The Components Of An Effective Discipline Strategy
What parents should consider and refrain from...
19 February 2018
Effective discipline and punishment differs from one parent to another, and from one child to another as well. As what could work out with one child, might not be as effective with another.
Child discipline methods are surrounded by a lot of controversy and the debate about it seems like it would never be settled. However psychologists discussed the essential ingredients of an effective punishment, and what parents should refrain from doing.
Studies on the matter have also shown that the key to positive and successful discipline is to teach and guide رappropriate behaviour and self-regulations over long terms, instead of trying to deal and reduce mis-behaviours for the short term.
Child discipline psychology indicates that the three most important components of an effective punishment or discipline strategy are:
1. Founding a loving, positive, caring relationship
A healthy, positive, and loving relationship is probably the foundation of any successful and effective discipline strategy. To establish such a relationship, parents should keep in mind to give their little ones quality time, sit and play with them more often, engage with them in what they’re interested in, show interest in their hobbies and interact with a lot of love and warmth. Such a relationship and bond between parents and their children indicates that any response from parents to their child’s behaviour, whether positive or negative, will definitely leave a greater impact, because they care about their parents’ approval of their actions. A loving relationship also helps your child feel safe and secure, which in return leads to other positive outcomes in the future.
2. Reinforcing Desired Behaviour
Discipline and punishment isn’t only about showing your child what not to do, but also what is the desired behaviour in the society they live in. you always need your little ones to learn behaviours that meet your expectations, and recognise what is appropriate in social relationships and different settings in the long term.
You can reinforce good and positive behaviours by focusing your attention on them when disciplining your child, rather than just punishing them for what they’ve done wrong. Parents can also try formal strategies like: rewards charts.
3. Consequences For Undesirable Behaviour
Probably the most difficult part of the discipline strategy, but definitely a must. Showing your child the consequences of their bad behaviours will keep them from repeating them. And you can show them that by either extinction or punishment.
Extinction: time-outs and removal of privileges are two effective methods in reducing the repetition of undesirable behaviour. As research suggests extinction methods increased children’s compliance with parental expectations from 25% to 80%.
Punishment: verbal and physical punishment are also common strategies which are used sometimes without planning and out of frustration. However, studies have shown that constant use of punishment, whether verbal or physical, is not effective in the long term. And rather, it might be interpreted as a source of attention, which might lead to increased and reinforced undesirable behaviour.
Physical punishment has also some very negative and long-term downsides parents should keep in mind, as studies indicated that it can lead to increased aggression, mental health problems, antisocial behaviour, lower self-esteem, and negative relationships with parents.