The Parent Centre’s Approach to Discipline

Discipline is a process and not something you take out of a cupboard when a child misbehaves. It is part of our relationship with the child and involves communication on a daily basis. It is thus important to remind oneself constantly, before acting, “What would I be teaching my child if I said or did this?

Discipline is not equal to punishment. Consider the root of the word. It .is derived from the Latin word “discere” which means to teach. The word disciple comes to mind. The disciple (child) follows the leader (the parent)

Parents are their children’s most important teachers, guiding and limiting behaviour when it is not acceptable. They have the right to set limits on children’s behaviour and children need to know that their parents are in charge.

The parent’s responsibility to TEACH is just as important as the child’s responsibility to BEHAVE APPROPRIATELY.

Not all problems are discipline problems. Sometime a problem disappears when we

When children misbehave, they are sending messages that need to be decoded,

A discipline problem is not a battle that we need to win, nor is it a situation in which we need to prove that we are stronger. Our aim is to teach children ultimately to develop self-control.

An important feature of the discipline process is our own self-control, so stand back and think.

Being in control and calming ourselves with helpful self-talk is the most important stage of the discipline process. This is how we establish our sense of authority and direction.

So often discipline has involved getting caught up in power struggles and doing a great deal of pleading at first, followed by yelling, threatening and sometimes hitting as a result of frustration.

Don’t take children’s bad behaviour personally. Each time you say to yourself “why is she doing this to me?” (This is negative self-talk), your feelings are automatically involved and you are on the wrong track. Instead we need to say to ourselves: “I don’t like this behaviour and I am going to do something about it” (positive self-talk).

When we learn to stand back and think about what is going on and then act we will become far more effective.

The key issue in dealing with children’s behaviour effectively is NEUTRALITY. Effective responses come from thinking, not from reacting emotionally or instinctively, remember you are the adult.


The Parent Centre

Helping children through positive parenting


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