Parents want to give their children the best possible start in life. This is reflected in the various measures that are taken to ensure that their children are well cared for, well educated, and have the necessary social skill.
It is generally agreed that discipline should start early on, to ensure that children grow up with good moral values, good behaviour, and learn how to be responsible adults. It can also help them avoid serious trouble later on in life.
However, some parents might be concerned about disciplining their children too early. They might think that it can cause emotional harm and possibly damage their self-esteem.
So, should discipline start early? What are the implications of starting a discipline too early? When is the right time to start disciplining your child? This article seeks to answer these questions.
The Best Time to Start Discipline
If discipline starts too early, it can cause emotional harm to the child. As a result, the child might develop a sense of resentment and rebellion instead of developing a good behaviour.
In addition, starting discipline too early can result in a child who is not prepared for adulthood.
On the other hand, if discipline starts too late, it will have no effect on the child’s behaviour. This is because they will already have formed their behaviour and personality by that time.
In fact, starting discipline too late can also cause emotional harm to the child. Such children may become so rebellious that they will feel no obligation towards their parents or society at large.
They may not even care about what happens to them in life and how this behaviour affects others around them. These children may be considered sociopaths by some people.
So when should discipline start?
There is no one right answer to this question. However, there are some general guidelines that can help parents decide when to start disciplining their children.
It is important to note that discipline starts as soon as the child can understand what is being said and done.
It starts as soon as the child reaches the age of eight months of age. For example, when a child reaches the age of eight months old, he or she should be able to understand basic words and understand the meaning of certain actions.
It is also at this age that they start to show signs of developing a personality. For example, children start to develop a sense of responsibility towards their parents and other people around them.
They start to develop a sense of conscience as well. In addition, they start to have emotions such as anger and frustration.
In most cases, discipline starts from when the child starts walking on his or her own feet. This is because children learn about their environment through observation and experience as they grow up.
As such, they learn to respect the rules and regulations that are in place. They also learn, slowly, to take care of themselves by looking after their needs and necessities.
How to Discipline a Child
In order to discipline your child, it is important that you keep in mind the following points:
1. Don’t use physical punishment
Physical punishment is never the best way to discipline a child. Physical punishment includes spanking, beating, or even throwing objects at them.
This form of punishment behaviour can cause physical and emotional harm to your child and damage their self-esteem as well.
2. Don’t be too harsh
In most cases, you should not be too harsh when disciplining your child. You should always do so in a manner that is loving and caring.
This caring behaviour will help your child to learn from the mistakes that he or she makes and will help him or her to grow up with acceptable behaviour and good moral values.
3. Use logical consequences
You should also try to use logical consequences when disciplining your child. Using logical consequences means that you should explain to your child what the consequence of his or her actions will be.
This will help your child to understand why he or she is being disciplined and will make them more responsible in the future.
4. Avoid verbal abuse
Do not call your child names or call him or her stupid because this can cause emotional harm to him or her as well as damage their self-esteem and sense of identity.
Instead of using names like stupid and idiot, you can try saying things like “Please don’t do that again” or “It is not nice to hit other people.”
5. Don’t use threats
Using threats can also cause emotional harm to your child and can even make him or her afraid of you. This is because it makes them think that you are an abusive person who can hurt them.
6. Always give your child a choice
Giving your child a choice is important. This means that telling your child what he or she has to do will help him or her to learn how to be responsible.
However, you should not give your child too many choices because this can cause confusion. Instead, you should give him or her a few choices so that he or she can make the right decision.
7. Give praise when it is deserved
Praise your child when he or she deserves it. This will help him or her to feel good about himself or herself and will help them to learn to take pride in their achievements.
You can also try praising them for doing things that are important as child development as well as helping them to improve their social skill.
This will help him or her to understand that there are benefits to doing things that are good for them and that they should continue doing these things in the future.
What to Do When Your Child Does Not Listen
There are various things that you can do when your child does not listen to you. You can say “No” firmly and clearly.
You can use a firm tone of voice, so that your child understands what you are saying. This will help them learn to respect your wishes.
Take a deep breath, look into their eyes and speak directly to them. By looking into their eyes, you show them that they should pay attention to what you are saying and should stop whatever they are doing immediately to give you the attention.
Try using an extra tactic called positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when parents reward their children for good behaviour instead of punishing them for bad behaviour.
This is often done by giving the child a small treat such as a toy or a treat after the child has behaved well for a certain period of time.
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