Child Discipline - Guiding Children to Make Healthy Choices on Their Own

Child Discipline is the cornerstone of raising happy, healthy children, but most parents don't know the difference between discipline and punishment. What is discipline and how does it differ from punishment?

First, let's take a look at punishment because this is what most parents use at home. Punishment involves blaming, shaming, screaming, spanking, slapping, ranting and raving. Although these techniques may temporarily stop a child in his tracks, they do not teach him how to make good choices, feel good about himself or grow into a moral human being.

On the other hand, child discipline is about guiding a child to make healthy choices on his own. Such techniques teach a child to feel good about himself. A child who feels good about himself has consideration for others. This leads to compassion which is the compass of a moral human being.

child discipline

Following are some helpful child discipline tips for parents:

  • Remember that discipline takes time, thought, love, compassion and creativity. When your child acts in ways that are inappropriate or mean-spirited, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that old techniques such as blame, shame and punishment do not produce human beings who care about how others feel or think.

  • Remind yourself that discipline is about teaching. Children do not come into the world, knowing how to get along with others or behave appropriately. In order to learn these skills, children must be taught by caring adults who lead by example and take the time to guide them.

  • When a child makes a poor choice, talk about it. Help him recognize how choices lead to certain consequences. Assist him in coming up with different choices that are respectful of others' feelings and limits and lead to better outcomes for all involved.

  • If you have a child who is challenging or who seems to be growing increasingly more defiant, an effective tool is The Total Transformation® which teaches you how to help your child change his behavior for a happier child and a more peaceful home. Click on the link to find out about their free trial.

  • Teach conflict resolution skills. In my home, we employ techniques that are simple and effective. Nothing is more satisfying than hearing your children use these techniques on their own when in the midst of conflict. Conflict resolution skills teach children how to listen with an open heart and mind and develop compassion and tolerance. Such skills lead to growing sense of diplomacy which your child will practice as an adult.

  • Help your child discover his strengths. A child who feels good about who he is naturally treats others with respect. Such a child is strong in his identity and does not need to feel powerful by demeaning others. This is the gift of raising a child with discipline—seeing him act in ways which value the self and others.

It takes time and effort to teach your child discipline, but doing so has great benefits for child and parent. Take the time to teach, rather than blame, punish or humiliate and you will raise a child who acts from his core values and makes life-affirming choices on his own.

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Laura Ramirez is the author of the award-winning book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting The book combines ancient native principles (such as stewardship) with cutting edge psychology to teach parents how to raise children to develop their natural strengths and grow up to lead fulfilling lives. Unlike other parenting books, it shows how parenting is a path of personal growth for child and parent. Laura is the publisher of Family Matters Parenting Magazine. She lives with her husband and children in the Northern Nevada foothills and is available for speaking engagements. To contact Ms. Ramirez, use the Contact Us link on the navigation bar to the left.



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