Advantages Well behaved Children
Disadvantages Upset children and parents
My daughter is 3, and I do not profess to know all of the answers in regard to discipline, and to be honest I do not think this subject is black or white, just very grey. Each child will react to different forms of discipline, depending on their personality, but I still think there is a line between discipline and abuse that is all too easy for some parents to cross.Already I have learned that discipline is a very important part of our lives as parents. It is not really something that can be taught, and we learn as we go along, making mistakes and learning by them, as I am sure what works for one child will not for another.
I try to adapt positive discipline, as although my daughter is still young she does understand that there are some things she should and should not do. I want to encourage her good behaviour and try to deal with naughtiness in a positive way. Before you all write me off as too soft, remember this is only my approach, and I do not expect anyone to change their ways after reading this.If my daughter is naughty, I try very hard to stay calm first of all and not shout. I want to be in control of the situation, and still be able to deal with the situation firmly otherwise both of us will end up being very upset. I do admit though this is difficult at times, as I work full time, and am often tired, so when my patience is tried I do snap and shout, but my immediate feeling is one of guilt.
The age my daughter is at now, attention or tiredness are the main reasons for her to become naughty. Everyday, I set aside special time for me and her, and as I work full time I find this vital. I also try to acknowledge when she is good rather than just noticing when she is naughty. She is going through a tidying up phase at the moment, so I praise her all of the time. If she is naughty I criticise the action and not her, as I want her to grow up confident with good self esteem.Naughtiness outside of the home is the hardest to control I think, so I try to plan ahead. If we have a long journey ahead, I make sure she has enough toys and refreshments to keep her going. If I can help it, I do not take her to the supermarket, as it is a boring place for her, and when she is bored she seeks attention.
Routine is a big part of our life, as we are both working parents. My daughter knows when it is bedtime, as we have a routine of teatime, playtime, bathtime, storytime(lots of cuddles) and then to bed. 99% of the time she is asleep within 30 minutes, and she does not resist as she is in a positive routine. Although I have to admit that the holidays have affected this routine hugely!A problem we had was consistency. I would allow one thing while my husband did not, and this was confusing our daughter, so we agreed between ourselves what was allowed and what was not, although I hold my hands up and admit we still disagree in a lot of areas. I was brought up in a more liberal household than my husband, and I sometimes think his childhood was not as much fun as mine, and he expects our daughter to act more maturely than her years dictate, and this is something we are working hard on.
There have been so many times when a smack would have been the easy option, but we made a conscious decision that this was not what we wanted to do. We were both smacked as children, and I did not want to be out of control as my parents were when a smack or tap was a barrage. When I look back it was common practice amongst my friends, but nowadays it would be viewed as abuse. Fear does not make a child behave, or maybe that was just my brother and I!!! It is hard work maintaining a positive approach, but I am glad that we do. It makes me so mad when I see parents hitting their children on the head.If you feel the need to smack, and I certainly would never say you were wrong, then the head is certainly not the place to land the blow! You are telling your child it is ok to hit, and this can surely be the wrong message to send out.
I am against smacking for my child, but if this is your chosen form of discipline, then that is ok for you. It is actually on the decline, and I think this is because there are so many other forms of discipline now, and also a lot of parents are frightened to smack in case it is seen as abuse.Remember not to put yourself down as a parent too. Take time for yourself and relax, because I find if I am tense I do not handle situations as well as when I am more relaxed. None of us can raise perfect children, and they will misbehave from time to time, and as long as it does not get out of hand, I think it is part of growing up and testing boundaries.
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