Discipline – A Covert Operation
Have you ever wondered what life would have been without discipline? We know the reasons and need of discipline in life, don’t we? Discipline is one such crucial aspect of life which keep us sorted, design the blue print of life, bring utilization and make us social. But when it comes to discipling children, we often get derelict from the goal. Imbibing discipline in children doesn’t mean being strict or give punishments. It typically means – setting up rules or guidelines to channelize their energy and focus on target.
A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind lead to sufferings.’– H.H. Dalai Lama
Is it essential to Discipline children?
Not just children, discipline is essential for everyone. If we go by the dictionary meaning of discipline, it states – “practice of making people obey rules and follow standard behavior”. Punishment is used only if someone disobeys, but we can leave it for later part of this article. Yes, is is essential to discipline children because it creates an environment to follow a behavioral pattern.
It could be as simple as brushing teeth twice daily for oral hygiene. This is vital for dental health, and hence a child has to follow the pattern.
Wash your hands before eating, this is a basic hygiene rule and hence following it is mandatory from health’s point of view. Following such rules from early childhood makes a life-long healthy habit.
‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a kid healthy and wise’, setting bedtime and morning times for kids is to create a healthy habit. Following such pattern make them efficient to manage their day and time well.
These are few rudimentary examples of why discipline is required for children. Now this doesn’t mean, we get harsh on them for not following such patterns. A child’s mind understands rules from ‘happy’ or ‘unhappy points. Let them learn the consequences – What if you will not get-up in morning on time? What if you eat food with dirty hands? What if and Why?
Be consistent with the Discipline
For parents if easy to get overwhelmed with emotions. This is our weakest point, but for creating a healthy habit of ‘discipline’ we must reinforce it to fullest. Maintain consistency and any dilution could lead up to absolute devolve. Exceptions from a parent could be confusing for children, and in return they may turn back to you seeking omissions. Breaking rules must have consequence, however its our discretion how we take it forward. Usually a cause-and-effect relationship helps in such situation.
For instance – For leftover food in child’s plate regularly, parent can explain consequences of hunger. We explained the food left in her plate is equal to a mouthful of a hungry child who is starving out, with some googled images. This visual-aid impact made her realise value of taking as per need and resolved the issue.
Are you following Discipline yourself?
As I have been writing all along the series, there is nothing that our children cannot achieve if we work with them in truest form. Its not only wrong to PREACH that we do not practice, but also unethical. Like, if we teach kids to throw litter in bins, it is out duty to practise the same. When we dilute the rule by breaking it once or twice, we are setting very wrong examples for them.
One of the biggest challenge parents face is creating a balance in school life and social life. Kids follow different pattern and behaviour, and we as parents should understand and make realistic goals for them to achieve. Tempting them to follow discipline is not advisable, as it co-relates act and reward with following instructions.
Punishments or Explanations
Every thing has a cause-and-effect relationship, so as in the case of discipline. When a child breaks rule or get edgy, even physical punishment will not address the issue beyond a point. Discipline is about self-control, appreciate the well-marked points and reprimand for consequences. Warning signals are easier way to advise children that they are at wrong side.
An early start is advisable and help gaining self-control among kids easily. Scolding and physical punishments will lead to wrong precedents for future. However, at times strict warnings and strong messages are needed to show the seriousness. Hence, choose consequences which will leave a lasting impact.
Please remember discipline is to create self-control and emotions in balance, every child is different and we have to do various trials-and-errors before settling in for one strategy.
This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z series, and my theme for this challenge is Gleeful Parenting. Previously from the series –
A for Acceptance.
B for Be an Active Listener Parent.
C for Comparison.