One of the most debated topics in the parenting world is how to discipline your child. There are two very far extremes. One of them being that you shouldn’t while the other being physical discipline. While every parent has the right to their own opinions but there is a large amount of scientific research that has gone into disciplining your children.
Let’s take a look at what the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests for disciplining your children.
Model the Behavior You Want to See
Children learn a lot from what they see their parents do. It is always advised that you model the behavior you want your child to use. Modeling behavior is one of the most effective methods of teaching proper behavior to your children. Make sure to also explain to them the proper behavior so that they understand the behavior your exhibit.
Modeling of behavior helps to teach new skills that children wouldn’t otherwise learn. This is the problem with physical discipline such as spanking. It doesn’t teach the proper behavior to your children. Instead it just gets them to stop what they are doing at the moment.
Set Household Rules
It is important to set rules in your home that establish what your child can and can’t do. The rules need to be consistent and when you have a variation from the rules, your child should know why. Setting limits is an important part of developing household rules. In the modern house, screen time limits need to be set.
Actions Need to Have Consequences
When a child grows up one of the hardest lessons tends to be that actions have consequences. A good way to discipline your child is to instill this early on. Make sure that your child knows that there will be consequences for misbehavior such as a failure to clean up their room.
Balancing the appropriateness of consequences is important. Something that easily gets forgotten is the fact that consequences should never remove something the child needs such as food or medication.
The best consequences for bad behavior are logical. The more your child is able to follow that the consequence came from the bad behavior, the better they will be at understanding that they can’t act that way in the future.
Ignore Attention Getting Behavior
One of the reasons that children tend to continue attention getting behavior is when it works. It is important to ignore attention getting behavior. The important thing to keep in mind is that you should not ignore behavior that damages property or runs the risk of hurting your child.
Be Prepared for Trouble Behavior
You may always hope that your child behaves well. However, being prepared for when your child doesn’t behave though can keep you a step ahead and reduce the amount of discipline needed. Before activities that may cause bad behavior plan out what you will do when they misbehave. Also prepare your child to behave by letting them know what is acceptable and what is not.
Redirection of Behavior
Children in today’s world get used to screen time and video games. As such, they tend to feel bored when they don’t have access to their devices. Out of boredom a lot of children will start to act up because they don’t know what else to do. Help them to find other activities that they can do to redirect their behavior.
Let Your Child Know When They Have Done Well
If a child only ever knows when they are behaving poorly, they may not be able to determine what behavior is desired. Let your child know when they are doing well. For example, if they make it through an activity where they would normally misbehave, give them some praise. This helps to establish in their mind what behavior they should focus on.
Everyone will have their own theories on discipling their children. That said, these methods are some of the most scientifically effective options out there. Your child will start to unlearn bad behavior and learn good behavior. The most important thing to do is establish the house rules and good behavior expectations with your child. From there you can work on the rest.