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    Is it okay to maintain a disciplined environment at home?

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle

    Dear Parent,

    It all depends on what you mean by the word ‘discipline’? Do you mean ‘obedient’, always listening to what you say without questioning or stating their point of view? Or is it about being strict and punishing your child when he misbehaves? If discipline means you have complete control over what the child should and should not do, then you have to ask yourself if that is best for your child. Will he grow up and be able to make decisions on his own? Will he be able to make the right choices without you telling him what to do?

    On the other hand, if you think of ‘discipline’ as a teachable moment, your child will learn self-discipline and self-control, skills that will serve him for life. If your child is misbehaving, here’s what you can do to help him learn from that situation:

    • First, take the time to settle your own anger about what has happened, and stay calm.
    • Think about what you want your child to learn at that moment. For example, if he hits his friend in anger, he needs to learn how to manage his anger. He needs to learn he cannot hurt another, even if he is mad.
    • Wait for your child to calm down before you try to talk to him. Then talk to him about his behavior and why it is not appropriate.
    • Then discuss ways in which he could handle the situation better next time. Let your child come up with ideas. For example – if he is angry, instead of hitting his friend, can he squeeze his fists tight and stomp his feet, or run around the block?

    A disciplined environment can be maintained by letting your child know what you expect of him, and by making family agreements about what is acceptable behavior. Do remember that children need constant reminders about behavior. Reminding them in fun ways takes away the stress, lightens the atmosphere, and makes the child become more cooperative with you.

    Ensure that you are cued into your child’s world and empathize with his feelings (remember all feelings are okay, all behavior is not). Then, you will surely have a disciplined environment, one that is not filled with fear, but one that is filled with love and understanding!

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