Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Discipline your child

Being a mother has changed a lot of my life perspectives, one of them is “slow to judge”, I used to get annoyed seeing children misbehave in public and the parents did nothing…I’m sure a lot of us will say “if this is my kid then I’ll……….” Well wait till you become a parent yourself, you’ll be swallowing your own words….. I’m less critical, slow to judge and more understanding nowadays, kids misbehave, well… that’s pretty normal, shouting in public, well it proves that their lungs are OK, crying and insisting on something, well it’s a way of them to accept “No”, bad table manners, well they look cute in the ‘cat face”, isn’t it and they don’t attend dining etiquette class OK?

I attended a parenting seminar last year (thanks to Pastor Suzanna) and below are the notes that I took, I will try to apply those in certain situations, but if you can’t, don’t be discourage, as parents we made thousands of mistakes, I did, but I think below are very practical steps and if we can adopt and adapt to our own unique situation, it’ll be good…..

Discipline – train a child to behave well, obeying rules
Proverbs 23:13 - Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.
Proverbs 22:6 – Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Above verses are extracted from the Bible, the book of Proverbs meaning “wisdom”.

Good Discipline
Handle with care
Refreshes the spirit
Deals with a strong will
Resulted in fruits/ change
Child is secure and respect authority
Produces angels

Bad Discipline
Damages the spirit
Originate from anger
Bear no fruits
Build insecurity in the child, do not respect authority, rebel
Produces “monsters”
When to discipline? – 4Ds
• Disobedient (Heard an instruction but pretend not to , do exactly the opposite way)
• Disrespectful (beat others, shouting, bad manners)
• Dishonest (caught stealing, telling lies)
• Destructive behavior (physically abusive, hurting self, others and properties)

Who needs discipline?
• A strong-will child – when you say “No”, he still do it
How to discipline?
• Just & Fair, know the truth first
10 steps to effective discipline:
1) You are the boss – your child needs to know that you have the authority to discipline
2) Set rules for your child – tell them the consequences if they break them, e.g. if you do not do your homework, you will not get to see TV tonight, be specific.
3) Walk your talk, do not say “I’ll flush you down the toilet if you……..”, do not simply utter words you cannot execute
4) Punish in private
5) Use the correct method – some child will stop when being stared at, some will stop after enforcement through words, some need to feel the cane, deal with them accordingly with their character and timing. If caning is required, use a plastic rice scoop, beat at the palm or buttocks (never on the head or slap on the face), create the “sound” not so much on the “pain”, do not encourage to use cane that could leave marks on their body, the scar will remind them and leave unpleasant memories.
6) Let them cry – e.g. after disciplining give them a tissue and ask them to cry, do not say “Don’t cry or I’ll beat you more”, this is not fair discipline.
7) Explain & reassure – after the discipline and crying session, hug them and reassure them that you love them, but what he/she did is wrong
8) Evaluation – ask the child to think what he/she has done and how he/she could react next time
9) Appreciation – teach them to say “thank you” for disciplining, by doing this you are teaching them that discipline is good for them
10) Be consistent in your punishment and consistent to the rules set, you cannot be saying “no” today but “yes” a few days later, by doing this you make them confused.
11) My rules – parents need to have same view in disciplining and I can understand grandparents don’t, so spouse need to be consistent, it you can’t endure the moment, leave the situation.

Happy Parenting & God bless you in your journey.

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