“I told you not to do this!”
“Stop screaming! Stop pushing him! Stop acting like that!”
“Why are you being so difficult?”
“My son is not naughty. He is just high on energy.”
“My daughter is not rude! She just speaks her mind…”
Familiar with these statements? Or perhaps, do they echo your thoughts? Parenting is a life-changing, personality-enhancing, tough journey. In that, disciplining kids is easier said than done.
How do we know that we are not being harsh in our disciplining (you could watch this video to know more)? Or that we are not being overtly liberal with our kids on the pretext of not hurting them? Or if we are indeed balancing the disciplining bit well?
Here’s a list of techniques/guidelines that could help you practice balanced discipline techniques. No need to worry about being harsh or extra liberal now!
- List down what are your life values and those of your spouse: Yes this is essential. This forms the basis for the right and wrong that you will teach your kids.
- When your kids exhibit problem behavior,
- like acting adamant,
- crying all the time,
- talking back rudely,
- being disengaged or
- being uncomfortable with your attention, …ask yourself “Am I overdoing my duties?” Yes, that’s a possibility. Give them breathing space and time to cool off before you dive into the “problem.”
- Set expectations with your kids, lovingly. Be cool and loving, but be firm about the limits. For example, staying up late a few times during the summer vacation is okay, but watching TV all night is not. Not eating bhindi ever is okay but not eating any green vegetable is not okay.
- Model the rules. Don’t ask them to eat tinda and you have chaat because you are feeling low. 🙂 (Parents are humans too. )
- Think from their perspective. Get into their shoes to understand their issue and then know why are they acting in a particular manner.
- Be kind. If you are telling them that something is not okay, be kind and respectful. But beware, the kindness, respect, and love has to be genuine and heartfelt. A perfunctory “I love you, but don’t be an idiot” well won’t work.
- Teach them values, but don’t be too forceful.
- Do laugh, chill out and remind them to do that as well.
- Maintain a positive, relaxing vibe at home. Have an atmosphere where issues are discussed, solved and forgotten. No holding of grudges allowed.
- Reward them, with love, affection, fun activities and not necessarily gifts, when they behave well and exhibit beautiful values.
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More power to you, you awesome parent!