Disciplining Children: When all Else Seems to Fail

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Parents around the world, no matter what race, no matter what age, no matter what life background they come from, have one thing in common. Parents want to make sure that they bring up well-disciplined children who can face life successfully.

However, even though this is a common desire among parents, finding the right solution to get the children in the path that they believe is best for their young ones is almost unresolvable.

With psychiatric advisors in place and words that are designed to help parents find a way to reach their children’s heart, it still seems to be quite impossible to find one common process to adhere to in order to provide children with the discipline that they need.

So, to take a much less explored path, perhaps it would be beneficial to look at this issue from the other side of matters. Instead of trying to do everything to fix the children, why not take another look on the parents, their perception and how it could be improved.

This approach is more like meeting the issue in the middle and trying to reach out to the children through a more child-centered approach. Child psychiatrists have found it necessary for parents to make direct adjustment on the way they perceive the concept of discipline. To do this, parents need to look into themselves and ask the following questions:

How much do I know my child?

Sometimes, parents assume that because they are the parents, knowing their children is quite automatic.

In reality though, this is not true. Most often then not, it is because of this perception that problems arise between parents and their children, especially among those who have already reached their teenage years.

Parents ought to establish a strong foundation on knowing who their children are. This means that parents need to avoid thinking that because they have an attitude, that it would be innate among their children to have the same attitude.

Every child is unique and knowing this gives parents a better sense of their roles as mentors rather than commanders who direct their children who they should be, what they should do, or how they should live their lives as they grow older.

If you are a parent, knowing your child better can help you appreciate the good side he has and understand why there are times when he acts up or behaves differently from what you expect him to do.

Knowing your child gives you a chance to understand him or her more deeply, therefore giving you a chance to establish connection better.

Do I find time to listen to what my child has to say?

If you are like any other parent who tries to juggle a lot of things on hand all at the same time, then you might find it exhausting to give attention to anything else other than the very basic responsibilities you are expected to do.

Sometimes, when this happens, the children are set aside. Instead of giving them time and listening to what they have to say, they are often dismissed as ‘too talkative’ or ‘simply wanting too much attention’.

When this happens, children often act up, and yes, they are trying to get their parents attention because it is one of their most basic needs.

So, for busy parents, it might be helpful to set a certain time of the day when sitting and listening to what a child needs to say is set. If you are in the same state, you might find it helpful to spend at least 20 minutes of focused listening-time with each of your children- just listening to what they might want to say.

Parents have found it easier to connect with their children when the young ones feel that they are appreciated and that they would be listened to once they have something to say.

Do I give my child a chance to open up or am I more commanding than caring?

Sometimes, it is not that the children are not disciplined well, it is just that the parents’ standards are too high that they are impossible to reach.

Not many parents would admit to this.

Nonetheless, this condition is rather common among families. In such a setup, the parents become the commanding power in the house and the children usually lose their voice.

When this happens, the bridges that communication could build is being broken by the power struggle that grows between the parents and their children.

Breaking the Barriers of Discipline

Children respond to direction and care.

No matter what age, or gender, or age, it is a basic requirement for every child’s growth to know that they are cared for. It increases their sense of personal safety, making it easier for them to listen to what their parents have to say.

Instead of looking at children as mere followers of rules- just so to claim that they are well-disciplined, listening to what they have to say and understanding their situation in order to open up the doors of connection between parents and children works better.

Changing the parents’ perception about discipline often provides them a better capacity to connect with their children in a much less strained condition. The parents’ efforts of making connections work without forcing their children into it, gives them a chance to set a more workable understanding of what discipline is really about. 

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