Discipline does not always mean punishing or scolding your children for their bad behavior. However, it does involve telling your children what is right and what is wrong in an acceptable way. You do not necessarily have to act cold, distant and stern. Instead, try to adopt a methodology that is guaranteed to bring positive results even without expending too much energy or effort.
The kind of a disciplinary approach to adopt depends on your children’s individual temperament and your own ability to overlook minor mistakes and control your anger. Keep in mind that children of all ages are not to be treated the same. If you follow the same strategy for all your children, the chances of teenagers becoming rebellious increase. Similarly, you have to modify your approach a little according to certain gender differences. For instance, girls are more sensitive than boys are and they start crying even about small things.
It is also important to comprehend your children’s mental level before declaring a rule or regulation. How are they going to interpret this rule? This understanding involves more than just keeping in mind your children’s age.
Surrounding environment plays a vital role in developing a child’s mind. If you are in a playground and everyone around is doing the same thing, it will be useless to point out to your children right there and then that it’s wrong. Wait for an appropriate time to talk about this intolerable activity.
Make sure your children understand your point of view clearly. Ask them why you felt the need to point out their mistake and what their mistake was. Some children may change the meaning of a sentence altogether and interpreting it in a totally wrong way. Observe your children closely to see if they commit the same mistake again.
Also, pay attention to your words when you are scolding your children. Do not be too harsh and do not be too mild either. Make them think that you are angry and that their behavior is not tolerable, but at the same time convey your inner feelings that you are doing this for their own good. They have to understand your point of view, so carefully choose your words. If possible, take your children to a corner or in another room to convey your thoughts.
Sometimes it is important to control your anger and cool down. Too much anger is not a healthy sign and it might have a negative effect on your children’s behavior. If your children become quiet and withdrawn after one of your disciplinary lessons, there is something wrong. Do not hesitate to go in their room to talk things over again in a more relaxed atmosphere.
With your actions and your words you are actually teaching your children how to self-discipline themselves. You have to be calm and patient. Teach important lessons of life to your children by showing examples. Children only want to experience things on their own, but if they know something is not good, they would try to keep away from it instinctively. This behavior is called self-discipline and should be taught right from the start.