Some important points about Discipline
- :Tahera Kassamali
1. When disciplining a child, the parent should refrain from becoming a dictator. A rule is not to be followed because “I say so” but because it is the right thing to do. The basis of all discipline is the safety and progress of the child. Talk to your children often about why you set rules and enforce certain laws. Inspire them with stories of great characters, through books and verbal narration. Do not allow the child to fear you. Allow him to air his view sometimes even if you do not agree with him. Hear him out and then explain why you think he needs to be corrected.
2. Be in control of yourself when disciplining. Sometimes parents go overboard in their attempts to discipline. The home becomes a military camp with strict rules being enforced all the time. It is advisable that parents tamper their discipline with gentleness and love. A harsh venting of anger is not discipline. Physical force and nagging should be avoided. Parents should say what is necessary without making it a long lecture and bringing up old problems. This way the child will take it more seriously rather than shrugging it off as just another lecture. Harsh disciplining could also lead to despair in the child. He may assume that he can never acquire the behavior expected of him. This happens when expectations are impractical and inappropriate.
3. When a mistake has been made, allow the child to make amends. Let him apologize and if necessary, carry out the designated punishment. This could include the loss of a privilege, writing lines, time out, or some extra chores. A variety of punishments may be used to ensure that the child does not get away with misbehavior. However, after that has been done, the parents should not continue to be angry and refuse to talk to the child in a normal manner. It is better to get over the anger and become friends again soon. Prolonged anger produces sadness and sometimes resentment in the child.
4. Teach the child internal control. Parental control is external. It is good and necessary. But better than that is internal control, when a child learns to discipline himself. He should be able to stop himself from inappropriate actions even when the parents are not around. This is only possible if:
a) He has learnt the value and wisdom of the rule. So, for example, if he understands that it is against one’s dignity to be rude and call others names, he may stop himself from doing it. The child must have conviction that what he should do is really best for his personality. That will automatically make him do it.
b) The parent has not continuously nagged him about it. Constant nagging produces resentment and anger. This could then be channeled to a defiant following of wrong behavior even when the child understands it is wrong.
c) He has seen the respect given to those who behave in the right way. If the child has been exposed to examples, contemporary or in history, who have earned respect and popularity because of their good manners and virtues, he becomes more inclined to follow their path. If he has only been fed on television stars and the examples that abound in today’s modern society, he will not aspire to acquire good morals. It is the duty of parents to create an urge in him to have a respectable personality.
Adopted from the book: "Raising Children" by: "Tahera Kassamali"
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