If your 6-year-old does not put away his toys and clothes, what do you do? Take his/her favourite toy away? Do not allow her/him to play in the park?
Strict parenting does not always mould your child into being better mannered. Harsh discipline can also turn down your child’s self-esteem and make him/her rebellious.
If you often wonder that the consequences that you give to your child are a bit too harsh or regret it later, here are some signs to watch out for and easy tips to tackle these messy situations
Rules for everything
If you set too many rules, you probably are a strict parent. You need to cut down on the rules, however be, consistent in reinforcing them. Keep the rules simple. If a warning does not work move over to the consequence and let your child learn that the rules are not meant to be broken.
If most times you shout out threats like you are grounded for 30 days or no chocolates for you ever, kids are smart enough to understand that these vain threats are not going anywhere and its okay to repeat the misbehaviour. Therefore back down when you think the kids have got the message.
Child lying/ bullying
If you have been using force or fear to discipline your child, he is likely to lie a lot for the fear of the harsh consequence. He/she might think that it is okay to use force to get work done and will turn into a bully. Empathise with your child and foster parent-child relationship.
You do not tolerate any exceptions
If that’s you, you need to evaluate the scenario first before jumping to consequence always. Give your child a chance to explain.
Too many restrictions and no time for fun
While rules are good, too many restrictions can lead your child to become a rebel. Allow sometime for structured activities along with time for free play.
If you are constantly nagging or playing a cop, you need to correct that. Give your child chance to learn self-discipline because that is your final aim. You want your child to behave even in your absence and not always lose your mind over it.
Your child talks to you less
At this age your child is old enough to understand who to talk to. If he/she finds that talking to you means losing or one-sided talk, he/she will soon find a mid path of avoiding you. Don’t lose your child’s trust, by being more empathetic and tolerant.
You do not appreciate your child enough
If you turn a blind eye to your child’s efforts and just reject the outcome, you are dampening their morale. Praise, rewards and showing disappointment, all are powerful means of teaching discipline.
Somewhere between defining the house rules and empathy lies the right balance needed to discipline them without stepping on their freedom.