Until a few years ago, we would have laughed at such a title, “How to discipline with love”. Nobody would have thought about reading a blog post about how to deal with a disrespectful children let alone how to discipline with love.
Discipline and love could never have occurred in a same sentence. To discipline meant to punish. That’s how we perceived disciplining. But now with the advent of technology and free flowing information things have changed, thankfully. They have changed for the better.
Parents these days realize that, to discipline, no longer, meant to punish the child. Rather disciplining is all about enforcing positive behavior in a child. And that is possible only through love.
Discipline should be synonymous with love and not with harsh attitude. It is more about training your child to positive behavior rather than punishment.
If we think about it, discipline comes from the word disciple. And a disciple means a student. Someone who learns. So, to discipline, in other words, would mean to teach. Teaching good manners, teaching good attitude, good behavior etc. And that cannot be possible through hatred or negativity.
If you enforce right discipline at the right time, you are setting up your kids for a wonderful life ahead.
So how do you discipline with love and be a success at it?
There can be no quick fix solution to this. You will have to work on it over time. It is not a sprint but rather a marathon. And that starts right from the time your child is born.
My first ever book on parenting was given to me by my dearest sister when my eldest daughter was an infant. It was a book called, “How to discipline with Love” by Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson
You can say that this post is actually inspired by his book, “how to discipline with love”. You can get a copy of his book here.
If you have to take just one tip from this entire post, I would recommend you buy that book asap. Whether you are a new mom or a mom to a teenager, the book covers it all.
When my sister first sent me that book I was totally hooked. I completed the entire book within a week. The entire book was full of valuable information and I still refer to it a lot of times. I would dare say it had a lot of positive impact on my parenting style ever since.
Though it is not possible to implement 100% of any book, but there are major tips which are actually practical. I actually learned how to discipline with love and learned that it is actually possible.
Below are just my two cents on how to discipline with love.
Always be positive.
Try to be as positive as always possible. Whenever you are overwhelmed with life, take a breather. Recharge yourself and come back stronger.
Life is hard, parenting is even harder than anyone can imagine. It’s ok to relax and time out for ourselves. Here are some stress busting tips for moms. Check them out.
When you take care of yourself you will be better able to take care of your family. You will be more positive when you are stress free. A positive “you” will make positive children.
Children are small, fragile and easily vulnerable. Have empathy for their situation and just because you have a person to boss around, doesn’t mean you should. Children are helpless when parents decide to throw their frustrations on them. Just remember how you felt as a child when your parents yelled at you.
It was an altogether different situation when we were growing up. I, sometimes, think that we were actually not so difficult as kids to be raised.
Kids this generation are a spoilt lot. But I won’t necessarily blame them. After all we didn’t have the distractions of smartphones then. There was no facebook, no instagram, no whatsapp for our parents to monitor. There was no need for our parents to be worried about the lurking dangers of technology.
But our kids are very much vulnerable to these dangers. And with peer pressure ever on the rise, the dangers of falling into the trap has increased. The kids have been thrown open to a wide variety of dangers unlike the time when we grew up.
It is absolutely crucial for us to teach them how to make the best use of whatever is available. They can use it constructively without it eventually being destructive to them. We will have to become more aware of what’s going on in their lives than ever before.
Our kids are faced with far more temptations than we ever did. If we remember that and guide them towards positive things, we will surely get good results.
Long lasting Impact of Childhood.
Please remember, childhood is the most impressionable age. The things that happen during childhood have a long lasting effect on a person’s nature. The behavior, the attitude, the manners, the ethics, almost everything in life is affected by incidents during childhood.
Whether it is some horrific accident the child witnessed or a spanking that you showered on them for a silly reason. Kids process everything in their own ways and it will have a very big impact on their personality.
Respect their childhood and remember that they will grow up before you know it. Enjoy motherhood while it lasts. This is the best time that you will have with them. Make the most of it while you can.
Any relationship, personal or professional, fails without proper communication. And parenting is no different. Have a good relationship and open communication with your child.
Always take time out from your busy schedule for your child. No matter how busy you are, nothing is more important than being there for your child when he or she needs you the most.
There will always be situations where your child will feel inadequate to handle it himself. But if you have a good communication system with him, you will be the first person he will turn to when he needs help.
Children feel more safe and secure when they are able to communicate freely with their parents. When there is open communication, we can see the child’s perspective rather than jumping to conclusions. The child will feel more confident as an individual when they know their parents understand them.
Set Positive Rules
It is important to set basic house rules for the family. The children should know what is allowed and what is off limits for them right from a young age.
Don’t make rules too difficult which the child will not be able to achieve. Don’t set them up for failure. Make rules that are easy for the child to follow and easier for you to make them implement. Let the kids know the consequences of their actions before hand.
It is more common that parents whip up punishment at their whim and fancy. There is no prior warning that such a behavior is unacceptable. But when your child misbehaves the instant reaction from the parents is punishment.
This is definitely not how to discipline with love. Spanking, yelling, time outs everyday definitely is not going to be good for anyone.
How will your child know what is acceptable and what is not when you have not actually taught them. After all they are called kids for a reason. They are not adults to be able to know what to do and what not to do.
All adults were taught some way or the other about what is right and what is wrong when they were younger. So how will your child know that without you teaching them?
Set your house rules that are easy for your child to implement. Teach them the difference between right and wrong according to their age.
Are you always a high pressure parent? Do you always have to yell to make your children listen to you?
If the answer is yes, you will have to calm down and deal with your stress first. You can check out these blog posts to overcome it. Get kids to listen to you without yelling and stress busting tips for overwhelmed moms.
Manage your anger, frustrations, stress before they get the better of you. You don’t deserve it, and most importantly your children do not deserve it.
So these were few of my tips on how to discipline with love to your kids. How do you discipline your kids? I would love to hear from you.
Until Next Time,