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Teach Your Child the Value of Discipline

There isn’t one child in this world who receives punishment and turns around to thank you for your adequate attention to detail and for going through the trouble to make sure they grow to be law abiding citizens (if you have one, I’d love to hear about it). Yet, children will understand the reasons behind your punishment and the value of discipline if you simply sit down with your child and talk to them. Does that sound hard to believe?

It’s true; with a little patience and comprehensive talking with your child, they will ultimately understand the value of discipline. It is also a very important attribute for children to have, when children realize how important boundaries are and why rules are set out they rearrange their thought process on the way they act as well as knowing the only reason discipline is implemented is to save them. Even though for most parents discipline can be an emotional rollercoaster, it is imperative to the child rearing years. Here are some tips to help you explain to your children the value of discipline.

Children in the preschool age are ready to test the boundaries of parents; actually all children of any age will do this, but for the most part these are the years where children are setting self boundaries that will last throughout most of their youth. This is a great time to sit down with your child and explain to them your expectations of their behavior and the consequences that follow for defying the rules. “I know you don’t always like to share, but it is very important you learn to and if I hear you are not sharing mommy (or daddy) will have to punish you for breaking the rules. EYou can always explain to your child that it is not something you like to do, but for them to grow up to be respectful and able to follow rules, you have to discipline.

You can emphasize specific behaviors your children display or just talk to them about behaviors that are normally mirrored in children such as:

  • Not listening
  • Fighting
  • Not sharing
  • Being mean
  • Not eating their dinner
  • Lying
  • Mocking, etc.

Children who see other children misbehave can benefit greatly from the experience. Without being rude or inconsiderate, point out a child that is behaving badly in a store or in the public. Ask your child how that makes them feel and if they think that behavior is good or bad. Talk about how these behaviors might make a parent feel, offer your thoughts on how you might feel if you were that parent.

Main points to address:

  • Explain to your child what you expect from them and why.
  • Point out other children’s behaviors and talk about that.

Grades K-3rd
What is it about discipline that makes it important? Ask your young elementary school child this question and listen intentively to their answers. What about those behaviors on TV, do you think those children are acting appropriately? Just like when you are out in public and you see a child who misbehaves ask your child how this kind of behavior makes them feel and how they feel when they know they have broken the rules. Talk openly to your child about your childhood experiences and the things that happened to you as a child and the lessons you learned through those experiences.

If there was no discipline, how would children grow up acting? This is a great question for children to really think about, imagine if they could do anything they wanted, the zoo would be our world. Rules are meant to keep children safe and healthy, how many children would have electrocuted themselves had the rule of not sticking things in a light socket been enforced? These are just a few topics you can discuss with your child to help them understand the importance of discipline. 

Main points to address:

  • Talk about the way children act on television.
  • Explain how various behaviors can hurt children.
  • Grades 4th-6th
    As children grow, so does the maturity of their minds. If implemented, children will begin to understand graciously the value of discipline and why their parents go through the stress of making sure those rules are followed. Give examples of children whose lives were terribly hurt from not following the rules of their parents, filter through stories online and in the news and talk about those stories with your children. How do those stories make your child feel? Ask them and talk openly

    Ask your child about children in their school who misbehave and how they feel about those children. How do the staff and teachers at their school see those children? How does your child want to be seen?

    Teaching children the value of discipline is all about talking to your child; if not they won’t thank you for that discipline until they are well into their adult years and have children of their own. You’ll get that thank you regardless, but for them to react in a positive manner about discipline make sure you talk to them, point out children who don’t follow rules, talk about their feelings about those children, discuss your experiences and show success stories of adults who were forced to follow rules.

    Main points to address:

    • Explain your reasons for discipline & be honest.
    • Talk about how they want to be seen and how they feel about others who misbehave.

    Resources that can help you in your venture include:

    Posted in Character.

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