Parenting Styles & Creative Ways to Discipline your children
Today we are going to discuss the very important issue of child discipline. Children need to learn how to become self reliant and independent so that they can function fully in the world. We need to teach our children what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behaviour and how to follow rules so that they can fit in to their family, community and society. We need to find ways to encourage good behaviour and to put an end to bad behavior.
There are four styles of parenting which are Authoritarian, Authoritative, Permissive and Uninvolved.
The Authoritarian parenting style can be described as domineering and dictatorial. Authoritarian parents have clear expectations and consequences but are unaffectionate towards their child. Failure to obey the rules results in punishment. They believe in the old saying, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Children raised in this style tend to be obedient but they have low happiness, social competence and self-esteem scores and lack spontaneity.
The Authoritative parenting style can be described as democratic. Authoritative parents have clear expectations and consequences and are affectionate towards their child. They are nurturing and supportive while at the same time set firm boundaries for their children. Rules are explained and discussed and when rules are broken they tend to be more forgiving than punishing. Children tend to be happy, self-reliant, self-controlled, curious, cooperative and achievement orientated.
Both the Authoritarian and the Authoritative parenting styles have high expectations for their children but the Authoritative parenting style allows more freedom of expression.
The Permissive parenting style is lax but parents are warm and affectionate and tend to treat their children as friends. Children tend to be impulsive, rebellious, aimless, domineering, aggressive and low in self-reliance, self- control and achievement.
Uninvolved parents provide little guidance, nurturing or attention thereby being unresponsive, unavailable and rejecting, sometimes even negligent. Children lack self-control, have low self-esteem and self-confidence and are less competent than their peers.
What parenting style would you like to choose for your child?
You may decide that you are too permissive and want to have clearer expectations and consequences while remaining warm and affectionate to your child which would move you into the Authoritative parenting style. Or you may find that you are too strict and would like to be more affectionate to your childwhile at the same time retaining clear expectations and consequences and also move into the Authoritative style. You may be uninvolved and may want to become more involved in raising your child and you too can move to theAuthoritative style.
These styles are not written in ink and you can change your current style of parenting at any time. There may even be times when you feel permissive and other times when you feel authoritative and that’s ok too. Nothing in life is constant and you can move towards your desired parental style by making some changes. That’s why we are here on earth, dear hearts, to learn and grow. So, let’s learn and grow together. Rule a line under your old parenting style and let’s make new beginnings today.
Studies show that the Authoritative parenting is the best parenting style and even if you lean towards one of the other parenting styles you can take steps to move towards a more authoritative style of parenting.
Let go of spanking. Research shows that spanking is less effective than non physical punishments and it can also have far reaching negative consequences. It fosters aggression in children and it can create a power struggle between parent and child. It gives your child a mixed message about love and may drive an irreparable wedge between you and your child. There is always the chance that you may harm your child or your child may even harm you as he tries to resist thespanking by kicking, throwing objects or biting.
With spanking out of the way lets rather get creative and find new ways to discipline children that are more effective while still maintaining a close and affectionate bond with your child.
Instead of giving your child Time-Out lets look at Time-In. When your child needs disciplining you set a time where your child goes to a room or corner of a room and does something constructive and meaningful like learning a poem, doing a Sudoku puzzle or coloring in a mandala.
Exercise is another way you can punish your child. How about getting a skipping rope and telling your child to skip twenty times as a punishment?
I like the idea of creating a jar with chores written on pieces of paper. Make a list of about 20 chores that your child can do around the house, put these on pieces of paper and put them in a jar. When the child has done something wrong hecan pick a random chore to do as a form of punishment. These can be over and above his regular chores or they can be extra chores just for this purpose.
If they are going to drag their heels and take all day about it, you could then throw in an incentive and say that if you do it in a certain time like 10 minutes you can earn say 20 bonus points. Then set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes. Give each chore a point such as 20 points for laying the table or feeding the dog and 50 points for washing up or walking the dogs.
These points can also be earned in advance and cashed in later to off set bad behaviour. So if your child has done something wrong and you want to punish him he can cash in points that he has already earned in lieu of a punishment. If you take something away from him like a toy or a privilege you can allow him to earn points to win back what was taken away.
Points may also be used as a reward. So if your child earns 100 points through doing various chores he could cash them in and get something that hereally wants like a new toy or a chance to go on an outing to a movie or a show.
Studies show that rewarding children for good behaviour is more effective than punishing children for bad behaviour. That’s why I think this point system will work. Give your child lots of praise when he does something well. And remember, children learn through copying their parents’ behaviour, called modeling, so make sure you behave in the same way you are teaching your child to behave. Try to live by the same rules. You can’t teach your child not to swear and then let them overhear Mommy or Daddy swearing in road rage or at each other. In other words, be sure to walk your talk.
When things get heated and you feel like you may be losing it instead of putting your children in Time-Out why not take a few minutes of time out for yourself? Two minutes is all it takes to remove yourself to quiet place, close the door and breathe deeply – five counts in, hold your breath for seven counts, and breathe out for eight counts. Do this three times.
Every day is a new beginning, a chance to start over so start making changes today and remember that you are not alone.
In love and light