When a child makes a mistake, what is the best response? The most common discipline goal of any parent is that they never do it again. This usually results in various punishments, from the traditional (i.e, stand in the corner) to modern (taking away gadgets or use of social media).
However, it is clear that regardless of the method used, more often than not, the action is still repeated. Why does this happen and how can we really stop it from happening again?
Before we start taking away desserts or confiscating tablets, we as parents have to put ourselves in the position of the child. Why do they do these things? How can we make sure they never do it again, while at the same time not damage our relationship with our child?
As a mother of four (two girls and two boys, all 10 years old and below), arguments and fights are bound to happen every day, right? Not necessarily. Here are some things that my husband and I do in order to lessen the bad behavior that happens in our home:
Lead and they will Follow
We have always related “discipline” with something negative or some form of punishment, but discipline isn’t inherently bad. Let’s take a look at the etymology of the word “discipline”. It comes from the Latin word discipulus, which means pupil or follower. Coming from this, we must remember that at the heart of teaching discipline is the fact that our children are always looking for a leader, a role model, and a hero to look up to.
As parents we are automatically bestowed this title the minute our children enter this world. If we want our children to do good and not bad things, we must first serve as an example and show them how to disciplined through our own actions and activities, be it at home or at work.
I can say that one of the good things that came out of the “New Normal” is that I can spend more time with my kids every day while still working. I am seated at my desk while my two daughters are beside me attending online classes. They see and hear how I work, and how I keep my desk neat and clean. They also make it a point to tidy their work area.
Teach and Reward the Good
Kids generally have an idea of what is bad, but most of the time they don’t know WHY it is bad. We must remember that at their young age, their minds act like sponges and absorb everything and anything that they see around them every day, without any real filters. Their behavior is influenced by their friends in school and by the shows they watch every day. It is important to sift through this information and reinforce what we want to stick in their little minds.
We should also make it a point to give praise when appropriate to our kids, regardless of how simple the action may be. Kids love it when you praise them for the good things that they do, and you can be assured that they will continue to repeat these actions once they know that it would garner more of your attention.
Give positive attention to your kids
Most of the time, the main reason kids do bad things is to get your attention. They crave your attention, regardless of whether it is for a good or bad deed, and we usually pay more attention to the bad actions rather than the good ones. So as a result, kids do more bad than good.
I make it a point to spend time with all my kids, both as a group, and individually through small dates. Even simple errands with your kids can do so much. It is during these times that you can really get to know and influence them.
Also remember that each child has a unique and specific activity that they enjoy. My youngest son enjoys playing sports, while my eldest daughter loves to draw and watch documentaries on Netflix about interior design. It is my job as a parent to be able to make time to do both these activities regularly.
These tips are definitely not foolproof, but I can guarantee that if you find a way to apply these steps then you will be doing less spanking and have more good memories and stronger relationships with your kids.
About The Expert
Guila is 40 years old and married for 12 years. They have 4 kids; 2 girls and 2 boys ages 9, 7, 6 and 4 . She started in showbusiness at the age of 4 and worked in the industry until she was 19. Afterwards, she went back to school and finished her education. She is currently working for Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. as Management Assistant but sometimes do some small projects and shows whenever offer comes and is available. She has been working from home now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been helping her kids with their online learning, while doing her job and helping her husband sell vegetables and other grocery items online to their neighbors and close friends.
She and her husband met through the sport of ultimate frisbee and have helped in running and managing their association as well as managed and coached the youth national teams that went to London, France and Australia. She also enjoys living an active lifestyle outside of ultimate through Dragonboat and Badminton and other forms of exercise like Pound and Nirvana.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.