We have all been there in a waiting room and there is a kid acting out in some unbelievably obscene way. And then the mother screams “If you keep acting like this you will not be allowed to go McDonalds today for lunch”. The child’s behavior does not change and if anything it escalates and you know the kid is going to McDonalds. The nurse calls the family in and you are thankful they are gone and the room erupts with the other parents talking about how they would have disciplined that kid.
Your Unruly Kid
The nightmare is worsened when it is your kid and you are at a loss on how to discipline your child. The problem is exasperated by parents who feel their hands are tied knowing Child Protective Services has eyes everywhere. And Parents disagreeing on issues only escalating the problem. We all know discipline is the answer, but the question is what is discipline and how should it be done? What is the point to discipline? Why do we need to discipline Kids?
What is Discipline
Discipline is defined as the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior. A lot of people have a problem with the idea of forcing a type of behavior or action. Yet have no problem with making a child go to school even when they don’t want to. This is a form of forcing for the betterment of the child. This is the kind of forcing we are referring to in discipline. Learning discipline is like learning the ABC’s of how to behave. Through discipline we teach our children how to deal with others. They learn to be productive and contributing members of society.
The Desired Outcome
What is the desired outcome? Do you have a clear picture of what kind of adult you want your child to be? For me the desired outcome is to produce a respectful, responsible, and honest adult. My mother would often say Children are adults in training. Therefore learning to be an adult does not happen at age eighteen. A doctor does not get handed a scalpel and told to do his job, he has four years of being under the guidance of experienced doctors from multiple fields of study. And one year of focused training in the field of study they decide to go into. In the same way children need to interact with adults with guidance.
How to Discipline
There is not any one way to discipline. Teaching a child is a reminder of the expectations and rules you have in your home. Clear expectations and rules based off the ability and age of the child. There cannot be a “do as I say and not as I do” mentality in the home. Children learn by example therefore children and adults should live by the same rules. I often hear parents say kids will do what they do, I can’t stop them. Personal I say anyone can live down to a standard, give them a standard to live up to.
What Do You Expect
This is what I expect, you to stay in school and do your best and I know your best is… You to go to college and get a degree. I expect you to treat people… I expect honesty… ect. These are the expectations you and your spouse have set and come up with together. Whatever you do don’t attack your spouse in-front of your kids, this will defeat the purpose of providing a guiding example.
The Reason to Discipline
There are Millions of people we share this world with, be considerate, and remember none of us are entitled to anything. We have a moral obligation to training and disciplining our children. There is a school of thought which states “Kids are born with an innate goodness with the power to choose good over Bad.” If this ideology were true then there would not be such a demand for books or other media to assist people in acquiring personal self discipline and restraint.
List of Ideas
- Find a couple who has older children then yours and with qualities you want in your own kids. This usually helps you learn just what you need to do to train your kids to be the kinds of adults you want them to be. However if you don’t have the availability to have and older couple to mentor you then you may want to consider the ziglar family, they have a lot of great resources. It is easy to get overwhelmed with parent hood and forget your spouse. So having a couple to look up too can help you and your spouse maintain balance and the ziglar family can help with that as well.
- Be sure of your expectations and stick with them. Often in parenting our moods dictate how we deal with our kids. Set the standard and stick with it. It can be hard but it pays off in the long run. If kids know what to expect then they know what they can and can’t do. Consistency is the key. It helps you and your spouse feel more in controle and less fighting will result. Back up what you want from your kids with biblical verses. This is will help put credibility to your words.
- You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Be nice and calm with your kids. You will get them to listen to you more if you can stay calm and explain why their behavior is unacceptable. If you made your expectations clear then remember your kid choose consequences. It is not you being mean.
- United Front. Although you are 2 different people you need to remember you and your spouse are a single unit when it comes to parenting. If kids find a weakness they will exploit it. This is just one of many ways marriage problems started or are increased. Don’t give your kids a foot hole in destroying the family. It is not that they want to destroy the family they just do what is natural; to want to get what you want. And what your kids need to learn is that you can’t always have what you want.
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