Disciplining your children is both one of the most important and most difficult elements of child rearing you can face as a parent. On one hand you feel a duty to raise your child with the correct boundaries and moral ideas that make us fit and proper members of society and the human race in general. On the other it is sometimes hard to make your children understand the meaning of your actions, particularly when your actions risk making you unpopular with them. In order to help parents strike the right balance when they dole out discipline, here's a check list of things to run through in your head when you feel you need to take action.
off, make sure you are not losing your temper. This is, of course, easier said than done, and it is often our first reaction to simply lose composure if a child is being naughty. All this does is show the child that you are as irrational as them – remember they are still learning about the concept of reason and right. Even if you think they are deliberately misbehaving you need to keep calm as much as possible.
Secondly, explain why what the child has done is wrong. It is not enough for them to feel bad – they must know why they should not behave that way. “Because I said so!” is not a good reason to give a developing brain as to why they should or should not do something. In fact it just makes them more likely to do the same thing when your back is turned.
Thirdly, be careful with both criticism and praise. Both of these things should be earned by a child in order to give them a proper balance in terms of right and wrong. Discipline is really all about just that – balance. A good, healthy, balanced child is also a happy one. Children who never get told off or criticised in their youth often turn into deeply unhappy adults, as their expectations are completely out of line with the reality of society.