How to Discipline Children
Children thrive on boundaries and consistency. They are necessary components of healthy development. Think of the boundaries you set for your kids as the ropes in a wrestling ring. They act as a safe barrier to contain behavior within a certain set of rules. Even though children love boundaries, they occasionally need to test those boundaries in order to confirm they still exist. Stick to these rules, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover about your child and yourself.
Before you begin down the path of proper discipline, you must remember one thing; You are not here to be your child’s friend. You are here to make sure they become a responsible adult who is capable of making difficult decisions on their own some day. It is not your child’s job to love you; it is your job to love your child. If you do things right, they will love you regardless of their occasional “I hate you!”
Unless a child has a developmental problem, the cause of almost all errant behavior may be traced directly back to the parent. Consistency is key to any program of discipline. If you discipline your child for something, you better make sure you discipline them for it every time it happens, no matter what. Discipline cannot wait. If you are sitting in the middle of a hot meal at a restaurant, and your child acts out, you have to act on that behavior. If you try to prolong your meal by satiating your child, you’ll just make things worse for yourself in the future. So what are the tools you should use?
Before you are ready to give a timeout to your child, it is necessary to discuss discipline with your spouse. Children learn quickly to manipulate their parents if they recognize disagreement with the discipline routine. Have a discussion with your spouse in order to reach agreement on the things that are most important to discipline over. Hitting, temper tantrums and throwing are all behaviors many toddlers exhibit, and they can be defined as absolute no no’s with your spouse. The most important thing to remember is that you should stand together in your child’s eyes. This creates a barrier to manipulation. You can always discuss your disagreement with your spouse in private later.