We all have those moments of defeat as parents. It happens. Those moments where you are lost in defining your abilities, skill, and effectiveness. Those moments when we wonder why didn’t kids come with a handbook.
Parenting isn’t a skill we are born with. Unfortunately the super powers of parenthood are gained through experience. That’s right, parenting is a complete roller coaster ride. You just never know what to expect on the next turn. The other thing we as parents have to think about is the fact that not all kids are the same. My oldest and my youngest are two totally different personalities. This certainly affects my parenting approach.
Discipline is absolutely an area many struggle with. Much of this is conflicted by both the world we live in today and also our own personal experiences as a kid. Speaking for myself, my parents were stern when it came to discipline. A little too much if I had to put my two cents in on it. I always thought as I got older I would be different. I would establish a good relationship with my kids that conveyed explanation and understanding.
I want to be a good parent. I want to instill into my children the objectives of self control and limits. I also do not strive to be an overbearing mom. Children are children. They will frustrate you. They will test you beyond belief. They will do what you tell them not to. Your disciplinary methods define the structure your child will follow forever.
Discipline doesn’t have to be about punishment. You are managing your tiny flock of sheep and guiding them in the right direction. Harsh punishment does not have to be a go to. Use these 5 simple secrets to effective discipline.
Change the Way You Discipline
1. Clarity is a huge element of effective discipline. If your kids do not know the rules you can not expect them not to break the rules. It is important to reiterate to your kids the expectations you have. Kids have to get their boundaries.
2. Sometimes being easy is not easiest. With that being said consistency is key. If you want your kids to understand discipline then you have to stay consistent with it. Allowing something to happen one time and not another is contradictory.
3. You must use positive reinforcement. This is somewhat of a preventative measure when it comes to discipline. Recognize all of the wonderful things your child is doing without them expecting it. This in itself teaches them what you really want to see them doing rather than acting out.
4. You are a model. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the fact that we are like a side show our kids are watching all of the time. It is true. They act and react in things they see us doing and saying. So be more mindful that you are being watched by the littles.
5. Love them. Love your kids unconditionally through the best and worst moments of their childhood. There are times when we may experience disappointment in their choices but we have to love them. These are lesson learned. Be proactive!
Remember you are a teacher, an advocate, a shoulder, and your child’s biggest fan. Parenting is a daunting task but also the one in your life that comes with the greatest rewards. You will only have them for a short while. They will only be there needing you for a time so short that it will be gone before you know it. Know that these moments don’t last forever.
Do you have a strong willed child? Here are eight tips for parenting a strong willed child.