What is discipline?


Let’s try to figure out why all the confusion about spanking versus non-spanking in relation to discipline. Just because people spank and hit children doesn’t mean they are disciplining them. Most of the time they don’t know any other methods, they have been spanked themselves, and they feel like hitting their children somehow makes them a responsible parent who teaches their kids important lessons in life. NO, this is not discipline! Just like it is not when someone chooses to let their children get away with everything without teaching them any lessons at all. NO, that is not discipline either, no matter how peaceful this approach may seem. Discipline should come from reasoning, cause and effect explanations, positive reinforcements, and NEVER from physical pain and fear. Please, consider researching further.

Here is the article I partially took the quote for the graphic from and some preview of what to expect: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=1763

“What is discipline?

As parents we discipline our children when they are able to understand what we want to teach them, so that they will learn how to discipline themselves.
Discipline is about understanding the rules (of home, school and community) and understanding what happens when the rules are broken (consequences). It’s about learning to be responsible.
Discipline should be positive and used to encourage good behaviour, as well as to stop behaviour that you don’t want your child to be doing.

Misbehaviour happens for two main reasons:
because the child hasn’t yet learnt how to do what is expected;
because it is the way the child is expressing his feelings.

Children can have a range of feelings in a short space of time. They might find it hard to understand what they are feeling. The younger the child is, the harder it is for them to know what their feelings are.
If you are reasonable in what you expect of your children and teach them clearly and kindly what you want, they are more likely to be cooperative. If you try to work out the feeling beneath your children’s behaviour you are more likely to find out why they misbehave.
Children will learn more by what they see you doing and how you live your life than by what you tell them.

Why is my child behaving this way?
Think about what is happening in your child’s world and try to deal with the cause. It may be that:
his parents’ lives are so busy that he feels left out. He misbehaves to get your attention because angry attention is better than no attention;
something is going very wrong for your child, eg. new baby, problems at school, difficulty in making friends in a new area, scared by parents’ arguments, family break-up;
he is trying to cope with changes and feels overwhelmed;
he is angry and frustrated by something you’ve done;
he feels unfairly treated by you and wants to get back at you;
your parenting style is too strict or very lax;
your child may be needing more independence than you have allowed.

What is my child feeling?
You can try to find out what your child is feeling when she misbehaves by watching and thinking about the behaviour and then talking about it. You might say:
“You seem very angry. Can you tell me what’s wrong?” or,
“I think you must be hurting inside” or
“Tell me if you need a hug”.
If your child has difficulty talking about feelings it may be helpful to talk about the situation as if it was someone else. You might say:
“When I first started school I felt scared”
“Lots of children feel sad when they don’t win.”

With very young children or those unable to talk, you have a more difficult task.
Try to discover feelings by watching for facial expressions, learning to know their different cries and thinking about where they were and what was just happening.”


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