disciplining a child
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Disciplining A Child
Relationships between children and parents are unique and intense. Families are often the
happiest when parents and children have the skills to relate and communicate with each other
in a positive manner, when parents feel competent in helping their children behave
appropriately, and when children can express their emotions and behave appropriately. But
behavioral problems among children are very common, and such problems might occur in
daily life in the home and in the school, with peers or with other adults.
My eight-year-old son’s performance at school recently started to decline. At the beginning
of the school year, he was an A student with no problems in reading and writing. After a few
months, he becomes a C student. First, I thought that he could not understand a particular
topic or exercise, but after meeting with his teacher, I found out that he did not pay enough
attention in the class. I and his father discussed the problem with our son. Also, I explained to
him why his education is important for his future. He agreed with me and promised to change
his behavior in the classroom. Despite that, the low grades continued. It was then I decided to
use operant conditioning as a type of learning in order to bring out an entirely new response,
with a non-physical punishment (the negative secondary reinforcer)such as time out and loss
of privileges (TV watching and video games playing). I prefer to avoid the use of physical
punishment with my child. Physical punishment usually happens when a parent is angry and
this does not create a positive learning experience for a child. Physical punishment models
and teaches hitting and physical aggression, often making a child want to avoid the parent and
can have a negative effect on a child’s self-esteem.
The non-physical punishment worked for a short time: however, very soon I discovered that my son started to hide his low-graded papers from me. I discussed the situation with him
and told him that he chose an incorrect way to avoid punishment. I decided to try another
kind of reinforcer, positive one, such as a reward. My son was told that if he would get an A
in the next two reading and writing tests he would go to play to his favorite place “Chuck E.
Cheese’s”. He was very excited about that and started to respond: to spend more time reading
How to Cite this Page
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Physical Punishment Learning Experience Negative Effect Operant Conditioning Happiest Behavioral Meeting Months Self-esteem
and preparing for the tests, to ask me questions about the material and to pay more attention in
the classroom. Finally, he did very well on the next two tests and received his reward. Now
we use a schedule of reinforcement, such as fixed ratio. Every Friday after the school week
ends, and my son has the good grades for the week, he is able to choose a special place to go.
Now he is an A student, and we are very proud of him. He feels good about himself, knows
what is expected of him, and likes to be rewarded for his accomplishments with verbal praise
as well as non-verbal praise such as a hug, small toys or extra computer time.
In the process of disciplining my child, I am an authoritative parent. I set high, but realistic
and reasonable standards, enforce limits, and, at the same time, encourage open
communication and independence. I am willing to discuss rules and supply rationales for
them. Knowing why the rules are necessary makes it easier for a child to internalize them and
to follow them, whether or not his parents are present. In the authoritative parenting style
child is seen as an equal, integral part of the family, as cooperative, and as doing his share. He
is loved and accepted. Also, the child is offered reasonable, progressive challenges and
permitted to develop at his own pace. The authoritative parenting style permits the child
enough freedom of expression so that he can has a sense of independence.
Home >> Child Discipline
Child Discipline - What is it?
Child discipline is one of the most important elements of successful parenting, yet more and more, parents just don't know what to do. Discipline (or training) might simply be defined as a process to help children learn appropriate behaviors and make good choices. In addition, loving, effective discipline aids a child in exercising self-control, accountability, and mutual respect.
Through proper discipline, children learn how to function in a family and society that is full of boundaries, rules, and laws by which we all must abide. With it, children gain a sense of security, protection, and often feel accomplishment. Without proper discipline, children are at risk for a variety of behavioral and emotional problems.
Child Discipline - How Does it Work?
How do we effectively implement child discipline? The Bible says parents have a God-given responsibility to train their child in the way he should go. That challenge often requires that we first learn to discipline ourselves in the matters of child rearing. Whether parenting skills come naturally or we learn them through trial and error, they are accomplished by consistency, encouragement, and example. The importance of these tools cannot be expressed enough.
Here are some effective child discipline techniques using instruction:
- State boundaries and commands clearly and concisely. As parents, we cannot flip-flop when children try to bargain or negotiate - and they will. Children will test us to see if we will give in to their persuasive pleas (no matter their age).
- We must deliver our instructions calmly, yet steadfastly, not as a quivering request. It is more effective to say, "Do not go into the street. Stay in our yard," instead of "Mommy doesn't want you to leave the yard, ok?" Children must know when parents are serious.
- Our authority must be clearly, consistently established. Use only the necessary words, and teach your children to develop eye contact and listening skills. Show, by example, that you listen to them as you expect them to listen.
- Remember to make rewards and disciplinary consequences not only age appropriate, but also task appropriate. Don't over-punish minor misbehaviors.
- Teach your child that all actions bring consequences. Encourage them when they make good choices. They need to know the benefits of obeying and making good choices, as well as the negative consequences for disobedience.
- State directives/results and follow through; don't issue idle threats. Give predictable consequences, such as, "If you behave in this way, this will happen."
- Teach them good and moral behaviors by displaying your own good and moral behaviors. Go to church as a family. Plan healthy family activities that promote good morals and "together" time. You will soon see your child mirror your values and morals. Child discipline and training does not occur in a vacuum. Their behaviors are formed within the context of what they witness in their primary teachers.
Child Discipline - When Should it Begin?
Child discipline should start in the beginning. You should enjoy holding, cuddling, and talking with your baby. Studies have reported that infants respond to the sounds of the human voice. Talking to your child early may help in your child's brain development and train them to know what we expect by our tone (i.e. "Mommy loves you" or "It's time to go to sleep now").
Your baby will learn very quickly that crying brings response. When a child is hungry and cries, it gets fed. Begin training your infant to know the times he will be held and cuddled and the times he needs to be put in his crib. Speaking coupled with action is where child training should begin.
Most new parents think about discipline only after negative behaviors begin. Your child does not automatically know what is expected; you must spend time teaching him. While we encourage our children to learn to make choices, they need our guidance. It is to their benefit (and ours) to lovingly lead them into compliance with praise for the positives. From the start, put forth effort in your responsibility as a parent. Your child will thank you for it.
When should a parent being disciplining their children? Learn why it is important in their development and basic principles to make it effective.
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