Welcome back to the Parenting Corner! This month I want to focus on the lovely concept of discipline. Though easy in theory, consistent discipline is often hard to do! What do I mean by discipline? It means having rules and a schedule! According to dictionary.com, the definition of “discipline” is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior.” Many parents and people connect discipline with just punishment, but in fact they are two seperate things. Punishment is the consequence of negative behavior, whereas discipline, is the act of instilling the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
The Method of Discipline
Studies show that there is a correlation between households that discipline their children, and children feeling secure in the home. Research supports set rules with consequences and rewards; that they provides youth with a baseline for definitive decision making. Since human brains are not fully developed until our early 20’s, our youth need a baseline to help them with their decision making processes. This is why we teach them the difference between right and wrong.
How Do I Implement Discipline Within My Home?
I suggest implementing basic rules first. Start off with a curfew and basic behavioral rules, such as, no profanity. If you have been extremely relaxed on rules within the home, I also strongly encourage having a family meeting. Explain the changes you are implementing and why. Lay out the rules by writing them down. Make sure there are clear rewards and consequences to your youth’s actions. Be prepared for negative feedback from your child, but try to remember that this is for the betterment of their behavior and your sanity. And remember, depending on their age, it may take awhile to see positive change (hang in there).
This Month’s Action Step:
When beginning this new journey of taking control back over of your home and disciplining your children, it is often good protocol to have a support system for you such as a spouse or close friend. They can help keep you on track when you want to give in to your youth if they protest a negative consequence that resulted from their negative behavior. We all want the best for our children! Sometimes that means making the hard decisions that make them unhappy! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!