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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

child behavior

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.

 

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20 Comments

  1. I believe in self discipline and not imposed discipline. if you force a kid for anything, they are bound to revolt. Also importance of discipline can be inculcated in a child by various methods. First is what you rightly explained tnhat we ourselves need to be disciplined. Cbhildren learn from adults. Also engaging a child in a sport inculcates lot of discipline in a child. Making them independent, allowing them to take their own decisions will also make them disciplined. I agree when you mention discipline is indeed about self control.

  2. Informative post . I belive in self discipline. Forcibly disciplining leads to a stressed and violence behaviour. I have seen some of my friends kids experience this by over disciplining. I explain the pros and cons and give the resting time to decide. I also allow my kid to chose his own punishment. That way, we bond and make disciplining easy.

  3. “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.” – Loved this point.

  4. I was instantly attracted to the titile of the blog- “covert operation” very apt and innovative. Dipika u have rightly pointed out that kids learn from their parents ; they do what they see. Since we r their first role models we have to discipline our lives first and rest everything, ok most of it , will fall in line.

  5. I have observed that explanation works better than punishment. It provides the children an environment of assurance and not the threat. Acceptance and honoring the rules then becomes a habit and not coercion.
    Appreciate the way you touched base on varied dimensions of “Discipline” so efficiently, Dipika.

    Anagha Yatin
  6. Its easier to preach and this is very true in parenting too. We need to set an example as kids learn by following and and watching. No one can teach them to be disciplined just by scolding or pressurising them.

  7. I think there is a suitable punishment for different stages in a child’s life. As a toddler, till the age of 8 maybe, kids might not really understand reasons for following acceptable behaviour. I agree with the point that parents should follow a consistent pattern when disciplining a child.

    Aesha made a good point of making kids decide their own punishment..that seems to be a brilliant idea, when allows kids to delve into the role of rule abidement and enforcement themselves.

    Lovely post. Very educative.

    Do drop by mine.

    Cheers,
    CRD

    CRD
  8. Kids learn what they see. My mother says in their childhood parents never forced them or even told them to be disciplined. They just behave & act and children learned. But nowadays, your points make sense because we as a parent are not that much wise.

  9. I so agree with the pointers you have shared, Dipika. Consistency in your message is very important and all the family members have to be in sync with that message. And of course, you need to practice what you preach. All this has to start early!

  10. Pingback: Steps to take when a Tooth gets knocked out - Gleefulblogger

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