Top 5 Discipline Mistakes Parents Make!
It’s human to make mistakes, and to sometimes discipline mistakes is a part of being a parent. The next time your child misbehaves and you find yourself losing your cool, yelling your head off, or reacting in a way that you think could have been handled better, think about these common discipline mistakes that parents often make and what can be done to fix them. Visualize yourself reacting differently to your child the next time he does something to make you crazy, and be confident in your ability to change his bad behavior and your reaction to his behavior. And remember to give yourself a break: These discipline mistakes are common because we have all made one or more of these at one time or another. Remind yourself of the advice you might give your child when he makes an error: Mistakes are what we learn from so that we can grow. We have listed a top 5 dicipline mistakes parents make for you!
1. Not Being Respectful
You read that right. Parents ask their children to respect you, but you sometimes forget that respect should be a two-way street. One of the most common mistakes parents make when disciplining children is yelling, speaking in a harsh and angry tone, or even insulting their children. Giving and asking for respect in return is one of the cardinal tips to remember about disciplining children. How you can fix this is by thinking about how you would like to be spoken to if you were working out a conflict with, say, a family member or a friend or co-worker. Get down to your child’s eye level, and discuss the problem at hand in a gentle (but still firm) and respectful manner. And no matter how angry you are, try to remain calm; do not yell, and never belittle your child.
2. Being Inconsistent
If you reprimand your child for not cleaning his room one day and then not bother to talk to him about it when his room is messy for days on end, only to scold him again for not keeping his room clean, your child is getting a very inconsistent message. One of the best ways to help children correct their behavior is by giving them clear instructions about what is expected of them. You can fix this by giving your child clear and simple directions and a realistic list of expectations. For instance, if you want him to clean his room every week, mark it on a calendar and make that “room clean-up day.” Set him up for good behavior, and if he does not follow through, give him a consistent set of consequences (by, say, taking away privileges or a favorite toy for a set amount of time). Don’t give different degrees of punishments for the same misbehavior and be constant and consistent in enforcing the rules.
3. Thinking That Disciplining Means Punishing
Often, parents forget that the point of disciplining children is to give them firm guidelines and limits, so that they do not need to be punished. Disciplining means setting up boundaries and expectations, so that kids know what is expected of them. The primary goal is to have kids learn to eventually regulate themselves, so that they do not need to be punished. You can fix this by re-think the way you view discipline. When you discipline a child, you are showing her how to make good choices and choose behaviors that are positive and ultimately good for her. And by showing her how you handle her misbehavior in a loving and constructive manner that emphasizes learning rather than punishment you are teaching her how to one day interact with her own children when they demonstrate bad behavior.
4. Not Disciplining Children at All
Among the many important reasons why we need to discipline children is the fact that children who are raised with clear limits and guidance are more likely to be happy, pleasant people who have good self-control. When children are not disciplined, the effects are clear, and in most cases, quite catastrophic. Children who are not given any limits or consequences and are spoiled are often selfish, unable to self-regulate, and unpleasant to be around. You can fix this by giving your child rules and limits – and clear and consistent consequences when they don’t do what they are supposed to do. If you are worried that disciplining your child may make them angry with you, keep the bigger picture in mind: Not disciplining a child is not good for him. As long as you handle his misbehavior with love and firm guidance, your child will learn and grow from his mistakes.
5. Yelling, giving Long Explanations and Bribery
This helps nothing and only scares your child. I understand that sometimes things completely frustrate you but remembering that is not your child’s fault can help calm your anger. Correcting your child in a calm way is safer for you and your child. Your child is not an adult and giving them a long explanation about why they can’t do something doesn’t correct their behavior. Keep your explanations short and to the point. You don’t have to water down your reasoning, but don’t go on and on about it. Having a simple explanation means you can both understand what was wrong and move on. One huge mistake I see parents making all the time is bribing their child. Saying you will buy your child ice cream later if they stop crying is now is not solving any problems. Your child needs to respect you for the decisions you make and shouldn’t get some reward just for being obedient.