Discipline: What's it good for?
Have you ever been at the supermarket when suddenly you hear bone chilling screams and loud echoes of the word 'no' that fill the entire store? First you panic, thinking something terrible has happened. As you make your way to the scene you discover it is only a toddler who’s not very happy that he couldn’t have a cookie. The mom seems to be ignoring the behavior, or at a minimum doing nothing to stop the child from this tantrum.
It is these scenarios that prove that discipline very much needs to be instilled into each and every child out there. No discipline simply creates a monster that the rest of the world has to deal with (eventually.) It might sound a little mean and cruel but it is the cold, hard truth. To ensure a successful adult, your child needs discipline now!
Your child is never too young to be disciplined, as many parents would like to think. Disciplining your child doesn’t indicate that you are spanking or otherwise hitting them; it simply means that you are teaching them by consequence that their action or behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. There are many age appropriate ways to discipline your child. Let the time fit the crime. In other words, choose a punishment based on the severity of the incident. If your child ate a piece of candy without permission before dinner you can take away his video game for the rest of the evening or take away a snack the following day. Something more serious, however, such as biting another child or a tantrum in the store, you’ll need to take more serious action.
Some parents spank their child; others do not. I’ve personally not spanked mine in more than 5 years, but there was a time that I did use the form of punishment for those 'severe' actions. It worked for me at the time, and I don't see the fuss about it. A quick pop to the hand hurt his feelings more than it hurt his hand, but it taught him quickly not to touch that again! But again, that’s just me, and you can take your own stand on the matter and decide if it is a form of discipline that you’ll use.
If you decide not to use spankings as discipline there are many other ways that you can enforce discipline. Again, choose age appropriate forms of discipline as well as those appropriate for the crime. For younger children, time-outs are always a dreaded punishment. Older children can be punished with the loss of a privilege or face being grounded and losing all of their privileges.
No matter what you decide is the proper action for discipline, make sure that you always talk to your child and explain the behavior that caused them to 'get in trouble.' Let them know that you’re not mad, rather that you're disappointed in their actions, and that their consequence is there to hopefully prevent it from happening again.
Let your child know that you love them, and then enforce the punishment. Do you really want to be that mom or dad that attracts an audience of angry shoppers staring sharply because of a screaming, tantrum-throwing toddler? Discipline now, thank me later.