Discipline means to create guidelines for children. When guidelines are defined children can grow up knowing what to expect and their responsibilities in the family. This is important for developing feelings of self-worth, competence, independence, cooperation and responsibility.
The Nurturing Parenting Program's 11 Rules of Discipline:
- Help children learn appropriate behavior by involving them in direct experiences which will teach them the desired behavior, and have them observe you behaving in the manner that you want them to behave in.
- Behaviors need consequences following them to help children learn right from wrong. Consequences following desired behaviors are called Rewards. Consequences following undesirable behaviors are called Penalties or Punishments.
- What you pay attention to is what you get more of. One of the most important goals of parenting is to catch your children behaving.
- Punishments are used to help children change inappropriate behavior, and only work effectively when used in conjunction with rewards to reinforce appropriate behavior.
- Punishments are never used to abuse, injure or cause harm, or the threat of harm to children.
- Time-out will only work when time-in is quality time. If time-in is not quality time, the child is already emotionally in time-out.
- Time-out should be used sparingly and for teaching purposes for young children. Other forms of punishment are more appropriate for older pre-teens and adolescents.
- The punishment must fit the crime. It must also be reasonable, respectful, and related.
- The goal of punishment is to be meaningful and quick. Punishments of duration provide little motivation to do better.
- If you misuse it or abuse it, you lose it for a while, then get another chance to use it. One of the goals of discipline is to teach appropriate behavior. If children never get another chance, how are they going to learn?
- If you break it, you pay for it, if you mess it up, you clean it up. Restitution is an excellent way to teach children there are consequences for their inappropriate behavior.
Learn more about ICAN's Nurturing Parenting Program.