Discipline is an important part in all our lives and in particular for children to learn as they grow up. Sometimes we need advice and support to help us make the right decisions especially when faced with challenging behaviour.
Discipline or punishment
Discipline has to be learnt and actually helps us feel secure and get along with others. The term self-discipline describes a situation when we know how to control our behaviour and act on what is right rather than wrong.
Fear of punishment or using pain or something unpleasant to stop or alter a child’s behaviour is often seen as a form of discipline but is in fact something entirely different.
Using a physical or verbal punishment is not an effective form of discipline and yet withholding rewards and applying penalties can be effective, but only if applied properly.
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Why Punishment Doesn't Work
Physical punishment usually doesn't work as it can reinforce in a child that they are somehow ‘bad’ and therefore will act ‘bad.’ It will often induce behaviour that is ‘good’ just to keep from being punished and does not help a child learn that it is the right thing to do.
Children who have been smacked feel that they have paid for their behavior and are free to misbehave again. Parents who use physical punishment could be setting an example of using violence to settle problems or conflicts. Children copy their parents' behaviour.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or are young person that needs help, advice, guidance, support or need someone to take action on your behalf. If you have concerns about a child who is either being abused or at risk of abuse then contact the NSPCC:
0808 800 5000 www.nspcc.org.uk
The most effective method of discipline is to set a good example, always try to solve problems and promote self-control and discipline.
Children need to experience the consequences of their decisions and learn from their experiences. It is important that parents explain the consequences of the action before it occurs so your child is aware. It is also important not to ‘back yourself into a corner’ so always give options and be consistent.
The consequence must be appropriate to the act and you need to be able to see it through. You have to be in control.