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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Effective Discipline Strategies for Parents - Two Basic Principles

By Andrew Loh

Discipline - “Behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: as in an army.”

Verb - “to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control”

Experts define the term discipline in a number of ways and by using different sources. However, discipline has a special meaning in the context of teaching effective discipline strategies for parents. Simply speaking, for a parent, the basic meaning of child discipline is to train children to:

  • Learn how to control self to remain calm, relaxed and composed

  • Learn to identify and recognize acceptable limits for any action

  • Learning where and how to stop, so that no untoward incidents occur

If a child is failing to learn these aspects, it is possible that he or she is trying to neglect them. The unfortunate thing is that when your children continue to ignore those aspects, it will become difficult for them to recognize possible ill-effects in future. It will be far more difficult for your children to learn the process as it always becomes irreversible.

Did you ever worry and got frustrated with erring or misbehaving children? Were you ever disappointed to see that your children refused to perform their assigned duties and responsibilities? Do you ask them repeatedly to complete their project work and school assignments? Indiscipline and refusal to follow requests, orders or even instructions are common among many children. Training children to learn proper discipline, responsibility and accountability is very critical for their success. However, the very act of doing that could be a big and tough task for many parents. It could be very frustrating too.

The biggest bottleneck that hinders your children from learning responsibility, mannerism and accountability is the perceived lack of motivation. More often, children tend to get wayward, when you try to teach them the basics of discipline. Children also respond to discipline strategies, when you motivate them with the right type of techniques and methods. This article series provides you the right type of discipline techniques that you can use to teach your children how to be a responsible citizen.

However, two of the prerequisites that you need to follow, while teaching discipline methods to your children are:

  • Making the exercise, as easy and flexible as possible

  • Ensuring proper rewards for every instance of job well carried out, to provide the necessary catalyst to carry the momentum forward

In addition, the most basic understanding or meaning that your child needs to comprehend are:

  • Know the eventualities of learning discipline techniques or

  • Identify the consequences of not learning the discipline techniques

Simple strategies that work to teach proper discipline are:

Understanding natural or real consequences of breaking the limits

This is the time when your children comprehend and understand the consequences, if they do not adhere to the principles of normal behavior. For example,

  • The natural consequence of your child dropping toffee around the house is that he or she will have no more toffee to eat.

  • The natural consequence of your child spoiling a board game is that he or she will not be able to play with it again.

Outcome: The logical outcome of these experiences is that your child will not have the liberty to use the items again either for eating or for playing. This will eventually make them understand that he or she will have to use things very carefully.

Caution: If you are using this method, never ever, give replacements for the things that your children destroy (throwing around toffee or spoiling the toys). Your children should understand the consequences of crossing the acceptable norms.

Understanding logical or apparent consequences of breaking the limits

At times, you may need to intervene and introduce a consequence. This method is pro-active and result oriented through very harsh at times. For example,

  • Your child will drop toys all around the house and he or she will never care to follow your order to put them neatly in a corner.

Outcome: If your children continue to repeat that act, you will just need to put all those toys for the rest of the day or weekend. In fact, you will be denying your children's rights as a form of punishment.

Caution: Never ever, yell at your children or show your excessive anger. It is just pointless. Just be firm and act in a normal manner.

In fact, the above-mentioned methods are the most basic methods on which all other discipline techniques work. If you know how to differentiate between these two methods, you will be on the right path to learn many other techniques. Continue to read Effective Discipline Strategies for Parents - Useful Techniques and Methods


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