top of page

The Complete Guide to Effective Child Discipline

Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child. He needs guidance. If there is love, there is no such thing as being too tough with a child. Simultaneously, if you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.

-Betty Davis

Why does a child suffer with low self-esteem? Why does he show rebellious and disrespectful behavior? Why is he not able to make good decisions with precision? Discipline helps children understand what you expect, how to behave, and what happens when they misbehave. Discipline helps children be in control of their own behavior. Disciplining your child means teaching them responsible behavior and self-control. With appropriate and consistent discipline, your child will learn about consequences and taking responsibility for their own actions. The ultimate aim is to encourage the child to learn to manage both their feelings and behavior. This is called self-discipline. At its best, discipline rewards the child for appropriate behavior by using fair and positive means. Some parents think that discipline means physical punishment, such as hitting and smacking, or verbal abuse such as yelling or threatening the child. This is not discipline. In order to help them change into emotionally and socially mature adults, there are many effective techniques that can help parents teach and guide their children, and some forms of discipline will always remain controversial.

Firstly, the role of being an understanding and vigilant parent is necessary. But how to understand and empathize with your child? What measures should one take in order to keep the child in check? Sometimes parents may react to a child’s annoying behavior in a negative way because they are tired, stressed, or angry at someone or something else. If this happens often parents need to find ways to get more sleep, eat better, or talk to a friend or professional who can help think of ways to deal with anger and children’s behavior. As a parent, you are a teacher. The way you discipline your children will help them learn. Children need you to help them understand what kinds of behaviors you expect from them and what rules you expect them to follow. They also need help from you to manage their feelings, understand responsibility, and learn how to control themselves. Your child needs to know what will happen if rules are broken. At an introductory level, help your child learn to solve problems; show your child how to do things; take your child away from situations your child can’t handle; help your child learn how to calm down; prepare your child for difficult situations; say “yes” when you can and “no” when you need to and give your child a chance to do it the right way. These methods should be adopted early in their childhood, so that they can gain a better knowledge of the world and how things are sorted and dealt with.

Secondly, try and understand your child’s reason for misbehavior. When children misbehave, there is usually a reason. They may be tired, hungry, frustrated, seeking attention, or wanting control. If you can figure out what is causing the misbehavior, you will have more success responding to the misbehavior and preventing the same behavior in the future. For example, if you observe your seven-year-old always having meltdowns when getting home from school, then you need to think about what might be causing the meltdowns. Perhaps your child is tired and hungry at the end of the day, or something was frustrating at school. Talk to the teachers to see how school is going. Try to have a nutritious snack and provide some quiet time reading or playing a game to help your child make the transition from school to home. Other strategies to consider are to firmly tell your child that what he or she did was not appropriate. If something is damaged, expect the child to fix it, make a new one, or help pay for a new one. Let children safely experience the consequences of their actions. A consequence is a result of something a person does. When children misbehave, parents need to respond in a way that helps them learn about the effects of their behavior and how to plan differently for the next time. Consequences should give a child the chance to be forgiven. A consequence is more effective than pain, fear, shame, or humiliation. Parents must decide whether to respond with a logical or a natural consequence. An example of a logical consequence: a child colors on the wall—the child helps cleans the wall. An example of a natural consequence: a child refuses to eat dinner—the child will be hungry later, so on and so forth.

Now switching our perspective to what parents should not do with their children in order to discipline them. Corporal punishment is defined as the use of physical force with the intent to cause pain (but not injury) as a form of punishment, correction, and control. A sizeable body of research suggests that's the use of physical discipline is associated with both short- and long-term negative outcomes for children. For example, children who are spanked are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors and experience increased equation throughout adolescents, perhaps because children who are spanked learn to use violence to respond to various situations. Corporal punishment is also associated with internalizing behavior problems including low self-esteem, depression and suicidal ideation. Research into corporal punishment has shown that it has negative of fax, which is why it has been banned in military training and prisons in the United States. Even animals are protected from this type of punishment in all 50 states. When it occurs in a school, the students who are exposed to physical punishment as early as kindergarten are more likely to have lower vocabulary scores by the time, they reach fourth grade. They also have lower fifth-grade math scores. The schools in states where corporal punishment is permitted perform worse on the national academic assessment each year compared to the states that prohibit corporal punishment.

Lastly, discussing some tried and tested social surveys and researches regarding child psychology and parent-child relationship, we find that boundary-based discipline, behavior modification and emotional coaching, widely accepted and practiced. In research titled as “Analysis of Parent Discipline as Predictor of Aggression Across Generations”, Christian Jasper C. Nicomedes shows that the marital satisfaction of mothers reduces the association between their parenting stress and harsh discipline. Thus, parents are more inclined to physical discipline when they were feeling a loss of control over a child and feeling stressed and tired Therefore, yielding support and education to parents can reduce their use of physical punishment and children’s externalizing behaviors Furthermore, the discipline transmission’s strength varies by the severity of punishment received. Parent’s abuse experiences predicted lower availability, satisfaction with the child, time spent with the child, and higher perceived ineffectiveness towards their children. Likewise, in “Emotion Coaching: A new approach to supporting children’s behavior in schools”, Janet Rose, proves that emotion coaching is a parenting style clinically observed in the USA which supports children’s emotional self-regulation, social skills, physical health and academic success.

A pilot study in a rural disadvantaged area in England sought to evaluate the effectiveness of training practitioners who work with children and young people in schools, early years settings and youth centers to apply emotion coaching strategies in professional contexts, particularly during emotionally intensive and behavioral incidents. The study rested on the premise that supportive adults can individually and collectively empower children and young people to build a repertoire of internal and external socio-emotional regulatory skills that promote prosocial behavior. Therefore, why not understand your own behavior in order to deal with a child, who will in turn change his based on yours?

bottom of page