There are a lot of questions that come up when you find you are expecting a sweet baby. On the top of the list is what is effective discipline for children. There are so many schools of thought out there that a new parent (and even experienced parents) can get swallowed up. I thought it would be nice to point you in the direction of where to start.
First, learning a bit about your parenting style. There are basically four styles. It would be nice if we were clearly one of them, but most of the time you will find you are a combination of two or maybe even more. However, there does seem to be a tendency to be predominately one of them. Find below the style which most describes you.
Effective Discipline for Children
Authoritarian — “Do what I tell you and do it now!” (or) “Do it because I said so!” Adults who display this style value unquestioning obedience from children above all else. If you believe that such discipline style is effective with children you are mistaken. It is not.
Permissive — “Hey! I love you!” (or) “Do whatever you want.” Adults who favor a permissive discipline style have warm relationships with their children, but they establish few boundaries on behavior. These parents are unable to shape their children’s present or future actions.
Uninvolved — “I’m not interested in you or what you do.” (or) “Can you not see how busy I am?” Adults who are self-absorbed or overly committed focus on their own needs and spend little or no energy on the children in their care. There is simply no time to relate to children or guide their social behavior.
Authoritative — “I care about you. I expect you to behave appropriately inside and outside our home. If you don’t know how to behave, I will teach you!” This discipline style combines the positive attributes of the authoritarian and permissive styles, while avoiding the negative ones.
Authoritative discipline best develops self-discipline in children. Adults respond to children’s needs with warmth while establishing high standards and clear expectations for behavior. This style makes children feel important by allowing them to assume appropriate responsibility for those things they take on. Children will be willing to take a healthy amount of risk because they see this is likely to produce growth and understanding. Mistakes made while attempting one task are likely to promote success in some future endeavor. Children also learn the personal skills that help them meet their needs in socially acceptable ways. Complete article.
Each provides a purpose, but only one benefits both adult and child by combining respect and love. This seems to be the authoritative style. It has a good balance for both you and raising up your child. Remember your goal is to raise healthy, happy, independent children.
Next, let’s look at different techniques as well as basic information on how to be sure your child is the best place to receive and grow from your discipline.
When your child’s behavior is unacceptable, ensure that the consequences fit, and that they are immediate. Taking away or granting age-appropriate privileges is a good way to provide rewards or consequences. Remember, a punishment that is overly harsh may backfire, because your child loses the motivation to improve his or her behavior. Being too lenient teaches your child whom you are not serious.
Have a daily routine or schedule as much as possible. Most children prefer routine, as it means they know what will be coming next. Surprises can be fun, but not every day. Having a basic schedule for activities, mealtimes, and naps, and a more detailed schedule for bedtime can help your child remain calm and focused throughout their day.
Time out is a discipline strategy that should be used consistently. If a family decides to use time out for discipline they need to make sure that everyone that is around the child is working on the same page. Parents, grandparents and babysitters need to use the same strategy so that a child knows what is expected. For more great tips, read here.
I found this great video clip from Pamper’s that links back to their website. The video gives an all too familiar scenario with toddlers.
For effective parenting for older children, a good rule of thumb is responsibility = privilege. Or in other words, lack of responsibility = loss of privilege. Defiant children present their own challenges for us parents. Here is a great article by Total Transformation that addresses the areas you do and don’t have control over in the discipline arena.
If this article on effective discipline for children has helped you get started on what your strategies are or will be, please like below. Or better yet, if you have a few effective discipline tips to share, please support the parenting community be doing so!