Where Children Are
Treated Like Royalty
Found on : https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/gh6119
Every adult who cares for children has a responsibility to guide, correct and socialize them toward appropriate behaviors. These actions often are called child guidance and discipline. Positive guidance and discipline are crucial for children because they promote self-control, teach responsibility and help them make thoughtful choices. The more effective adult caregivers are at encouraging appropriate child behavior, the less time and effort they will spend correcting misbehavior. Family specialists agree that using physical force, threats and put-downs can interfere with a child’s healthy development.
Family specialists also agree that there is no perfect formula that answers all questions about discipline. Children are as unique as the families they belong to. A discipline strategy that works with one child may not work with another.
Effective guidance and discipline focus on the development of the child. They also preserve the child’s self-esteem and dignity. Actions that insult or belittle are likely to cause children to view their parents and other caregivers negatively, which can inhibit learning and teach the child to be unkind to others. Acknowledging a child’s efforts and progress, no matter how slow or small, encourages healthy development.
Teaching children self-discipline is a demanding task. It requires patience, thoughtful attention, cooperation and a good understanding of the child. It also requires knowledge of one’s own strengths and struggles with disciplinary issues. Unfortunately, the only preparation for most parents is their own experience of being parented. Such past experiences may not always be helpful in raising children.
Child misbehavior is impossible to prevent completely. Children, usually curious and endlessly creative, are likely to do things parents and other caregivers will not expect. However, there are many positive steps adults can take to minimize misbehavior:
If parents understand why their children misbehave, they can be more successful at reducing behavioral problems. These reasons for misbehavior may help parents develop a better understanding of their children:
True misbehavior occurs when a child chooses to behave inappropriately. Before you take action, consider these points about discipline:
If the behavior was an accident, like wetting their pants while sleeping, it was not a misbehavior. If the behavior was not an accident, ask your child to tell you their reasons for doing what they did. If your child is old enough, ask how they might solve the problem or correct the situation. Children develop by thinking through a situation and developing possible solutions.