Children

​7 Ways to Instill Discipline in Children

Everyone wants their child to be successful and happy. Instilling discipline in your child is a crucial step in that direction. But instilling discipline is not synonymous with punishment. It involves nurturing, setting expectations and boundaries, and fostering within your child a sense of personal responsibility. Teaching your child to set aside their desires so they can fulfill their obligations is the key to instilling discipline.

 1. Be clear in your intentions and expectations. Clearly explain to your child what you want them to do. Whether it’s a specific grade in a class or the completion of a certain chore by the end of the day, spell it out in unambiguous terms for your child. If you think your child is liable to misbehave in a certain situation, be sure to explain what you want them to do. Also, be sure that your child understands the consequences for misbehavior.

 • Set realistic expectations. If your child is not a math whiz, don’t pile unnecessary pressure upon them to get an “A” if they’re truly giving it their best. Familiarize yourself with your child’s temperament and disposition, and avoid overloading them with tasks and obligations.

 • For younger children, try posting the rules in a visible location like the front of the fridge.

 • Always involve your child in the rule-making process as much as possible.
 2. How to Instill Discipline in Children

Everyone wants their child to be successful and happy. Instilling discipline in your child is a crucial step in that direction. But instilling discipline is not synonymous with punishment. It involves nurturing, setting expectations and boundaries, and fostering within your child a sense of personal responsibility. Teaching your child to set aside their desires so they can fulfill their obligations is the key to instilling discipline.
 3. Provide positive motivation. Use a reward system to get kids excited about their chores and responsibilities.[5] For instance, after the child does his or her homework completely, or makes their bed properly seven days in a row, give them a reward. Depending on the child’s age, this might be an hour of TV watching, or a few dollars for them to spend on their own.

 • Younger children do well with charts and graphs to illustrate how self-disciplined and responsible they are. Try using a sticker board or calendar to mark the days and times the child accomplished an assigned chore or task, and list each task in the order it ought to be completed. Seeing their progress each day will excite them.

 • Do not discount the utility of money as a reward for positive behavior.Some parents consider it bribery, but it can be an effective tool and give children the opportunity to practice financial discipline as well.

 • For young children, make it fun to build discipline. Turn chores into a game. For instance, challenge your child to pick up toys as fast as possible, or turn cleaning up into a friendly contest between two siblings
 4. Praise good behavior. You do not want your child to feel as though the only attention they get from you is to deal with bad behavior. When your child completes his or her duties or demonstrates responsible behavior, let them know you are proud of them.

 • Tell your children they did a great job on the assigned task. Say “I’m proud of you” and “Thank you for your help” where appropriate.

 • For younger children especially, show your appreciation with hugs, kisses, and bouncing on the knee.

 • Remind your child how far they have come in whatever area they struggle to exercise discipline in.
 5. Establish a schedule. Make sure nap times, bedtimes, and mealtimes occur at the same time every day.[9] Communicate regularly to your child what is next on the daily agenda.[10]

 • Try to make sticking to the schedule a fun experience. Use a kitchen timer to mark when something happens. For instance, after setting the timer, tell your child that when it goes off, it will be time for bed, or time to eat, etc.

 • Older children should have a schedule too. If the average teen does not get the required 8-10 hours of sleep each night,it can lead to sleep disorders as well as missed classes or appointments. Ensure your teen adheres to his or her bedtime schedule.
 6. Lead by example. Children learn by seeing what others do as much as by following directions. Deal fairly in all your interactions and show respect to others. If you lead a socially responsible, moral, and honest life, your children will too. [12][13] Remember, as the old saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”

 Teach your child how to clean up. After a child has finished playing with his or her toys, games, or puzzles, have them clean up and put everything away. Show them how and help them through the process. Show younger children how to clean up to your satisfaction, then slowly let them take it over on their own. Elementary school-aged children should be able to pick up their own things as well as put their dishes in the sink or dishwasher. For tweens and teens, making the bed, doing the laundry, and washing dishes can instill discipline.
 7. Accept only honest efforts. If your child has shirked his or her chores or school responsibilities, let them know you are disappointed and that you expect an improvement in the future. Do not complete or re-do a child’s unacceptable work for them. If your child has incorrectly folded the laundry or not washed the dishes well, for instance, show them how you expect them to be completed and let them know that there will be consequences if their half-hearted efforts continue.

 • Be sure to assign age-appropriate responsibilities to your children.
courtesy: Adejoke Lawal

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Motherhood Nigeria

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