By Temi Olajide
Kids will always be kids: happy this minute, throwing tantrums the next. As parents, the way we handle our kids when they misbehave goes a long way to shape their psychological, emotional, physical well-being and development.
Parents should never adopt negative or stringent ways to discipline their kid. It is imperative to teach the value of discipline to a growing child, but not at the cost of being harsh on them. Here are 7 discipline methods that may be damaging to your child’s overall wellbeing:
When you shout at your kid, you expect them to stop whatever they are doing and behave right. On the contrary, your child may not even understand what you are saying or your motive for shouting, rather they become scared of you and may even feel ashamed of their actions.
Humiliating Your Child in Public
I understand that kids’ tantrums can be frustrating at times, but scolding or shouting and insulting your child in front of your family members, friends, or relatives is the worst way to correct them. This may affect their self-respect and self-confidence.
Emotionally Blackmailing and Threatening your Child
Telling your child if they don’t do something, they will be punished with a drastic measure is not the best way to discipline them, and if this is the only way to get your child to do something, then that’s not good parenting. Your child may find it hard to trust you or even open up to you if this is the way you dish out punishment. In addition, by threatening your kids, especially inappropriately, you place them in a hole where they live in constant fear of the consequences of their actions.
Sarcasm may not be a great way to discipline young kids because they don’t understand it. For instance, your child is playing with the remote and you tell them to place it on the console, they ask where, and you ask them to place it “on your head.” They might actually put it on your head, haha, because they don’t understand that you are being sarcastic.
When you make sarcastic comments, your kid(s) may take them to heart not knowing you don’t mean what you say, feel hurt, and isolate themselves from you slowly.
You should never use insulting words on your child. Verbal abuse is as bad as physical abuse. Not only does it damage your child psychologically, but it also affects them spiritually and should be avoided at all cost.
I know this one is very controversial. Many parents will say “my own mother beat me, that’s how I turned out fine.” They are forgetting that the kids of this generation are quite different from us and also that they will never forget the physical hurt and trauma they faced because their parents whipped them.
If you would like your child to remember his/her childhood happily, never use physical abuse to discipline your child. Physical violence is never an option for anything.
Taking away basic privileges
Don’t treat your child like a slave because they made a mistake. Some parents would punish their kids by not giving them lunch or dinner or slashing their allowance because they misbehaved. This will only leave your children hungry, suffocated and helpless, and expose them to bad vices to get food or money.
Now that I have shared some bad discipline methods, I’m sure some parents might be wondering, Should I allow my children to keep misbehaving and do nothing about it because I don’t want to hurt their feelings? No. Here are some positive discipline methods that you can adopt to discipline your child:
Show Them How to Behave
If you notice your child doing something wrong, instead of threatening, nagging, shouting and insulting them, you can teach them what to do by showing them, let them learn from you.
Be Firm but Empathetic
You don’t want to raise a child that doesn’t respect you, so in as much as you want to be firm, show empathy. They are kids, they are bound to make mistakes, so be patient with them instead of losing your temper every time they mess up. Turn their mistakes into an opportunity to teach them. Using this approach will help your child understand the behaviour that is expected of them and they will grow into a kind and compassionate person.
When your child misbehaves repeatedly, you can ground them by taking away screen time for a while, give them chores or timeouts where they can think about what they have done and how it hurt you. Taking away that privilege on the day of misbehaviour can prove effective to show them that there are consequences for bad behaviour.
Set Consequences in Place
Ensure you set consequences to inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour well ahead of time and inform your children about this. This teaches your child the power of choices and the consequences of making the wrong choice of choosing disobedience over obedience.
Use positive words to correct
Avoid abusive words or name-calling, use positive words to correct. For example, rather than say you’re a liar, you say, I know you aren’t a liar, why did you lie? Instead of labelling your child, address and correct the behaviour.
Children can be very stubborn and test your patience level. In fact, I think every time you think this is the height of their stubbornness, they raise the bar. But as a parent, it is your responsibility to teach them the correct way to behave. By remaining consistent and firm in your positive discipline, your child will soon learn how to behave, and you will not need to resort to nagging, spanking or yelling.
Do you have any tips for disciplining your kids? Feel free to share them.