Disrespectful?
Respect can seem to be an idea missing from your child’s mind at times, particularly in the sense that it is focused on you. You aim to find a compromise between becoming a disciplinarian and becoming a loving parent. However, it is difficult to know whether it is working, particularly because your child is not likely to come up to you to express how much they respect and adore you. Most of them, whether toddlers or teenagers, do not directly communicate that. So, how do you know whether or not your kid respects you?
Respect is very rarely a clear-cut observable phenomenon. Having a good report card, a tidy room, or an aversion to having tantrums don’t necessarily translate to them respecting you. It is possible that she enjoys going to school, for example, and that a good report card doesn’t have anything to do with how much he or she respects you.
Children have the same level of complexity as adults. Even deciphering the motivation behind a toddler’s behavior is not as easy as it seems. And as your child grows older and approaches young adulthood, this reading of their motivations becomes much more difficult.
Relationship Between Respect and Conformity
Respect and conformity are often intertwined topics among parents and children. Parents are right in demanding compliance from their children if the said children are already teenagers or young adults. Tension is often induced by a child’s genuine urge to be more self-sufficient as he grows older. This is where parents and teenagers clash: the adult seeks conformity, while the child seeks independence.
Let us take things a little forward now. The parent feels mistreated because the teenager does not obey. And they commit the error of personalizing their child’s non-compliance. On the other hand, children, particularly adolescents, must learn to deal with the issue of adherence in a balanced manner. However, parents must recognize that their child’s minor incidents of rebellion are always motivated by a need to be self-sufficient. To put it another way, their uprising has little to do with contempt. That is what teens do, after all. Your job is to be as impartial as practicable while dealing with your child’s actions.
If parents do not know how to cope with these situations effectively, they could feel powerless and fearful. They always either ignore too much or react too aggressively to scenarios involving the child.
They may become too strict when they overreact or brush off and ignore when they under-react. This does not assist the child in learning to better control his feelings or action, neither does it assist the child in being more respectful.
Effective Natural Consequences
Something that occurs spontaneously and without adult intervention is referred to as a natural consequence. You get soaked while you stay in the shower. You starve if you do not eat. You get chilly if you lose your scarf. There will be no piggybacking permitted. Adults piggyback as they criticize, chide, suggest, or do something else that brings additional guilt, embarrassment, or stress to the situation than the child would already naturally feel.
When children make an error, they normally feel terrible or guilty. When the kid avoids analyzing the incident and only insists on experiencing or protecting against the guilt, embarrassment, and discomfort, piggybacking reduces the development that may result from witnessing a natural consequence.
Rather than piggybacking, express concern and compassion for the child’s situation by using phrases you might say when it feels necessary such as: “I am sure it was difficult to be hungry” or “I support you and have confidence in you to tackle this.” It is tough for parents to be compassionate without saving or being overly protective of their children, but it can be a very rewarding thing that you can do to assist them in growing a sense of competence.
Parents who are too protective of their children avoid any natural consequences of their actions. As a result, their children are deprived of chances to come back from setbacks or to practice how to improve from errors. Most of them may not comprehend why their parents have such laws. Instead of knowing, “It’s hot outside so I need to use an umbrella” a child will infer, “I have to use an umbrella because my mom will get mad if I don’t.”
What Are the Benefits of Natural Consequences?
Natural repercussions prepare children for maturity by encouraging them to consider the ramifications of their decisions. When children can observe the repercussions of their decisions, they learn to associate their behaviors with consequences. Natural consequences even help to develop good problem-solving abilities. If your child was cold yesterday when he went out while not wearing a scarf, he would be more inclined to worry about what he should do tomorrow to keep it from happening again.
You would still be likely to stop power disputes if you get out of the way and allow your kid to pursue his thoughts. You would not have to reason with him on whether he cannot do that or tell him he is making a poor decision. Natural consequences should often be discussed. Clarify to your kid why stealing would make people distrust her. Or, if she is a jerk, no one would want to be friends with her. Those are the immediate effects of her decisions.
When parents place constraints on their children, they become adversaries. Power disputes and battles emerge unnecessarily, causing harm to the parent-child partnership. Worse, the child can adapt by learning to lie or be devious to evade being caught violating the rules of his or her parents. Parents, on the other hand, become teachers when they relate a challenge to their kids and help them grasp the relations and cause and effect of their actions.
When you are perceived as the bad guy, any subsequent encounter is framed as a war, even though it isn’t. Parents who have a lot of family laws often argue that their kids struggle over everything. This is because they have conditioned their child to think of them as adversaries rather than teachers who can help them better themselves.
When you educate a child regarding natural consequences and allow them to experience them firsthand when they don’t listen to you, they learn to trust you because you provide them with actual lessons and not just hypothetical ones. When they have issues, they would seek assistance from you, the teacher, instead of hiding them from you because they are afraid to be punished.
What Are Examples of Natural Consequences?
An example of this non-confrontational approach to teaching discipline is “grandma’s discipline”. Grandmothers have plenty of wisdom. Grandma’s law of discipline is an excellent approach to show children that they can deserve their rewards by working hard. It allows them to see that they have power over the perks they get and when they work for them.
Grandma’s principle of discipline is to frame it as a reward rather than spelling out the negatives.
Instead of suggesting, “You should not have dessert until you finish your food,” Grandma’s principle would go, “You’ll get a dessert when you’re done with your meal.” It has a better ring to it because it offers kids more energy and eliminates arguing.
Grandma’s rule, rather than having a traditional incentive scheme, will serve as an informative example of how privileges are tied to actions. It reminds children of the importance of asking themselves, “Why should I follow what you say?” As a bonus, you won’t have to give out sums of money. Instead, tell your child that he will have his freedoms only when he decides to meet your conditions. He would not deserve his privileges if he refuses to do as you have asked.
Grandma’s law makes it plain that children have a say on the matter, which can be a perfect way to stop power fights. The outcomes are determined by their actions. Grandma’s rule of obedience instills self-discipline in her grandchildren. They understand how to connect their behaviors to the consequences, which will aid them in making informed choices in the future.
When Consequences Don’t Work
Your child can become upset as a result of the natural consequence. Take advantage of this chance to educate your kid on how to manage their feelings and fix the dilemma they have created.
Allowing your kid to self-soothe is not a good idea. They are unable to do so. Emotional control is not something that humans are born with. They need your assistance in developing emotional management skills.
Problem-solving and coping strategies should appear out of nowhere. They must be instructed. To assist children in solving the dilemma, ask questions and include tips or choices. Spurring them to reflect often aids in their emotional self-regulation.
The unfortunate natural consequence is a penalty in and of itself. So do not contribute to your child’s suffering by unnaturally punishing him or her. They are discovering the true implications of their behavior as a result of the situation’s demands.
Discipline entails showing a kid how to think of better decisions rather than punishing them for past mistakes. You can only educate your kid to dislike you or the consequence if you punish them to make them miserable.
The use of artificial punishment gives the incorrect message. For example, he cannot take another kid’s things without permission because this would make the other kid upset. However, if your kid just thinks they cannot do that because you would beat them, they will become sly and do so behind your back. Agreeableness is taught by saying, “Do not seize another person’s possession without permission, or the owner would be upset.” “Do not take other people’s stuff because I hate being punished” does not.
How to Avoid Being a Mean Mom?
Being a mean mom broadly entails authoritarian methods of disciplining your child coupled with a malicious demeanor. A mean mom is willing to inflict both physical and emotional pain to her child even when uncalled for and justifies her behavior as being the child’s fault for not behaving well. In some particularly nefarious instances, a mean mom may even derive enjoyment or satisfaction from inflicting pain to her child or embarrassing him all under the guise of “disciplining” her child.
Mean moms are often caught shouting at their child even when the child’s actions do not merit that kind of extreme reaction. She may also subject her child to embarrassing scenarios such as reprimanding him in public or in front of his friends. As a consequence of these actions, the child learns to avoid and even hate his mom and grows up to be resentful of her. Before escalating into such a scenario, it’s best to check your behavior towards your child and honestly assess whether or not you are being mean.
The first thing that can be done to avoid being this type of parent is to constantly and honestly assess your actions. Questions such as: “are my actions done out of necessity or want?”, “do I enjoy seeing my child suffer?”, “is the punishment I am giving commensurate with my child’s misbehavior?”, and so on.
Having this kind of internal awareness ensures that you can keep your actions towards your child in check and you won’t escalate into becoming someone that they may end up hating for the rest of their lives.
Tantrums vs Disrespect
When they do not get their wish, small children sometimes throw temper tantrums. However, at 8 or 9 years old, most children’s tantrums would have subsided. This is one of the first distinctions between tantrums and disrespect. Tantrums often subside once the child can communicate his or her emotions well enough while disrespect can persist until adulthood.
People may perceive older children as pampered or disrespectful when they throw tantrums. However, the truth is not so straightforward. Tantrums are unavoidable. As children grow older, they learn better communication skills to express emotions such as unhappiness and discontent. They learn to bargain to get what they desire. Most also learn to deal with intense feelings and dissatisfaction.
However, some children take more time to learn to deal with intense emotions and frustration. They may have issues regarding anxiety, or they may have difficulty expressing their emotions. Tantrums in older children can be caused by a variety of factors.
Some children experience unique challenges that may cause tantrums to persist even after their friends have finished throwing them. They can, for example, struggle with language and have difficulty translating their emotions into sentences. Alternatively, they could be struggling in school and resort to tantrums as a calming strategy.
Alternatively, tantrums could also be brought about by them wanting you to do something. Often, when children don’t get what they want, they resort to this behavior because they know that you will be more likely to give in to their demands, especially when you are in a public area such as in a supermarket or a park.
On the other hand, disrespect, especially the persistent kind, may arise from a deep-seated feeling of resentment or emotional disconnect from a parent. Sometimes, a child may also act disrespectfully to get any form of attention from the parent, even if that attention is negative. This is particularly true with emotionally distant and “formal” parents. The child craves love and attention but the only time these kinds of parents provide attention is when he acts disrespectfully to chastise him.