As a parent, disciplining your child is one of your most challenging and most important tasks. Of course, you love them, you would do anything for them, and you want to give them everything their little heart desires. However, you also want to teach them how to behave properly, and you don’t want them to be spoiled. So, how do you teach your child to behave without spoiling them? Keep reading to find out.
Don’t practice physical punishment
Physical punishment can make the child feel like there must be something really wrong with them to make you treat them in such a harsh way. And if a child thinks they’re bad, they will act like they are. In other words, once you make them believe that they are bad, they no longer have a reason to be good, and it becomes a vicious circle. Another possible outcome is that they will start behaving just to avoid the punishment, not because they think it’s the right thing to go.
Moreover, if you use physical punishment to teach your child how to behave, you are also teaching them that violence is an acceptable form of solving problems. Plus, everybody knows that children copy their parents, so being aggressive towards your child makes your child more likely to be aggressive towards other people.
In short, physical punishment usually doesn’t work in the long run because it focuses on the child and not on the act. If it does work, it will most likely come with various long-term psychological consequences that can reduce your child’s quality of life.
Focus on solving the problem
Instead of punishing your child for misbehaving, use the opportunity to teach them how not to make the same mistake again. The thing is, kids misbehave for a reason. So, ask your child about the reason, explain to them why what they did was wrong, and ask them what they would do differently the next time. Engaging your child in finding a solution promotes self-discipline and teaches your child to think about the consequences of their actions as well.
Set the rules and stick to them
When it comes to disciplining your child, make sure they understand the rules and are aware of the consequences. For example, if you need to go shopping with your young child, tell them that if they behave well, they can pick one or two things from the store. If they misbehave, you will leave the store with nothing. Moreover, if they do break the rules, follow through. This way, your child will be more likely to listen to you the next time.
Give your child a choice
Choices give your child a sense of control, which is often more than enough to help your child feel better about themselves. For instance, if your child says something bad to their friend, you can say something like: “That wasn’t nice. Do you want to tell Jess you’re sorry, or do you want to give her a hug?” Even simple choices like that can go a long way. Just make sure to offer the right choices, since you can’t take them back once your child picks one.
Parenting is a difficult, full-time job, and we all need a bit of help from time to time. So, to increase your child’s chances of growing up into a mature adult, set some clear rules, and always follow through with the consequences. Never punish your child physically, and take every opportunity you can to teach them how to do better the next time. This way, your child will learn how to think on their own, control their emotions, and make the right choices.