Understanding parents often get better results.
CHILDWISE by RUTH LIEW
My husband told me that he never once heard his father reprimand by shouting or threatening his children when they were young. He always remained firm and loving in his approach. His children heeded him and hardly got into trouble.
When disciplining children, parents need to have a sincere interest in guiding their children on the right path. Children learn the correct principles at various stages of their development. They cannot learn everything at one time. This means, parents need to understand what their children are capable of before they correct their behaviour.
Softly does it: It may take longer and require more effort for parents to discipline with love, but the sacrifice of time and patience is worth it.
It confuses children when parents see discipline as an opportunity to release tension or take revenge. It is definitely not effective when parents punish their children and tell them “I am doing this for your own good”. This will not benefit children in the long term. They will develop a sense of injustice and learn to keep a distance from their parents.
When parents teach children with love in their hearts, they tend to use the right words and actions. This is more likely to last and the parent-child bonding is stronger. It is hard for the child to feel loved when he is spanked and yelled at. Parents who act harshly towards their children usually end up feeling estranged because they feel guilt and shame. Often, parents feel when they break from the disciplining process that they let their children off too easily. They worry that the children will not learn responsibility or feel sorry for what they have done. They fear that they are not doing enough and their children will turn out wrong.
In many families, children learn quickly how to avoid punishment, but not really knowing the right thing to do. They know that as long as they are not punished, they are doing the right thing. Parents would threaten their children for misbehaving by saying, “Don’t let me catch you doing this again or I will give you a good one.” This approach only makes the child stay away from his parents so that he does not get punished.
Most children of preschool age and older know when they have crossed the line and made their parents angry. Under the circumstances, anger cannot be avoided. An angry parent can physically move away so that she can calm down before facing the child. This way, I guarantee, the parent will not lose face with her child but be able to teach him self-control and self-discipline.
It is always helpful to think before you act. If you feel uneasy about what you are about to do to your child, the right thing to do is to not do it. It’s better to walk away than regret later. Your child will learn respect from you and know how to trust his own judgment.
I witnessed a father who wanted his six-year-old son to stop annoying his older cousin. Instead of telling him to stop the behaviour, he shouted at the boy from across the room, “Come here!” His young son retorted, “For what?” He refused to obey his father. This conflict turned ugly when the parent approached his son with a rolled-up newspaper. He hit him for disobeying him and not for annoying his cousin.
Parents who punish their children’s every misbehaviour, whether big or small, end up with worse results. Children are not convinced that you love them when you do not show your love or respect for them. They may even act up to get more attention or try to get back at their parents.
It’s important to understand the reasons behind a child’s misbehaviour before deciding on discipline. Sometimes a child behaves badly because he is unwell or hungry. A young child could be upset or a teenager could not call home because his cellphone battery was out. Take time to listen before acting.
Parents have many options when it comes to helping children learn the right thing to do. There are certain times when parents need not say a word or do a thing to get children to rectify their wrongdoing. All you have to do is take some time to really understand your child’s reason for misbehaving.
Having confidence in children to know how to self-correct or giving them second chances can be more effective. Children pay more attention to what you want to teach when you act with understanding and love. They trust their parents better when they are compassionate and fair.
Using a firm and loving approach rather than a punitive one, will eventually make children feel closer to their parents. I am sure there have been many times children been unhappy with their parents when they have insisted that something stop or that they finish their tasks. But they will feel better when they draw closer to their parents if parents discipline them with love.
It may take longer and require more effort for parents to discipline with love, but the sacrifice of time and patience is worth it. We do not want to instil fear in our children. Fear will only cause children to alienate themselves, leading to a breakdown in communication between parent and child. We want to strengthen our relationship with our children from the very start. This is proof that parents have disciplined well.
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