How to Discipline Children without Punishment - Part II
By Andrew Loh
Teaching discipline to your children is a multi-faceted activity. It is
multi-dimensional as well. With the right type of child disciplining method,
you are not only parenting a socially responsible child, but also but
also helping him or her to succeed in life both in the classroom and out
of it. You may wish to know and understand that how you behave and act,
when disciplining your child, will assist you determine how he or she is
going to behave in the future. When you yield to your children after
they repeatedly argue and haggle with you or when they throw some temper
tantrum at you, then they may learn to repeat the same behavior, just
because they know that you may eventually yield yourself to them.
When you are firm and consistent in your behavior, your children will
come to know that it is not useful to do what they are doing right now.
They will also understand that repeating negative behavior is not good
and that it is useless. Always be consistent in your disciplining
methods and how you punish your children. It is always normal and usual
for all children to test their own and their parents' limits. If you are
inconsistent with your own limits, you may be unknowingly encouraging
bad behavior in your children.
Before you learn disciplining methods, you should also know about some
important things about discipline. Here are some of them:
Make sure that you are staying calm and quiet. Never ever get carried
even for a moment, when your children misbehave in a certain manner.
Never ever, start yelling or screaming at your children. With these
negative behaviors, your children come to a conclusion that it is normal
to repeat the same behavior when they get angry. Regain your composure,
when you feel that things are going out of control.
Never ever, resort to unnecessary criticism. Make sure that your
children know that it is their bad behavior that is causing your
unhappiness with them.
Never ever, heap too much praise at your children. Your good comments on
them will become ineffective, when you praise them even for normal and
mundane activities. Your praise will become ineffective in the end.
Never ever, focus on negative things all the time. When you are trying
to offer positive reinforcements, make sure that you avoid being overtly
negative. For example, it is far better to say “I like that you did all
your homework in the evening itself before watching TV” instead of “I
like that, at least for once, you finally decided to do your homework
without me telling you to do it”.
Always avoid physical punishment. Spanking or scolding can never be
effective weapons for disciplining your children. It will make your
children more angry and violent.
Make sure that you reward your children for their good behavior.
Never ever, bribe your children for good behavior. It could be
counterproductive and bad. A reward is a genuine appreciation for
something that was achieved by your children. You can reward your
children after they do something that is positive in nature. On the
other hand, bribing is something that you give beforehand without your
children doing something positive. When you bribe your child, you are
trying and motivating your children to do what they want. This
reinforces a negative behavior.
Natural, social, societal and logical consequences of your child's
behavior will teach him or her responsibility. Your children will
develop decision making skills, when you teach those good manners and
better behavior. Make sure that you are focusing on positive and
reinforcing behavior, when you are teaching discipline to your children.
Here are some simple and practical tips for teaching discipline to your
Listen and act: Ask your children the exact reasons for the
ensuing misbehavior. Let your children explain the reasons for their
misbehavior. Lend your ears to know their problems. Mind you, your
children will never think and act like you. After all, they are
children, who are young and having a mind that is still immature.
Children might have had a good motive to act the way in which they
Teach and guide: Teach your children why misbehaving in a
particular manner is bad for them. Know that your children cannot read
your mind. They will never have the experience or understanding of what
we think or do. You should let them know why you disapprove their bad
Be a role model: Show the children why good behavior is
beneficial and productive. Display and teach them the behavior they are
expected to show in some critical situations. Show them through some
examples. Make sure that you behave in a responsible manner. Never ever,
behave in the way your children are behaving!
Show flexibility: Let the interaction between you and your
children be interactive and mutual. Listen to what your children say
about your methods. Never ever, be a stickler for rigid rules. Be
flexible with your children. Temper and anger is common among children.
Occasional outburst of anger and frustration is common for all of us. We
do it often and let your children do it at times, to give a way, to let
their emotions out of their body. Admit and apologize for your mistakes,
if at all you commit them in front of your children.
Use private areas to discipline your child: Never ever, scold or
spank your children in a public place and in front of others. With these
violent actions, you may embarrass your children and make them more
angry and violent. This may even cause resentment. Your children may
start to misbehave more just to hide their fear and fright.
Be respectful in disciplining: Never ever, yell at your children.
Move over to your children and sit down at their eye level. Talk to them
in a low voice and with all calmness, so that you are showing your
displeasure in private. Tell them why they are wrong with their bad
How to avoid abusing and punishing?
If you find that you are using punishment, verbal abuse and scolding to
discipline your children, then you can think that something is wrong.
Repeated punishment may not work to your advantage. You may need to make
minor adjustments to your own behavior to make discipline work to your
advantage. In many cases, punishing children may relieve parent's
frustrations and disappointments than in teaching their children self
If you feel that you are on the negative side, you can think of the
following practical solutions:
Take time out for yourself to let loose your anger and frustration.
Listen to some music to relieve yourself of frustrations.
Take a walk and set your mind free.
Calm yourself and then talk to your child.
Do not get angry; instead sit down with your child and talk over the
Children tend to misbehave because of many causes. You may want to know
what those causes are and try to find out solutions for the real
problems. Bad discipline is a psychological disadvantage for your
children. Empowering them to overcome this problem should be the top
most priority for all parents. Careful planning and useful techniques
will help you teach discipline to your children without unnecessarily
The Case against Spanking: How to Discipline Your Child without Hitting
By Irwin A and Hyman Ed.D.
This book examine child discipline, with spanking presented
as an effective or ineffective method (depending on the
viewpoint). A father and a family therapist for 30 years,
Hyman (psychology, Temple Univ.) bases his discipline models
on research and clinical observations. He offers parents a
number of alternative strategies to physical punishment,
including understanding child psychology, systematizing
rewards and punishments, and defusing anger in both parent
In contrast, Pritchett, a mother and stepmother, offers a
discipline plan based on spanking as the only effective
deterrent in training children to be obedient and well
behaved. Her book begins with a description of spanking (two
to five hard whacks on the bottom with a paddle followed by