The Key To A Well-Behaved Child – Discipline

Mother and teen daughter after quarrel on sofa at home.

DISCIPLINE!!  Yikes!  For so many parents this word brings up a deep sense of negativity.  It makes them feel as though they are being mean or cruel to their children.  Discipline makes them feel guilt before, during and after.  What we need to remember is that DISCIPLINE IS POSITIVE.  It’s not punishment and when discipline is implemented properly, in a way where you are creating a positive learning experience, you are teaching your kids to be respectful and kind.  You are training your kids to be well-behaved – The key to a well-behaved child is a disciplined child.  We must remember this while we read this article and each and everyday.

It’s our job as parents to guide, teach and train our children how to behave properly.  Optimal word here being, PROPERLY.  I know that we aren’t trying to do our kids a disservice by training them to misbehave on purpose, but the fact of the matter is we are doing just this.  In our actions to save ourselves the guilt and keep our kids from not liking us, we end up doing this exact thing.  In our wishy-washy, no follow through parenting approach to be sure our kids don’t think we are ‘mean’ we are telling our kids that we don’t truly care how they act- which translates to them feeling as though we don’t care enough to take the time.  When we do this, it leaves our kids craving and begging for us to help them meet their human needs of power and attention.   It’s our job to fill these so-called buckets of attention and power.  Power and attention are positives when given in a positive manner, where your kids feel capable and full of self-worth and confidence. Learn more about this in “Why Giving Your Child Power is a Positive.” 

Alfred Adler – the psychologist who years ago first stated the notion that kids need to be treated with the same respect and dignity that adults deserve, is responsible for many positive changes that occurred in parenting.  Parenting today is much different than it was long ago.  With societal changes parenting has become more of a permissive approach.   The kids rule the roost and with this, parents have lost all control.  Parents try to gain back this control with empty threats and no-follow consequences, as they are afraid to upset their kids.  Afraid their kids may explode into a screaming, yelling frenzy.  Now what? This cycle is what I call the HAMSTER WHEEL!  Parents are running and running round and round and round.  Getting absolutely no where and as they get more tired, the situation gets worse.  So, the big question is: HOW DO WE GET OFF OF THIS WHEEL??  How do we switch our parenting style so we can teach our kids to behave properly and respectfully??

In order to make changes you have to start by being open to trying new things and remember that from now on you are going to be 100% committed and consistent!  Consistency and commitment help decrease your child’s confusion about what your expectations are.  Wiping out the ambiguous parenting style, where one minute you say ‘NO’ and the next ‘OK,’ will decrease your child’s anxiety and misbehaviour.   In theory, you are re-training your brain so you, the parents, can do your job!!!  Re-training to remember that positive discipline is a positive.  That by creating an environment in your home where your kids have responsibilities you will teach them that their actions have consequences.  When you have systems in place where you and your kids work as a team with mutual respect, they will no longer need to look for negative attention as you will be meeting their daily quota of attention and power in a positive way.  This will decrease those moments of chaos. You will see less of those ear-splitting tantrums and back-talking that make you cringe. Setting clear expectations with fair consequences set up in advance, and 100% follow through you will decrease your child’s mis-behaviour and increase your child’s level of respect, self-confidence and overall positive state of mind!

Step by step we make small tweaks and changes in our current situation.  It’s not a switch that happens overnight.  With commitment and consistency, with time and effort, you will see your kids transform before your eyes!  Implementing new parenting tools at your own pace will begin this re-training of your brain as you will see with each tool positive outcomes.  You will see your child calm down, relax and cooperate.  You will realize how positive discipline really is the key to a well-behaved child!

For more information please contact Tia at tia@slightham.com or start your one-on-one coaching today to gain multiple tools for your toolbox to help you learn to positively discipline your child – helping them be all they can be!


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