The importance of educating with discipline

Teaching children to behave correctly is a task that requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Discipline is the process of teaching your child which behaviors are acceptable and which are not; that there are rules you must follow and that if you don’t, there will be consequences.

Sometimes bad behavior is a way to get attention, so it is important to know how you have to react so as not to promote this habit. Listening to them and knowing what causes their discomfort and their behavior – if it is a real need or something that your child does not understand or does not know how to handle – is the first step to redirect their behavior in a positive way.

Punishments can be a tool for occasional use, as long as they do not involve physical or verbal violence. Effective discipline is achieved through modeling, positive reinforcement, and the love and support of parents and family.

Tone of voice is important

When you have to call your son’s attention, try to be firm but not aggressive, do not use a severe tone of voice or yell at him, because yelling can generate fear and resentment and take him away from your main objective, which is to educate him. If you’re feeling angry, it’s best to take a few minutes to calm down before talking to him.

Remember that discipline is synonymous with good behavior; If you yell at him, insult him or speak ill at him, you are setting a terrible example. In addition, children close emotionally when they feel attacked, adopting an attitude of resistance and little collaboration.

The best way to discipline your child is to create empathy. When reprimanding him use a tone of voice that shows firmness but also understanding and affection; that he understands that you love him but that he is acting bad and must change his behavior.

The fine line between permissiveness and limits

Parents who become too permissive with their children to protect them from negative emotions or experiences are not contributing to their overall development. Growing up without a structure with well-defined rules and limits can make it difficult for you to cope in your adult life. It is important that a child knows what is expected of her, because later it will be society that sets the rules.

Modeling is essential during personality development; Children learn by observing the behavior – and its consequences – of their parents and the people around them. In this way they can learn skills, attitudes, ways of proceeding and even reasoning. With your behavior you are teaching your child to do the same.

Tips for each stage:

Babies (up to 3 years old).

• The good example is your best tool since learning in babies occurs mainly through observation.

• The tone and the words you use are also important; use positive language and avoid using “NO” unless it is a safety issue; for example: “it’s time to sleep” instead of “it’s not time to play.”

• Remove dangerous or “forbidden” objects that may arouse their curiosity and cause problems for you.

3 to 5 years:

• At this stage they already distinguish more clearly what is allowed and what is not, but they will always put you to the test; That is why it is very important that you stand firm when you reprimand him and praise him when he behaves as you expect.

• Begins to assign simple and age-appropriate tasks, such as picking up toys at the end of the game.

• Teach him to interact with other children without hitting, biting, or engaging in other aggressive behaviors.

From 6 to 12 years old.

• It is time to teach him to have responsibilities and the privileges or rewards that good behavior brings.

• When faced with a dilemma, discuss the options you have – good and bad – and the possible consequences of your decision.

• Reinforces their social behavior, stressing the importance of treating other people with politeness and respect.

From 13 to 18 years old.

• In this difficult stage it is important that your child knows that you love and support him, but also what you expect from him by establishing clear limits and rules.

• Try to get to know their friends and talk to them about responsibility in relationships.

• The consumption of alcohol, tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other substances is a topic that must be addressed.

Despite the different stages of development, there are resources that are valid for all ages:

• Set an example: put into practice those habits that you want your child to learn and avoid behaviors that you do not want her to repeat (like swearing). Explain why it is good or bad to do certain things.

• Be consistent: establish clear rules to be followed by all those involved in raising and caring for your child so that you do not receive contradictory signals.

• Set limits and talk about consequences: in a calm but firm tone you should tell him what he should or should not do and what the consequences will be if he breaks the rules.

• Do not give in to tantrums and protests, if you are going to apply a corrective, keep what you promised or your child will not take things seriously and everything will be in vain.

• Prepare him in advance for new or stressful situations; tell him what you are going to do and how you expect him to behave.

• Teach him to verbalize his emotions and to calm down when he is upset or frustrated.

• Reinforce positive behavior with words of encouragement and, on the contrary, ignore it when it comes to a meaningless tantrum, children always seek attention and acceptance.

• Avoid strong physical or verbal punishment at all costs; do not hit, yell, insult or embarrass her, as these can negatively affect her health and her physical and emotional development.

• If she has a whim and throws a tantrum, try diverting her attention to something else: a toy or a conversation about something she likes, for example.

Despite the different stages of development, there are resources that are valid for all ages:

• Set an example: put into practice those habits that you want your child to learn and avoid behaviors that you do not want her to repeat (like swearing). Explain why it is good or bad to do certain things.

• Be consistent: establish clear rules to be followed by all those involved in raising and caring for your child so that you do not receive contradictory signals.

• Set limits and talk about consequences: in a calm but firm tone you should tell him what he should or should not do and what the consequences will be if he breaks the rules.

• Do not give in to tantrums and protests, if you are going to apply a corrective, keep what you promised or your child will not take things seriously and everything will be in vain.

• Prepare him in advance for new or stressful situations; tell him what you are going to do and how you expect him to behave.

• Teach him to verbalize his emotions and to calm down when he is upset or frustrated.

• Reinforce positive behavior with words of encouragement and, on the contrary, ignore it when it comes to a meaningless tantrum, children always seek attention and acceptance.

• Avoid strong physical or verbal punishment at all costs; do not hit, yell, insult or embarrass her, as these can negatively affect her health and her physical and emotional development.

• If she has a whim and throws a tantrum, try diverting her attention to something else: a toy or a conversation about something she likes, for example.

• Do not ignore his bad behavior when it could be dangerous to him and others; and explain why they shouldn’t do that.

Time-out or forced pause can be effective when a rule has been broken. Tell your child what he has done wrong and remove him from the situation for an agreed time (one minute per year of age is a good measure). This tactic works very well with 2- to 5-year-old children, although it can also be applied to older children with some changes, for example: TV or mobile phone pause.

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