Who should Discipline your Child?
Child discipline—even parenting—has changed. In these modern times parents are concerned about psychological effects, acceptable behavior patterns, and more. It has become less about child discipline and more about child development. Finding what is right and about instituting acceptable practices.
Every child is an individual and very often quite different from their parents or siblings. Parents need to find a balance between spoiling a child and using harsh discipline techniques.
Modern parents are also faced with challenges because, very often, the parents are not full-time caregivers—they work. Which means they depend on family, child care professionals or a daycare center.
In such cases the parents must decide on how they wish to implement child discipline and who should be allowed to do so. Another aspect is when perfect strangers reprimand the child while at play or in a public space—it is often distressing and as parents you need to address such things.
Decide with Care Givers
Even within a family, people have different ideas on child development and discipline. As parents it is important for you to first decide on how you want to bring up your child—whether it is time-outs, positive parenting, or gentle re-direction. There are many options and so you must learn about various ways and decide on what suits you best as parents and what you feel will be best for your child.
After all you are the ones who understand the child best and love him/her unequivocally. So before you leave your child to the care of family/a care giver/ daycare center or pre-school, speak to the persons concerned about:
- Your child and what to expect from him/her in terms of behavior.
- Your ideas on child discipline. Explain why you would like the caregiver to follow the same methods as you do.
- Reach an understanding and also let the caregiver know that you trust the person and are willing to discuss any problems or challenges that may arise.
- Make it a point to communicate regularly with the caregiver and jointly decide on any “action.”
It is the child who is important and the focus—all avenues to bring him or her up with love and understanding—needs to be explored.
Dealing with Strangers
Very often parents and children are faced with situations where a total stranger tries to discipline a child in a public space like a mall, park, or school.The other day while travelling in a crowded bus, a young mother was struggling to balance the bags she was carrying and two little children.
The younger child, clutched his mother’s collar and wailed loudly while the slightly older child clung on. An old man seated across the aisle kept glaring at the crying child and shook his fist at the child.
Such situations occur daily in urban struggles and it is for the parent to keep an eye on the child at all times when outside the home.
Recognize Discomfort and Steer Clear of Problems
If you feel the child is uncomfortable, moody, or about to do something that will upset others then leave the place and come back when the child is more settled. Never allow a child to run free in a public space or think it is okay to jostle/push others.
Be a Discerning Parent
Learn how to handle the situation as a responsible adult if a situation arises and a total stranger decides to reprimand your child. Very often another adult may mean no harm and may unknowingly put out a finger to reprimand wrong behavior. Be understanding and immediately let the stranger know that you will handle the situation.
Keep Your Cool Yet Be Firm
Control your feelings and don’t react like a protective parent. But, in a situation where a stranger seems to be unnecessarily aggressive or is raising a hand on your child, be sure to react. Don’t get into a fight with the person, report him to the authorities. Child abuse is on the rise, and anyone getting thrills out of troubling children needs to be curtailed. Be a bold parent and take action.
Prepare for Life
Life today is survival of the fittest and parents need to ensure that their child stands a chance. However, bad behavior and unnecessary aggression in a child is not to be encouraged. A child must learn to respect others and be well-behaved wherever he or she goes.
Anticipate and Stay One Step Ahead
When a child spends the day with a friend or goes to a party or school trip, the parent must make it a point to speak to the person in charge and reach an understanding about reprimands and child discipline. Build a rapport with the person in charge and explain to the child before the visit what is a ‘yes’ and what is a definite ‘no.’
Raise a Confident Child
Child discipline is not about being mean or harsh. It is to teach a child what is right and wrong. However in modern times every parent must choose the path they wish to take to raise a child who is confident, self respecting and free.
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