It may be a pleasant thought to believe that your child will never break rules or disobey your instructions. However, the reality is that children are often driven by impulse and curiosity, and though they may not intend to endanger themselves or defy your rules, chances are, they will do just that at some point. Determining the consequences of your child’s actions can be difficult, and it’s important to prevent yourself from being too emotionally-driven when deciding upon the disciplinary actions you will take. The goal is to dissuade your child from committing the same acts again, not to make your child fear you.
Below are a few tips for how you can determine appropriate, effective disciplinary measures to take when your child misbehaves.
Take Your Temperament Into Account
Before deciding on suitable disciplinary actions, you should consider how your own temperament coincides with the temperament of your child. If you are more reserved than your child, you may find that you have limited patience and tolerance for high-energy behavior. Be sure to assess whether your child is actually misbehaving or if you are overreacting to some degree. It is better to take time to consider this possibility than to punish your child without good reason.
Think Of Your Child
You know your child’s attitude, behavior patterns, and temperament. It is imperative that you take these into consideration when deciding upon discipline. Some children are motivated by rewards more so than they are by punishments; likewise, while taking away a privilege may be effective for some children, it could simply worsen issues or fail to influence another child.
Make Your Expectations Clear
Regardless of how you decide to discipline your child, one key aspect of enacting this discipline is to make your intentions crystal clear. If your child does not understand why they are being disciplined, there is little chance they will change their behavior to suit your expectations.
Failing to communicate your expectations and reasoning can result in confusion, dissatisfaction, repeat behavior, and even hostility. Even if you think your reasoning is obvious, it doesn’t hurt to express it in a plain, calm way.
Reward Good Behavior
When disciplining your child, it is important to also remember to reward good behavior, as well. If your child performs as expected, you should make sure you praise them. Encouraging positive behavior is an essential part of enacting effective discipline.