Children nowadays seem to be impossible to control. Remember your childhood and how you used to treat your parents? Did you hit them? Did you disobey them? It seems that as the generations pass the parents have less and less control over their children, and the children are less respectful of their parents and themselves.
Children need to learn to respect themselves and others. In the past these values were instilled with overpowering the child. Nowadays we follow a more diplomatic approach. These are a few tips to disciplining your child;
- Actions have consequences; your child needs to understand this principle. Don’t loosen the rope too much; when your child does something wrong they need to know it and they need to receive the appropriate punishment for it.
- Teach your child to treat others in a respectful way, and teach them where their boundaries are, and where they cross the line.
- Teach your child self respect; model self-esteem to your child. Self respect comes from self appreciation. It is very important to teach this to your child and to model it as early as possible.
Teach your child to:
1. Respect their bodies.
2. Respect his/her elders
3. Respect and care for other people’s possessions
4. Respect other people’s privacy
5. Respect the law and abide by it
It is your job as a parent to help your child achieve this level of respect and discipline. Being a good role model is the first step, as we all know children mimic their parents’ behaviors. Teach your child to take care of themselves, let them brush their teeth daily and practice good overall hygiene. When children feel that their outer appearance is well taken care of and well accepted, their self esteem and self appreciation will increase respectively.
Don’t use hurtful words with your child. Words like dumb, ugly, liar and many others can be really devastating to a child. Instead use words that help build self esteem, like beautiful, caring, strong, special…etc. Your opinion in your child has a huge impact on their opinion in themselves.
Build your children’s character daily, let them know that you love them and cherish them. When you love them, they will love themselves. A child with a strong character is a child who can love himself and respect himself. It is important not to make the child feel that he is never good enough for your standards. Don’t yell and hit your child, instead reason with him and take his opinion into consideration. When a child feels valued in his own home, he will value himself wherever he goes.
Now let me add a twist to all that I just wrote. I want you to stop for a second. Tell me what you think of the following scenario. Parents should teach their children respect and cleanliness. So you are in the car and you suddenly roll the window down and throw something out of the car while talking to your child. Your child sees you doing that and it automatically means it is okay to do so. But why stop here, it means it is okay to do so in different parts of life. Now all of you will say: Well I NEVER do something like this. Sure, you do not. But the point is this. Parenting is like being a leader in your own home. And to be a leader, you always need to start with the most obvious source of discipline and respect: yourself. When we ask you to be a role model it is in all things and manners you are trying to teach your child to have and be. Before you analyze and try to figure out what is wrong with your children, look at yourself. Are you an effective leader/parent? Are you an effective example for them to emulate? It all starts with you.
The greatest tip I can give to anyone wanting to get the message across is to be an excellent messenger first. So demand from your children all the right qualities. And start by portraying it in front of them by looking at yourselves.