Self-Discipline as an Important Tool in Parenting

Children are like budding flowers who need constant love, care, attention and discipline to become healthy, efficient and able citizens in the society. Parents set an example for their children. They see their parents behavior first and try to imitate the same. If parents shout, scream or lash out at their children, they are more likely to follow the same behavior.

Self-discipline is an essential ingredient of growing up. Parents, adults, and teachers help children in becoming adept at differentiating between right and wrong. To help children make healthy and positive choices in life, it’s vital that parents positively discipline their children. They should be firm, clear and calm in setting rules.

Simple Ways of Instilling Self-Discipline in Children

Young children are impulsive by nature. ADHD or other behavior disabilities, learning disabilities or biological factors increase impulsiveness. Such problems can be controlled with self-control and discipline. Self-discipline cannot be forced on children. It blooms naturally in a happy environment at home and in school. Instead of always correcting children for being wild and interrupting, parents should follow simple steps like:

  • Positive interaction and communication
  • Positive discipline
  • Rewards, privileges and sticker charts
  • Regular routines
  • Distraction or abstraction
  • Sanctions and punishments

Positive Interaction and Communication Boost Self-Discipline

Interacting positively and happily is a great part of healthy discipline. Children feel hard to express their feelings and emotions, and they often behave badly when they are upset or angry. In that situation, parents should talk to them politely, calmly and firmly instead of shouting or instructing them sternly. Parents should make sure that their child understands the sort of behavior they want and should praise the child whenever he/she does something good.

Self-discipline proves quite beneficial in eradicating bad behavior. Parents should teach children to react with a positive attitude and right behavior. This requires children to control their impulses. Pointing out the areas they need to work is equally important as patting them for something good. Anger control, listening patiently, knowing when and how to interrupt and completing a task, all require self-discipline.

Discipline Kids With Rewards, Privileges and Sticker Charts

Encouraging and rewarding good behavior with privileges, stickers and praise help enhance a child’s self-esteem. Parents should be specific when praising their child. Instead of simply saying, “Good,” or “Bravo!’, tell children elaborately about the praise they are getting and the reason behind the praise.

Privileges like extended bedtime hour, an extra story before bed and a favorite dress are little gestures proclaiming self-victory by children, which in turn raises their self-esteem. Sticker charts for every step of achievement and good behavior by the child inculcate self-control and discipline.

Regular Routines and Distraction Help Instill Good Behavior

Regular daily routines or chores like tidying the room, helping in the kitchen, dressing up and getting ready for bedtime are some activities which can be followed punctually every day to boost self-discipline. Other activities like sports, music lessons and craft, can also encourage self-confidence in children.

If children become adamant about something and start behaving angrily, it’s advisable to distract their attention with some other thing, task or activity to calm them down. Parents should be vigilant to observe the bone of contention between the children and should suggest an alternate toy, game or activity to subside the anger.

Mete Sanctions and Punishments Out Positively

Parents should make their children understand the consequences of bad or rude behavior. In a situation where children become rowdy, sanctions should not be severe. However, parents should stick to the rules and should act calmly and firmly.

Timeouts are effective for both children and parents to cool down. Followed by a hug, cuddle, and healthy, positive reinforcement is a great work of disciplining children. Even if the child behaves badly again, the whole process can be repeated calmly. Children do get the message straight.

Some Dont’s for Parents to Follow Self-Discipline

Children are a reflection of one’s family. Whatever they do, behave and speak are a result of their upbringing. It’s very important for parents to check their behavior, their lifestyle, their values and their self-discipline. In any case, parents should not:

  • shout
  • hit or physically assault
  • discard or segregate the child
  • create a chasm between child and self
  • yield to bad behavior
  • lose cool

Self-discipline leads a person from ignorance to wisdom. These small little steps of discipline, routine, and care work wonders in inculcating good behavior in children and enriching the parent-child relationship. An intelligent parent, therefore, utilizes every opportunity of his/her child’s tender years to instill this essential quality of self-discipline – so that the child’s future may well be safe and successful.