Are you the kind of parent that feels bad when you try and set boundaries that your kid simply does not like? It really is no fun playing the bad cop in the parenting game. You want your child to like you and be able to talk to you about all different things. But the truth is when you set boundaries, you become an authority figure, and sometimes kids don’t like that.
But all kids need rules to live their life by. While I am a huge proponent of creative thinking and letting children live barrier free, I do agree that they need a certain rhyme and reason in their routines to keep them on the right path. And so, it is so important that you teach them about discipline from the get go.
Incorporating discipline in their lives with only help them later on when they are trying to attain their own goals. So here are a few tips for you to teach them discipline.
1. Explain Consequences
Kids that act out usually have no sense of reward and punishment. They feel like their bad behavior will always be overlooked, so they are free to do as they please. So, it is your duty as the parent to try and reason with them by explaining them the consequences of their actions. Knowing the aftermath should help them in managing certain behaviors and actions.
2. Withhold Privileges
Another thing you can do with stubborn children is to offer punishment in the form of withholding privileges. This is what you can do:
- Reduce time spent outside the home
- Take away video games
- Lock smartphones till they’ve had time to reflect
- Reduce time spent on computers
Reward appropriate behavior with privileges and inappropriate behavior by withholding them.
3. Encourage Progressive Activities
Another reason why children act out is because they’ve got a lot of energy stored within them and not enough positive outlets to let it all out. One way that children learn to channel discipline in a positive way is by taking part in progressive activities. Being part of a discipline—art, music, dance, martial arts—children learn discipline themselves.
4. Help Them Make Their Own Rules
A great way to help kids set boundaries is by sitting them down and helping them make their own rules. Kids should have their own honor code, and when they abide by it, they are being true to themselves. How is this helpful, you ask? Sometimes, breaking rules set by someone else brings the thrill of rebellion, of standing up to authority. Kids are more likely to abide by the boundaries they set for themselves.
5. Reward Good Behavior
Finally, when they do something well, reward them with positive feedback or a tangible reward of sorts. Positive reinforcement is important in parenting… children must know what sorts of behavior are acceptable and what sorts of behaviors will not be tolerated.
For more information on this matter, give this infographic by Powerful Worlds a good look: