Being a parent is a tough job to handle. One of the most difficult tasks of parents is disciplining a child. Parents have developed different ways to discipline a child. Some parents are firm, while others are too soft that they can’t bear reprimanding and hitting their children. According to Bette Davis, “Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child. Discipline is guidance. If there is love, there is no such thing as being too tough with a child”. There is truth to her words. Parents should discipline their kids out of love not because they want to prove something or to make the child suffer. Regrettably, there are parents who still do not know the difference between reasonable corporal punishment and abuse. As a result, more than five children die every day as a result of child abuse. To understand better, let us enumerate the most common ineffective ways of disciplining a child.
Abuse is defined as anything that is harmful, injurious, or offensive. It includes physical, spiritual, sexual and emotional aspects. Based on statistics, verbal abuse or putting a child down with offensive and diminutive statements can cause more lasting harm than sexual abuse. Shouting and screaming at your child is a form of verbal abuse. It is important that parents understand that shouting will never help a child to understand the situation. Shouting can only lower the child’s confidence to self.
Shaming is the same as publicly humiliating a child. There are several cases when a child is forced by a parent to wear a sign in public, revealing the things that he or she has wrongly committed. There are parents who think that humiliation is a quick fix. But experts believe that this type of discipline is a mistake. Shaming a child in public is a form of emotional abuse. Often, children who suffer from this kind of punishment or discipline commit suicide because they feel that they are rejected by the world and that their very parents do not care about them.
As a last resort, many parents unintentionally turn to threats as a way to discipline their children. Threats can be as plain as not going to the party if a chore is not done or as horrible as spanking or hitting the child. Parents should remember that a threat does not teach a child anything about practical and sensible consequences of behavior. To avoid this kind of discipline, try not to use statement like, “If you will not do your homework, you will be grounded” which is very negative. Be more positive and less punitive. As an alternative, you can change it to, “As soon as you are done with your homework, you can go out with your friends and play”.
Ignoring can be both an effective and ineffective discipline style. It can be effective when a child is giving tantrums. You can ignore the behavior but make sure that the child is safe. On the other hand, ignoring becomes bad when a parent no longer cares about the child, for example, ignoring the behavior that his or her child hits another person.
Certainly, there are no perfect parents. One may fall short and be caught in anger. Remember that anger can bring out the worst of us and it can produce unwise decisions. The main role of parents is to protect the child from abuse and not be the ones to start the abuse. If you are concerned about your parenting abilities, you may want to contact people who can help you learn proper disciplining skills like your child’s doctor or reputable parenting groups.